The Stone House Restaurant and Inn is one of the remaining taverns and inns along the National Road that serves the same purpose for which it was originally built, in some ways like the Casselman Inn in Maryland – at least in function. However, although it’s been occupied consistently, it hasn’t always been open to the public, and has served as a private residence in the past. Originally, The Stone House was known as the Fayette Springs Hotel, and served more as a destination, banking on the local natural springs nearby, rather than a pit-stop (although it did cater to through travelers as well). After being closed to the public from 1909 to 1963, the restaurant re-opened under the ownership of Fanny Ross. Ms. Ross sold the building to Fred Zeigler III, who renovated the building to how it looks today.
Today, The Stone House still presents itself as a place to stay for visitors to the entire Laurel Highlands region, and also has significant reservable banquet space. The entire facility is broken into three parts: inn, which features rooms that combine 19th Century decor with modern amenities; restaurant and tavern. The restaurant and tavern are tied together, and served by the same kitchen. The Stone House concentrates more on dinner: food is served Monday through Friday from 4 p.m. to 9 p.m., and from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday. The tavern stays open later.
The entire facility has a classy feel to it. The banquet areas and dining rooms are more of a fine dining atmosphere, while the tavern section reminded me that I was in western Pennsylvania – from the Yuengling and Steelers decorations to the deer head mounted on the wall.
On the Sunday I visited for lunch, the tavern was the open dining area. I had the “River Monster,” an 8 oz. fish filet beer battered with Yuengling. Homemade potato chips come with each sandwich. The actual entree was pretty large, with lettuce, tomato and onions piled on the fish, and tarter sauce on the side. Everything I had had a strong flavor, and tended to be more on the salty side -especially the potato chips, which looked and tasted to me like they were seasoned with sea salt.
The Stone House is located at 3023 National Pike, Farmington, Pa. (although it has a Farmington address, it’s just outside of the village of Chalk Hill. Take out is available, and the restaurant can be reached at 1-800-274-7138, or 724-329-8876. The menuis available online. Expect to pay around $10 for lunch and $15-20 for dinner – drinks not included.