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“Service beyond compare”

Carnegie Inn & Spa Restaurant
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Ranked #16 of 250 Restaurants in State College
Certificate of Excellence
Price range: $20 - $50
Cuisines: American, European, French, Contemporary
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Restaurant details
Good for: Special occasions
Dining options: Reservations
Dining style: Casual Elegant
Transit: CATA HP Route
Description: The Carnegie Inn & Spa is a 20 Room, AAA 4 Diamond Hotel operating a magnificant restaurant within it premise. The restaurant has been selected 7 years in a row as the Best Fine Dining and Most Romantic Dining in the area. Please call, or go to our website to make reservations as we use OpenTable. Where Every Occasion is a Special Occasion!
Reviewed February 24, 2014

This is our second visit to the Carnegie House and we did not leave disappointed. As other reviewers have noted this is NOT A FAST FOOD dining experience but the perfect setting to kick back and relax by the fireplace while enjoying a drink in the library. We all had the steak entrees, two ribeye and one filet. We all agreed that the ribeye's were the most tender and flavorful steaks we may have ever eaten. The amuse bouche served in the library were two tastings, a mini crabcake and balsamic strawberry with goat cheese. Both were amazing. The service is just the icing on the cake. They are super attentive and appear and disappear hardly without notice. I would recommend this for a romantic couples evening or just a night out to celebrate and spoil yourself.

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Thank RofoBeth
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Pete W, General Manager at Carnegie Inn & Spa Restaurant, responded to this reviewResponded February 26, 2014

Hello,
We would like to thank you for taking the time to let us know how we are doing. We are delighted to hear about your experience dining with us. We have just started the new menu with the ribeye and it too is my favorite as it has so much flavor. And we agree, dining is truly a unique experience here and a nice break from the everyday places to eat in the area.
We look forward to having you join us in the near future. If there is anything we can do, please do let us know.
Thank you again.

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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96 - 100 of 127 reviews

Reviewed February 6, 2014

During the last six months, I have dined at the Carnegie House for lunch with friends and then for dinner with my husband. This is NOT a fast food restaurant and it is not meant to be. On both occasions we requested to relax in the Library with a drink prior to our meal. There was a wonderful fire going in the fireplace.

Our lunch was very nice. If you enjoy Lobster Bisque, theirs is wonderful. Also, if you are a dessert person, their molten chocolate dessert is to die for.

Yes, it is pricey. We keep the Carnegie House reserved for very special occasions and when we have plenty of time to relax and enjoy a meal.

Highly recommended.

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1  Thank ShebaM123
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Pete W, General Manager at Carnegie Inn & Spa Restaurant, responded to this reviewResponded February 7, 2014

Dear ShebaM123,

Thank you for taking the time to let us know your thoughts about our restaurant. We agree with you that this is a place for dining and not eating and we hope our guests would enjoy the break from life we try to impart. We hope you will continue to visit us for those respits.

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Reviewed February 3, 2014

It has been many years since I have visited this place and it is always a good experience. You first go in and they take you into the library. It's a nice big room with a fire place. There they will bring you a drink while you look over the menu and decide what you want. They don't seat you until your first course is about ready. I had the steak and I hardly ever order steak; I am not a huge steak eater and have to be in the mood. I am glad I did. It was cooked perfectly and great to eat. My salad was amazing as well. The setting was beautiful and romantic for me and my husband. The servers were super nice and did a great job. My only minor complaint was dessert. Cake was a little dry, but still a nice evening out.

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Thank hollytrea
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Pete W, General Manager at Carnegie Inn & Spa Restaurant, responded to this reviewResponded February 7, 2014

Dear Hollytrea,
Thank you for taking the time to let us know about your dining experience. We are delighted we were able to create such a memorable evening for you. We hope we will see you again soon.
Thanks again!

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 23, 2014

Yes, I live in the Toftrees area and I could if I was starving walk to the Carnegie House to eat . Prepare for a beautiful dinner in an absolutely most beautiful spot in all of State College, Pa. The atmosphere is excellent and the dining room is elegant but unfortunately the food did not deliver the promise I hope for. The meal was okay but the cost was quite expensive. I would recommend this as a good place to go for dinner if you want a nice night out but don't hold your breath if you want to call this one of your favorite places to eat. I suggest the salmon as the main course but I think it is only average and was not very exciting!..Be aware , it is expensive and not worth it...sorry...

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Thank Kenneth C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Pete W, General Manager at Carnegie Inn & Spa Restaurant, responded to this reviewResponded February 7, 2014

Dear Kenneth,
Thank you for taking the time to let us know about your dining experience. I am sorry the food did not meet your expectations. Feel assured that I have passed your comments along to the chef for her review. We have just recently debuted a new menu and I would invite you to come back and allow us another opportunity.
Feel free to contact me directly.

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 31, 2013

I’d like to say I had the best meal of my life at Carnegie House, and five years ago I would have. But I feel quality and bang-for-buck has gone down tremendously in the last couple of years, which appears to coincide with a change in management and chef. The owner of the small company I work for has taken executive staff here for Christmas dinner 12 straight years and it used to be one of the highlights of the year for my wife and me. It doesn’t fit in that category anymore, and myself and coworker have suggested to the owner that in troubled financial times, Central PA has better options.

Please note that on a given evening, I’d rather sit at the Carnegie House than most places in town. However....one of the joys of eating here used to be sitting in the library and waiting for ones’ seat. Diners would slowly matriculate into the dining room over the course of the evening, staggered. Our past average wait to sit and receive apps was about 45 minute. This year, we sat in the lobby and said we’d be happy to wait for a seat in the library, by the fire. We were told “ok.” This never happened. After a drink and a plate of amuse-bouche delivered to our seats (a nice touch we’ve always enjoyed), we sat. And sat. We were offered another drink several times (the service is quite professional) but just drinking and not eating isn’t a game any of us wanted to play.

For a six pm reservation, we were finally seated at 7:25. And diners weren’t seated over a staggered period of time, but all pretty much at once (six tables within 10 minutes). This is too long, and the system denied us the chance to wait and have a drink in the library, which we’ve been able to do several times. That may sound, to some, a little elitist. But when you’re paying premium for atmosphere and experience, it matters a great deal. This tainted our experience greatly. We showed up at the table hungry, bored, and agitated.

From there, the meal was spotty and just “ok.” The soups (some had lobster bisque, I had potato leek) were out of this world, but they were the only dish that had that “wow” factor one expects from Carnegie. The Stilton Salad, which has been one of the yearly highlights, really started to change two years ago. This year, it was just a wet glop, with an odd texture causes by too much dressing, too many almonds, and lack of Stilton. Seriously, it looked like it was put on the plate with an ice cream scoop.

The entrees were ok. I had Chicken Picata, as did my wife. Two members of our party had the NY strip, and the fifth had the bacon wrapped scallops. My chicken was good. Not something I’ll remember for years (as I did the veal several years ago), just good. My wife felt the same way. The other couples’ review on the steak was similar, which was “there are many places I can get a certified Angus for about $25, for over $40 I expect prime.” The bacon-wrapped scallops were described as “decent.” We all seemed to have a small accompaniment of squash, asparagus, and reasonable greens. Tiny, perfectly cooked. No “wow.”

Finally, the deserts at Carnegie are all top-notch, as is the bread served with the meals. The wine selection is good. Please note I have NO complaints with the food. It was just more along the lines of mid-range, and we were paying for fine-dining. To the general manager, I’m happy to at any time explain why I feel the way I do. The Carnegie always delivered a homerun that was worth the price. Now it’s delivering doubles in a nice stadium. Our bill (gratuity included, and well worth it, the service is the best in town) came to $642 for five people, or almost $130 per person, with two bottles of wine, one cocktail before dinner each, four deserts and three after dinner aperitifs. We’ve paid that and more in the past. But for that kind of money, one expects to be bowled over, not kept waiting an hour and a half for a high-grade but non-distinguished steak. I hope current management reads mine and other kinder comments, because even several of those bowled over by the Carnegie seem a bit miffed by the cost-return factor. I’ve been to many fine-dining restaurants in the past. This experience didn’t live up to the others.

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Thank 111buckhorn
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Pete W, General Manager at Carnegie Inn & Spa Restaurant, responded to this reviewResponded February 7, 2014

Greetings 111Buckhorn,

I want to thank you for taking the time to let us know about your dining experience. Without your comments, we would not know where we there might be an issue. I have spoken to the Chef and restaurant manager about your dinner and your concerns and want you to know this is not acceptable in our eyes.

I would ask that you contact me directly so that we might be able to talk directly about your evening and how we can better serve you. Please note, we certainly appreciate your being with us for all these years and certainly hope that you would give us a chance to service you again.

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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