This was our first visit to the Bavarian Inn although we had been aware of it for 25 years. And we only wound up there because our first two choices in downtown Shepherdstown are closed on Tuesdays.
We're glad we did.
Downstairs, below the more formal dining rooms, is the cozy, informal Rathskeller. You're not penalized for choosing this casual option. The menu & wine list are the same, reservations are accepted and the staff friendly and quite competent. We loved the atmosphere.
BI has a great dining concept - especially this time of year. Not only are the traditional German dishes available but also (Oct-Feb) a goodly number of wild game appetizers and entrees. You can't dine anywhere within 100 miles of this place for a similar menu. (If neither of these categories work for you, more conventional meat and seafood options are available. But why come here for that?)
My wife and I split a "salad sampler" appetizer which was excellent. Beet, Rutabaga, Cucumber and German Potato salads were presented. We both loved the beets (unbelievable natural sweetness!) and she preferred the Cucumber while I voted for the vinegary Potatoes (yumm!).
My wife did the pork, sauerkraut and juniper potatoes entree while I did the antelope sausage and wild boar sausage with pumpkin chutney and cabbage entree. Both were quite good.
One further comment. After dining we went upstairs to check out the fine dining areas. The dining rooms were warmer than they appeared on the web site. But the highlight was the hostess Kirsten. When she learned this was our first visit she gave us a quick tour and an in-depth explanation of history and current services (great place for a wedding or small business conference) She was so interested in us I asked if she was part of the family that owned BI. Turns out she's not family and had only been there for a few months. Kirsten was SPECIAL. But every employee we had contact with was similarly competent, thoughtful and friendly. This is a well run family business and typifies why I try to eat or stay at independent establishments. When done right (as BI does it) the chains cannot compete!