WHITE HAVEN — On a very cold Tuesday evening, my dining partner and I entered the Powerhouse restaurant in White Haven, conveniently located just off Interstate 80 at Exit 273.
In what was once the building dedicated to producing the electrical supply for the growing White Haven Sanatorium and medical complex in the early 1900s, a beautiful bar and inviting restaurant fills this generous space. As we entered, we were cheerfully greeted by Marcia, the manager of the Powerhouse who offered to take our coats and escorted us to a cozy table enhanced by the snowy view of the January evening just beyond the brick wall.
Soon we were warmly greeted by Brooklyn-born Pasquale, our waiter for the evening, or “Pat” as he likes to be called. Pat made us feel comfortable from the moment we sat down, as he informed us of the specials that evening and delivered fresh warm bread to our table. My dining partner and I immediately felt comfortable and welcome.
As we reviewed the dinner menu and considered our options, Pat brought our drinks, chosen from an extensive list of wine, beer and cocktail offerings – Tanqueray and tonic for my dining partner with a perfectly sized slice of lime and a glass of Lost Angel Cabernet Sauvignon for me.
The menu offered a wide variety of delicious sounding appetizers and entrees from which to choose. However, we settled, after a brief debate, on the stuffed mushrooms topped with Italian sausage stuffi ng and mozzarella cheese plated so perfectly into a delicious pool of marinara sauce. Within 10 minutes four generously sized mushrooms were quickly devoured by this dining duo.
We knew the best was yet to come and that we would not be disappointed.
Although, the tomato cream basil soup of the day sounded especially appetizing, my dining partner chose the French onion soup, a staple and favorite of many on the menu.
The cheese was burnt ever so lightly and clung to the top of the brown crock, making it fun to start nudging through this delicious layer into the tasty onions and soothing broth that waits just below the surface.
My choice may have been influenced by the frosty weather that evening, however.
The winter salad certainly got my attention as I surveyed the menu.
This creative and delicious salad combined many favorites: perfectly toasted candied pecans, bite-size chunks of pear, delicate goat cheese, dried cranberries, the added touch of pomegranates all generously proportioned over a bed of mixed greens and drizzled with a delightful honey poppy seed vinaigrette.
This quickly became a favorite and one I would certainly order again.
As we sipped our drinks and enjoyed the evening, our entrees soon arrived. My dining companion, chose, the hand-cut twin filet mignon, featuring two 4-ounce filets covered in gorgonzola crust and marsala brown sauce.
The steak’s savory and juicy flavor was not diminished by the crisp gorgonzola and tasty marsala sauce, which were special treats to have a steak adorned with. The two steaks were accompanied with a perfectly baked potato with sour cream and fresh steamed vegetables.
One of the evening’s specials was my entree of choice: the salmon with seafood risotto topped with herb butter served over rice pilaf and a side of fresh steamed vegetables. The salmon was absolutely delicious and very well prepared; it lent itself well to the creative combination when served with the seafood risotto.
You could easily taste that each entree was carefully and skillfully prepared and served with the utmost attention to detail.
We paused after our gratifying entrees before considering the dessert menu, which also offered a wonderful and thoughtful selection of Port wines. We commented how many other patrons chose to brave the cold evening as we noticed the many other tables that were occupied on a Tuesday evening.
When we did choose our dessert, we chose well from a wonderful selection of options.
The peanut butter pie was light and creamy and featured a delicious top layer of fine chocolate and side of whipped cream with drizzled chocolate syrup. The pie combined with a perfect cup of herbal mint tea, suggested by Pat, created the idyllic way to end this snowy-night dinner date.
The Powerhouse’s warm atmosphere, friendly and professional staff and delicious dining collectively create a memorable and special dining experience.