For decades the Gardenville Hotel was known as a place to get a drink and a sandwich.
That ended 20 years ago when brothers Jim and John Hyrsl convinced their parents, owners John Sr. and Betty, to let them take over and raise the restaurant to a higher level.
Since then the stone inn, built in 1732, has offered a full-service menu including farm-to-table dishes in season. The owners added a dining room and game room, and the restaurant has seen an increase in the use of the banquet hall that is popular for local weddings, parties and events.
“We do it all, from sandwiches to high-end dinners,” said Jim Hyrsl, who has run the kitchen for the past 20 years.
The menu ranges from sandwiches and burgers to platters of fried chicken, roast beef or butterflied shrimp, to upscale entrees of filet tips, salmon, sea scallops and filet mignon. A “pub grub” menu features casual dishes such as wings, jalapeno poppers and beer-battered onion rings.
While the menu has been stable for several years, Hyrsl said, he keeps things interesting with seasonal specials and soups made daily.
During the harvest season the brothers keep the “garden” in Gardenville with their own garden where they raise fruit and vegetables to use in the restaurant. They also take advantage of produce offered by local farmers.
In addition to the variety of meals at the inn, it is known for its soups and desserts, said Jim Hyrsl. “Everything is made from scratch,” he said, with chili and onion soup always available, plus two additional soups each day.
A pastry chef makes the desserts on the premises. Those vary from day to day and include fruit and cream pies, cheesecake, layer cakes, angel food cake and rice pudding. Recent offerings included banana cake with chocolate frosting and caramel apple pie.
The Gardenville Hotel has had a variety of names since it first was constructed at the intersection of Durham Road (Route 413) and Point Pleasant Pike in the 1700s. Early records indicate it was named the Plough Tavern, and the original stone building can still be found in the bar area. A stagecoach stop, it served customers traveling between Easton and Philadelphia, and continues to be popular with locals as well as travelers.
Reservations are recommended for weekends, or for large groups during the week.
4726 Durham Road
Gardenville (GPS Pipersville)
10 a.m.-10 p.m. Mon.-Sat., 10 a.m.-9 p.m. Sun.
entrees $11.95-$28.95, burgers and sandwiches $9.95-$14.95, pub grub $4.95-$12.95.
Pierogies in a light brandy sauce, filet tips dinner, crab cakes, burgers, soups.