Dining Alfresco at the Kimberton Inn

by artfuldiner on September 14, 2020

in Artful Diner Review, Opinion, Wining and Dining

Kimberton Inn

2105 Kimberton Road

Kimberton, Pennsylvania

(610) 933-8148


The Kimberton Inn was first reviewed in 2007 and then again in 2015. In 2018, it was reviewed a third time when the long-running (27 years) chef, Jim Trainer, suddenly departed and his second-in-command, Tom Wolter, took over as the power-behind-the-stove. Kimberton Inn Wine Dinner – A Retrospective was a separate review of a specific wine dinner also posted in 2015.

Kimberton Inn - Outdoor PatioThe current circumstances, however, are somewhat different, as this review will deal exclusively with al fresco (outdoor) dining. The Inn’s facilities include a patio as well as a string of tables amid the picturesque flora and fauna along the small creek just below the restaurant’s parking lot.

But the Kimberton Inn offers infinitely more than its significantly rustic charms (whether seated outdoors or in one of the cozy dining rooms), as the cuisine continues to draw kudos from the Inn’s loyal clientele and food critics alike – this writer included. After getting off to what I considered a rather rocky start, Executive Chef Tom Wolter certainly appears to have hit his stride.

Typical of Mr. Wolter’s style, for example is his extraordinary Sautéed Halibut Fillet. The generous fillet is sautéed to a golden hue that yields to a moist and flaky snow-white interior. Pillowed on a creamy seabed of potato purée, it is embellished with a smattering of white corn & heirloom carrots. The consummating touch is an exquisite lemon thyme cream. Truly memorable.

Kimberton Inn - Shrimp & Sea ScallopsAlmost its equal was my dining partner’s Sautéed Shrimp and Sea Scallops (pictured). The perfectly prepared constituents swim to table in a savory roasted fennel broth awash with sautéed shiitake mushrooms, asparagus, red pepper, and English peas.

Kimerton Inn - Wild Mushroom & Shishito Pepper Pad ThaiThe only disappointment in several visits proved to be the Wild Mushroom & Shishito Pepper Pad Thai (pictured). This is a stir-fried noodle dish commonly served as street food in Thailand. It is typically made with rice noodles, tofu, scrambled egg, bean sprouts, and peanuts. The Kimberton version also features cilantro and scallions. The ingredients are sautéed together in a wok. Once the dish is completed, it is tossed with a special sauce that gives the dish its unique tangy salty flavor with just a hint of sweetness.

The problem here is that the ingredients are not sautéed together; in point of fact, they did not appear to be sautéed at all. Nor were they tossed with sauce, which was practically nonexistent… A major faux pas and proof positive that the chef should stick to what he knows best and not wander too far afield, as the results are a good deal less than edifying.

Kimberton Inn - Fried Cauliflower FloretsAppetizers, however, are consistently excellent across the board. They include such items as Birchrun Hills Farm Cheese, a delightful cheeseboard garnished with pickled vegetables, local fruit preserves, and crostini; “Probably the Best Salad You’ll Ever Have” – leaf lettuce, baby spinach, tart apple slices, toasted sunflower seeds, and aged gouda splashed with a sweet sesame-walnut dressing – a menu favorite; and the fabulous Fried Cauliflower Florets (pictured) accompanied by roasted poblano peppers, confit garlic, fresh cilantro, and a dynamite sesame aioli.

Desserts are an impressive array of old favorites like Pecan Pie with Caramel Sauce, Chocolate Torte with White Chocolate Buttercream, and Strawberry Shortcake… But the winner in my book is the kitchen’s benchmark Key Lime Pie. It sports a great crust, the proper color (yellow, not green), and is just tart enough. The perfect ending to any meal.

Bon Appétit!

Be Safe


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