With blooms and blossoms taking root over its 50 acres beside Leonard Creek, the Beaumont Inn in Dallas brings farm-to-table dining to another level.
Built in 1948 by original owner and architect Peter Masonis, the inn underwent some renovations in 2012 when current proprietor Rob Friedman purchased it. Upon its reopening in June 2013, the Beaumont established itself quickly as a destination spot in Luzerne County for French-American cuisine.
Chef Jeff Huntzinger joined the team within a couple months and has transformed the menu to include the abundance of the property’s plantings.
“Everybody gets a kick out of supporting local farms, so we came up with the idea to get a garden started here,” Huntzinger said. “We call it farm-to-table-off-the-property.”
Diners can enjoy meals comprised of 110 varieties of vegetables found in Beaumont’s heirloom garden that stretches over a half-acre, or fruits plucked from its mini-orchard of cherry, pear, apple, apricot and imported Italian fig trees.
Huntzinger, a Luzerne County native and graduate of the Pennsylvania Culinary Institute in Pittsburgh, began with 12 raised beds and uses 24 in his garden as of 2019. Now, his menu changes four times a year with the seasons.
“Our approach is nice, local, fresh,” he said. “Our features each night are picked from our garden that morning. We’re pulling squash blossoms now until the cold snap in the fall, and by mid-July, we’ll have tomatoes and all that good stuff.”
The Beaumont Inn also supports other local growers. Huntzinger is a member of the soon-to-be nonprofit NEPA Chefs for Sustainability, which gathers together local high-end chefs in efforts to save or stabilize area farms. Much of the lettuce served at the Beaumont comes from Rowlands Pennsylvania Produce, while other ingredients come in from Brace’s Orchard, Dymonds Farm Market and Stone Hollow Farm.
Standouts from the summer menu include the scallops (pan-seared u-10 diver scallops over sweet corn coulis, topped with Southern-fried zucchini that’s been pulled from the garden and dipped in buttermilk and seasoned flour, finished with a crispy prosciutto chip); the Prime Pork Chop (served over fresh cherry and house-grown chocolate-mint demiglaze, topped with roasted jalapeño and apricot marmalade); and the Elk Tenderloin, which is grilled with a wild mushroom and Burgundy reduction.
“With a ton of hunters around, that’s especially popular in the Backmountains,” Huntzinger said of the latter dish.
Desserts are all house-made, and with seating for 80 in the dining room — the full-service lounge also fits about 25 at the bar and has seven tables — plus 180 on the patio, there’s always room at the Beaumont Inn.
“To be right by the creek with the botanical views, our outdoor dining is unique, to say the least,” Huntzinger said.
The grounds also feature an independently functional pavilion with its own bathrooms and full kitchen, which is perfect for weddings and other special events. Indoors, the Beaumont operates as a true inn, with 10 overnight rooms, each appointed in its own decor theme.
“It’s not cookie cutter,” Huntzinger promised of the accommodations.
Every Wednesday through August, guests can enjoy the music of local bands plus drink specials and a more “laid-back” summer grilling menu at the Beaumont’s Party in the Pavilion, Huntzinger noted.
“It’s our crazy season with weddings and all other things,” he said, adding that the inn can host bridal or baby showers, graduation parties and events that run the gamut. “There’s always plenty going on here.”
The Beaumont Inn
Address: 4437 Route 309, Dallas
Owner: Rob Friedman
Established: Constructed in 1948 and reopened by Friedman in June 2013
Hours: Dining is Tuesdays through Thursdays, 5 to 9 p.m.; Fridays and Saturdays, 5 to 10 p.m.; Sundays open for brunch from 9:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. and dinner from 5 to 9 p.m.
Patrice Wilding is a 13-year employee of the Lifestyles Dept. at The Times-Tribune, where she worked her way up from a clerk to a web video producer to a full-time reporter, writer and copy editor. An Olyphant native, she graduated from Mid Valley Secondary Center and earned a bachelor’s degree in liberal studies with concentration in media arts, political science and communications from Wesley College, Dover, Delaware. She lives in Clarks Summit with her husband, Justin, and their son, Johnny. Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org; 570-348-9100 x5369; @pwildingTT