Walking into the Inn at Newtown feels like you are entering a friend's house.
The charming historic building, which was home to Newtown's benefactress Mary Hawley, has three distinct areas. The Tavern overlooks Main Street and houses a bar with several tables for casual dining. Proud Mary's, accessed from the parking lot, serves drinks and a lighter menu on the weekends and is a popular meeting place for many area adults.
The dining room is where my husband and I relaxed, with its quiet atmosphere a welcome relief from the constant banter in our busy household. The dimly lit room was tastefully decorated with interesting artwork. Our server, Ashley, was energetic and attentive, informing us of the specials and checking on us throughout the evening.
Our meal started with Chesapeake Bay Crab Cakes ($10). The two fried cakes, golden on the outside with a good amount of tender crab inside, were served on a bed of jicama slaw. The cakes were good, but the jicama slaw was fantastic. Jicama is a root that is usually served raw and julienned. Its sweet, subtle flavor and crisp texture made this slaw refreshing and left me wanting more.
I ordered one of my favorite types of seafood, scallops. These Sea Scallops ($27) came perfectly seared and served atop two large pillows of ravioli stuffed with sweet peas. The slightly caramelized scallops were sweet and melted in my mouth, so I had high expectations for the underlying ravioli. But I was met with disappointment. The pasta was tough and chewy, and the pureed pea filling was rather bland. A pleasant addition to this dish was the garnish of fried leeks. The small ringlets were bursting with flavor, adding a salty and discreet onion tone to the dish.
My husband's entrée arrived, filling me with food envy. His Lamb Shank ($26) was served Henry-the-Eighth style, with the bone jutting out almost begging to be picked up. Thankfully, he resisted and used a fork to eat the tender meat. Underneath the lamb was a mound of lusciously decadent Yukon Gold mashed potatoes. And the slightly bitter taste of the spring green broccolini provided a welcome contrast to this rich dish, which my husband finished off for lunch the next day.
With barely enough room for dessert, we split a slice of the Inn's Pecan Pie ($7). The pie was served with a caramel sauce that I may have licked off the plate had I been at home. However, our favorite part of pecan pie was missing -- namely the pecans. There were only a few nuts sprinkled over the gelatinous pie.
The Inn runs a special on Tuesday and Thursday evenings. Dinner for Two is priced at $29.99 and includes two glasses of house wine, two salads and two entrees selected from a list. This sounded like a great deal, especially after we received our bill, which was more than $80 without wine or tip.
The menu ranges from casual fare, such as the Turkey Panini ($9.25) and Roasted Beet Salad ($10), to Filet Mignon ($30). I would not bring my children to the more formal dining room, but the tavern has a more casual feel, and a kids' menu is available in either spot.
The Inn participates in a new delivery service called Vroom Service Now. Hungry residents can go online and order from several area restaurants and have their meals delivered for a fee of $3.50. The Inn also has a separate dining room available for private parties.