Hermitage, Pennsylvania is a quiet small town in the western part of the state near the Ohio border. If you ever happen to travel to Hermitage or live nearby, you will also find that it is a great place to dine out without hurting your pocketbook. There are many restaurants in the area that are home to wonderful meals and great casual atmosphere.
Chiccarino’s, 559 S. Hermitage Rd., Hermitage, PA 16148, (724) 981-2622, www.chiccarinos.com
Chiccarino’s is Hermitage’s only good authentic restaurant that serves only Italian food. Like all the restaurants in my list, it is reasonably priced and casual dress is appropriate. If you go, definitely try a bowl of their Wedding Soup. It is an Italian favorite that they do well. As an entrÃ?Â©e, they have several that are wonderful. If you want something light, their Chicken and Pasta Sonoma is fabulous. It’s chicken breast, olive oil, garlic, red peppers, olives, artichoke hearts, and lemons in a white wine sauce. If traditional red sauced dishes are more your style, they are several that are good. Their authentic Gnocchi is one that most Italian restaurants don’t serve because it is a little more time consuming than say spaghetti. Chiccarino’s also does Parmesan dishes well; they offer the chicken, eggplant, and veal varieties. Chiccarino’s is closed on Sundays, but does offer liquor with a great happy hour from 5 PM to 7 PM during the week.
Hickory Bar and Grille, 1645 N. Hermitage Rd., Hermitage, PA 16148, (724) 962-1775, www.springfields.com
The Hickory Bar and Grille opened in 1998 as a part of the Springfield Restaurant Group that is the mastermind behind many of this area’s great restaurants. Just as the name implies, this restaurant is all about the grill. It’s the perfect place for both steak and ribs and a cold beer. My particular favorite of this restaurant is its Hazelnut Chicken. It’s a unique dish that I’ve found no where else consisting of a chicken breast in a pecan breading that is smothered in a Hazelnut cream sauce. Lunch time is a great time to visit the Hickory Grille as well. It’s less crowded than dinner time (oftentimes there’s a considerable wait in the evening) and their sandwiches are yummy. Like Chiccarino’s, Hickory Grille does serve alcohol. They are open 7 days a week.
The Cookery, 1000 N. Hermitage Rd., Hermitage, PA 16148, (724) 981-4711
The Cookery is by far my favorite place to dine in the entire Shenango Valley. While they do not serve alcohol, it is a great place to take the entire family or have a nice quiet meal. The food is spectacular. They have a great deal of things on the menu that most restaurants haven’t even thought of offering. The Cookery has a number of specialties that have been delighting the Hermitage area for decades. First, the omelets are served not only for breakfast but also for dinner. They have a number of them, from the traditional ham and cheese to the more exotic perogie version. You may get your omelet served with the traditional hash browns or if you are having one for dinner you may request a side salad instead. For dinner, the fish dishes are great, but my favorite happens to be the dinner crepes. Crepes Monte Cristo is a crepe filled with turkey and bacon and is usually served with warm blueberries. It’s tasty and definitely different than any other fare that I’ve had in this area. If you go, please don’t skip dessert. The Cookery’s Key Lime Pie is homemade from a family recipe and is heavenly. The Cookery is open 7 days a week.