The Log Cabin has been a dining destination since it opened as a speakeasy in 1929. Almost 90 years later, its reputation for providing guests with a unique atmosphere and top-notch food and service continues. However, guests will undoubtedly notice that new twists have been added to both the menu and the venue itself.
The Log Cabin closed in late 2016 for refurbishment and management changes. When it re-opened in March 2017, the venerable dining establishment had a new look and a new menu. “We didn’t change the character of the restaurant, we just refurbished it – made it brighter and more inviting,” says House Manager Margaret Bragg. Renovations and new touches can be found throughout the main level dining rooms and lounge. Future plans include updating the upstairs dining rooms.
Executive Chef Steve Painter adds, “We wanted to take it back to more of the way it would have looked in the 1930s.”
Don’t worry – the restaurant’s trademark exposed logs remain intact. Updates include a fireplace that adds to the main dining room’s ambiance. The Tavern Room (bar) sports a U-shaped 16-seat wood bar with a soapstone top. Various style tables provide additional seating. The Garden Room, which looks out onto the patio, is a light, airy space that offers great views no matter the season. The Porch Room is another light-filled space with a view of the patio. “The Porch Room is probably our most requested dining area,” Margaret says. The tree-shrouded, plant-filled patio was popular over the summer, and she hoped to keep it in operation as long as the weather cooperated. Heaters will aid in that effort.
The lounge off the entrance lobby now features a baby grand piano, a Clair Bros. sound system and comfortable seating. “This is a great spot to enjoy drinks, dessert and listen to live music that is offered Friday and Saturday evenings,” she says.
However, one dining room that remains nearly untouched is the “booth room.” According to Margaret, “This room is one that our long-time patrons are really familiar with. The booths date back to the days when The Log Cabin was a speakeasy; they have compartments where people could hide their liquor.”
The menus emphasize a variety of what Chef Steve calls “polished casual” offerings. “We still do fine dining, but it’s not the fine, fine dining. We want people to be comfortable coming here in a polo shirt and jeans.” For example, seafood is more prevalent and, “for the first time, there’s a burger on the menu,” he points out. The long-held tradition of providing great steaks and lobster – “the things The Log Cabin is known for” – continues.
“I like to take traditional things and add a bit of a twist. Crab cakes are made using colossal crab. We’re also one of 10 restaurants in the United States with a certificate of authenticity to serve the highest level of Japanese Kobe beef,” Chef Steve proudly states.
The dinner menu is augmented by daily chef’s specials. There’s also a vegetarian menu and a children’s menu. A new Twilight menu debuted in September. The three-course prix fix menu is offered from 4 to 6 p.m., Tuesday through Saturday. Entrée features include pan-seared king salmon and tenderloin filet. Sunday Brunch is served, as well.
The Tavern Room and lounge offer a small plates menu with items such as lobster tacos and lemon pepper crispy calamari. The raw bar menu includes such items as king crab legs, oysters and jumbo shrimp cocktail.
The Log Cabin is also continuing its tradition of serving Thanksgiving dinner (11 a.m.-3 p.m.). Chef Steve notes that the turkey will be sourced from Esbenshade Turkey Farm in Paradise. “I’ve been doing farm-to-table for about 20 years. We have relationships with area farmers, and there’s a garden onsite. Next year, I plan to have a larger garden, and I’d like to add some fruit trees,” he says.
In addition to turkey, Thanksgiving is all about dessert. The menu will feature desserts such as New York style cheesecake, apple tart (with vanilla ice cream), and vanilla bean crème brûlée. For those who desire a sweet treat, but in a smaller size, petite desserts, such as tiramisu and chocolate caramel tart, will be available.
Guests will be able to toast the holiday with a selection of Prohibition and crafted cocktails, wine by the glass or bottle, and craft beer on tap.
“We’re still a place where people celebrate special occasions. Our layout really lends itself to private parties – we have a lot of great spaces for family celebrations or corporate functions,” Margaret says, adding that private parties ranging in size from 20 to 150 guests can be accommodated. She points out that the staff works together as a team to create a wonderful dining experience for guests. “Our goal is to ‘wow’ people,” she says with a smile.
The Log Cabin is located at 11 Lehoy Forest Dr., Leola. Open for dinner Tuesday to Saturday starting at 4 p.m. Sunday Brunch is served 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Reservations suggested. Call 717-626-9999 or visit logcabin1933.com.