Peter Herdic House
Peter Herdic House is an elegant gourmet restaurant in a beautifully restored Victorian mansion situated on Williamsport, Pennsylvania’s Millionaires Row.
This fine dining restaurant specializes in serving sustainable, locally-grown produce and meats, in the picturesque environs of a beautifully restored Victorian mansion.Built in 1854 as a residence for Peter Herdic, a Williamsport lumber baron, the house was restored in the early 1980’s. Sisters Marcia and Gloria Miele opened the restaurant doors in 1984. From the beginning, they combined a respect and love for Williamsport’s historic heritage with a passion for fine food. Now in their 27th year in business, “the Miele girls” (as they’re known locally) have built a strong family connection to the restaurant, incorporating their mother Daisy, as the pastry chef, and Gloria’s daughter Liz, as the executive chef, into the business. The Miele family feels lucky to be able to combine their hospitality with historic preservation.
The Herdic House is among the finest examples of Italian Villa architecture in the state, and guests are welcome to tour the restaurant. Its distinctive features include ornate plaster moldings and arches, and a mahogany stairway that curves three floors to a cupola. The ornate first floor moldings and the acanthus-leafed fluted columns on the porches are original to the building, and the intriguing three-story chandelier has captivated many visitors. The bar, in the rear of the building, was created from the witness stand of the demolished county courthouse, and the fan was taken from the same building.
The property includes a beautiful wisteria-covered patio lit by Venetian lanterns for outdoor dining and cocktails, a lounge with a fireplace, and an intimate bar with an excellent selection of wines and spirits. The Mieles have a love of fine wine, and have traveled to Burgundy, Tuscany, and California tasting wines. The 75-bottle wine list offers a wide range of American wines, as well as wines from France and Italy.
After appreciating the beautiful surroundings, diners can also tour Pennsylvania gastronomy. The restaurant kitchen strives to use the best and freshest ingredients available—which usually means buying from the central Pennsylvania community.
Liz and the kitchen staff use sustainable produce and meats whenever possible. They start with the freshest, locally grown ingredients and present each item artfully. To stay in keeping with the seasons, the menu changes monthly, but one classic appetizers which can always be found on the menu is shad, locally smoked by Helmrich’s Seafood and served with capers, onions and a horseradish dill sauce. Shad once ran in the Susquehanna River and was featured at the original Herdic House, Peter Herdic’s restaurant at the Park Hotel, in the 1870s.
In the pastry kitchen, Daisy makes perfect creme brulee and chocolate mousse cake, as well as her signature apple cinnamon bread pudding. The restaurant also offers housemade ice creams and rotating dessert features. And Daisy and Liz are happy to collaborate on specialty cakes for larger parties or special occasions.
Reviewed July 30, 2013, cliff m
Williamsport lacks “big city” fine dining establishments. The Peter Herdic House however, tries to make up for this deficency, and suceeds on every level. A great chef who uses the “farm to table” philosophy to his advantage, a very good bar and an excellent wine list. Pricey by local standards, but well worth it!
The Peter Herdic House was featured on WVIA’s “Chefs of the Great Northeast”, and has won culinary awards at the Fete De Cuisine including Best Dessert, Best Entree, Best Appetizer, and Best of Show. Rated “Three Stars” by AAA, the restaurant offers romantic, candlelit dining in an intimate Victorian setting.