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Rumsey Tavern, Tuscany Grille please diners

By Staff | Dec 18, 2009

Steve Welcome is the Restaurant Manager at the Tuscany Grille at the Clarion Hotel & Conference Center in Shepherdstown. Photo by Michael Theis/Chronicle staff

Shepherdstown offers residents, students, and visitors alike a variety of restaurants to choose from when dining in the historic town, but there are two restaurants that are not as well known, but provide a fine dining experience. The Rumsey Taveren and Tuscany Grille at The Clarion Hotel are two laid-back, relaxing restarurants, with two completely different vibes.

The Rumsay Tavern is a casual restaurant, with a friendly, down-to-earth, fun atmosphere that offers something for everyone. There is a fireplace centered in the room, and a large screen television on the wall. These details add to the casual atmosphere that the dcor initally sets. The wooden bar is located in the restaurant for those that would like to have a quick drink instead of a full meal.

For those that come hungry, there is a wide variety of American cuisine including soups, sandwiches, salads, pastas, seafood, and steaks offered at the Rumsey Tavern. With prices ranging from $3 to $14, it is a value that everyone can enjoy. According to Steve Welcome, Restaurant Manager, there are also specials offered to restaurant patrons. This includes nightly specials, like rib night on Mondays.

For those looking for a little entertainment while eating, live music is offered on Friday and Saturday from 9 p.m. to 11 p.m. There is a variety of music, such as jazz and celtic, and special music on the holidays. “There is a neat little collection of everything,” said Welcome. According to Welcome, Janice Strother, Rumsey Tavern Manager, does a great job at getting the live singers and musicians in, and getting a variety in order to please everyone.

There is also karaoke offered every Wednesday rom 9 p.m. to 12 p.m. with Karaoke Bob. “Everybody loves karaoke. It is usually pretty full in here. Everybody comes and sticks around until it’s over,” said Welcome. There is a variety of all genres offered.

For those looking for a more fine-dining experience, the Tuscany Grille, the Clarion’s newest addition, is just around the corner. Formally Sebastian’s American Grille, Tuscany Grille is a new concept featuring some of the areas best Italian Style cuisine. With classic favorites like lasagna, alfredo, and veal parmesan, it is sure to please everyone and with prices ranging from $5 to $18 per meal,it is a true value. There are also Daily Tuscany Specials offered, as well as Chef Specials. Another special to the Tuscany Grille is there are special Italian wines offered only to customers dining at the Tuscany Grille.

“We are proud of of our table-side service for our ceasar salads,” said Welcome. The salad is made fresh in front of the customers. “Then we take it one step further and the chef comes out, dressed up a little, and makes his entre tableside,” said Welcome. “People see the chef actually cooking the food. It is a neat approach. [The customers] can sit there and ask questions, and then recreate the dish at home themelves. It is a little cooking lesson right in front of you.” However, he also mentioned that those who may not want to ask questions still enjoy the table-top service. “The smell is wonderful. Once one person requests table-top service, it is infectious. Other customers coming in request it as well,” said Welcome. This is a service that must be requested.

Those that may not want a full meal can come in for a dessert, a glass of wine, or an expresso. Although a fine-dining restaurant, the atmosphere is relaxing. With a fire place in the corner and red leather dcor, patrons tend to take their time eating meals and often sit around talking, drinking their wine, after the meal is over.

Both the Rumsey Tavern and Tuscany Grille are children friendly restaurants. They are also non-smoking. It is not required, but is recommended that reservations are made for both of the restaurants. For parties of more than 15 people, it is strongly recommended that reservations be made.

According to Welcome, many years ago the best restaurants were connected to restaurants. Restaurants came to be through the hotel buisness. Welcome wants to get back to that trend, where hotels had the best restaurants. “It is a big statement, but I want to get back to the roots a little bit,” said Welcome.

“There is a lot of competition, but we are the only one serving Italian cuisine [in the Shepherdstown area],” said Welcome. “The Yellow Brick Bank is well-known and has become an institution in Shepherdstown. I hope someday Tuscany Grille can become an institution.”

Although other restaturants are located on main street and may receive a little more buisness, Welcome feels that it is all about the service. “It dosen’t matter where you are located. If you have great food, great service, and an inviting atmosphere, the people will come,” said Welcome.