Restaurant Review – the Press Room in Shepherdstown, WV

Our guests always ask us for restaurant recommendations. Quite honestly, we have a variety of great restaurants in Shepherdstown, and we enjoy all of them for different occasions, so we have menus here at the Inn for each one in town. Our newest restaurant, open for a year now, is the Press Room, at 129 W. German Street, phone number 304-876-8777. Mike Luksa, previously the chef at the Yellow Brick Bank, with his wife Deb have put together a very welcoming space decorated with lovely vegetable paintings by local artist Susan Kearney that has quickly become a favorite of guests and locals alike. We enjoyed dinner there on Sunday night with our friends Heather, Donn and their daughter Chandler.
While we looked over the menu, Heather and I enjoyed some of the wines by the glass – a Sauvignon Blanc in a tumbler for me and a Pinot Noir in a wineglass for Heather – while Jim enjoyed a Tangueray and tonic. Donn and Chandler went the non-alcoholic route with iced tea and a Shirley Temple. We ordered first courses and traded bites when they arrived. The soup special of gazpacho was robustly red with a pesto swirl on top. The tomato and housemade mozzerella starters were made with perfect ripe yellow and red tomatoes and basil from the kitchen garden behind the restaurant. Beef carpiccio was flavorful and fresh and the special mushroom starter was stuffed with good spicy sausage.
Our dinners soon arrived. Heather, Chandler and I, strategically saving room for dessert, ordered a second appetizer as our main course, while Donn and Jim went with more traditional entrees. The white pizza, a house staple, was garnished with roasted red pepper puree and basil strips, and Chandler pronounced it delicious. The iceberg lettuce wedge was crispy and topped with a creamy Roquefort dressing and real bacon bits. My mussels came with a savory spinach and tomato broth soaked up by a large garlic toast -what a great summer dish! The soft-shell crabs, also seasonal, were dressed with a lemony caper sauce and finished with potatoes and haricot verts – Donn practically licked the plate clean. Jim’s linguine with sausage was done al dente and included artichoke hearts and roasted red peppers in a cream sauce.
Dessert was a cannoli (from a pastry shop in Mike’s hometown Baltimore) and Jenny’s brownie for the family and a trio of sorbets for Jim and I. Jenny’s brownie is a ‘close-your-eyes good’ decadent ending to a meal with a chocolate-y brownie, nuts, ice cream and caramel sauce. The lighter sorbet trio included a tart lemon, sweet pomegrante and in-between grapefruit/Campari. Jim added a foamy cappuchino to his dessert.
We were well-stuffed when we left the Press Room and headed back to the Inn. The restaurant is conveniently located on German Street next to the Opera House movie theater – a perfect choice for date night with dinner and a movie. There is a nice bar area which serves the dinner menu on one side of the building – also very popular with locals. Please do call ahead for dinner reservations (304-876-8777), a week in advance for weekend dining – it’ s that popular!

Jeanne & Jim at the
Thomas Shepherd Inn B&B in Shepherdstown, WV

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