A Cozy Dinner at Kindred Spirits in the Hocking Hills of Ohio

A warm, cozy, rustic ambiance welcomes guests to Kindred Spirits.  Located in the Hocking Hills of Ohio at the Inn and Spa at Cedar Falls, this is one of the nicest restaurants in an area famous for hiking, camping, and other outdoor activities. 

The dining room begins in the original log cabin built in the early 1840s on the 75-acre property.  It expands into the fireside lounge, and out to a three-season patio with a rooftop garden. 

Location:   21190 State Route 374, Logan, Ohio. Website here.

Menu: Kindred Spirits caters to overnight guests at the Inn, so it is open for breakfast, seasonally for lunch and all year for dinner.  In addition, the Inn will pack lunches for hikers headed out for an active day. 

The seasonal, made-from-scratch menu and elegant yet rustic atmosphere is also appealing for guests who travel from several counties away to dine here.  Guests who are not staying at the Inn are always welcome in the dining room.

The menu is designed to serve the needs of any diner.  A casual dinner of soup, salad, or flatbread pizza can be ordered as starters or a meal.  The Inn Salad is a somewhat traditional tossed salad with mixed greens, heirloom tomatoes, carrot, cucumber and parmesan cheese tossed in an Inn-made vinaigrette. The apple sunflower salad was my favorite, combining mixed greens, sunflower seeds, apple, and blue cheese in an Inn-made raspberry vinaigrette.  There is also a traditional Caesar salad and a Greek chop salad.

An Inn as charming as this is often the location for a special occasion, perhaps a birthday or anniversary.  The menu fits the occasion of any celebration.  Crab-stuffed mushrooms or Prince Edward Island mussels are a good way to start.  A grilled center cut pork chop gets a daily twist with a compote of the day.  A pan-seared chicken breast is topped with basil pesto tomatoes.  A grilled bistro steak is spruced up with chimichurri.  The filet mignon gets dressed up with a sautéed mélange of mushrooms and onions under a red wine and beef reduction. 

There are a daily vegetarian creation and a pasta of the day.  During my visit, the daily vegetarian entrée was kale ravioli in a mushroom cream sauce.  It was a hearty and filling meal on a cold winter night.

The menu changes seasonally, and local ingredients are used when available.

A full bar, extensive wine list, and many locally brewed beers add the finishing touch for a special meal.  Wine can also be purchased in the gift shop and taken back to the rooms, cabins, and cottages for further celebrating.

Desserts vary each day, but the signature dessert is the three-berry cobbler. 

Thoughts: The Inn is on the list of Select Registry Distinguished Inns of North America, which highlights individually owned, unique inns offering one of a kind experiences.  Kindred Spirits is definitely a significant contributor to the overall ambiance and experience at the Inn.  While the inn is popular with locals, it is also a destination for travelers traveling long distances to seek out special experiences across North America.

Whether you choose to mark your special occasion dressing up for a formal dinner or walk into the dining room in your sweater, jeans, and hiking boots, you will receive a warm welcome.  The intimate dining room serves mostly tables of 2-4.  There is a separate room, The Gathering Place, to accommodate large groups, keeping the quiet, intimate setting special for couples and small parties.  Parties up to 50 people are welcomed in The Gathering Place.

Food is prepared in an open kitchen. Guests may stop in and chat with the chefs while they cook.  This is a great way to use all your senses to decide what you want to eat, not just the descriptions on the menu.  Watch the kitchen staff chop fresh vegetables or get an up-close sniff of the sizzling meats.  Ask questions about what’s on the menu that day.  Whenever I smell lots of garlic or fresh basil, I know I will leave happy.

An extra bonus for those who are early adopters of the electric car movement, the Inn does have two charging stations, allowing the eco-conscious roadsters to charge cars while you dine.

I love driving into the hills to unplug from city life.  The Inn and Spa at Cedar Falls and Kindred Spirits are a perfect location to downshift and relax.

Price Range: Soups and Salads $4-8. Appetizers $8-13 Entrees $23-38

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