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Taste of the Month: Grace Restaurant at the Carnegie Inn helps guests feel at home

by on January 31, 2020 11:29 AM

Award-winning chef Paul Kendeffy has been on the restaurant scene in State College for more than 20 years. From his previous partnership in a restaurant group that owned Zola New World Bistro, the Gamble Mill, and Alto’s, Kendeffy brings his simple elegance and perfectionist touch to the kitchen at Grace Restaurant at the Carnegie Inn & Spa.

Located at 100 Cricklewood Drive in State College, Grace reopened in July 2019 under its new name with a renovated kitchen and dining spaces.

Open for dinner Monday through Saturday from 5-9 p.m., reservations are preferred, but walk-ins are always welcome at Grace. Upon arrival, guests are greeted by the staff and led to the library to enjoy a cocktail or a glass of wine as well as complimentary hors d’oeuvres by the warm fireplace.

“We want guests to feel at home regardless of the occasion for coming,” Kendeffy says.

After guests have a chance to review the menu, they are escorted to a table for the dining experience to begin.

“This time of year, diners can expect to see richer, slow-cooked items on the menu with stronger flavors and dish profiles such as a braised shank of lamb with rosemary and allspice,” says Kendeffy, a 1995 graduate of the Culinary Institute of America who was an apprentice at Maxime’s Restaurant in New York.

Kendeffy’s modern American cuisine features careful attention to highlight the flavor of each fresh ingredient in every dish.

Some starters on the winter menu include alder wood-smoked Scottish salmon, crispy pork belly, country-style lamb pâté, and foie gras terrine.

On the winter entrée menu, diners can expect to find dishes such as Berkshire pork chop, sea scallops, filet mignon, pappardelle bolognaise, wild mushroom and goat cheese ravioli, as well as vegetarian or vegan options such as crispy seitan with smoked fava bean stew and shitake mushrooms.

For those who are intrigued by a behind-the-scenes look at the action in the kitchen, up to six diners can make reservations for the chef’s table at Grace. Diners can interact with Kendeffy as he prepares their dishes, discuss the different ingredients, and savor a culinary experience like no other in the area.

“Dining with us at Grace is the sum of a talented team working to give our guests the best experience we can offer,” says Kendeffy. 

In the warmer months, Grace invites guests to enjoy the outdoor patio with beautiful views of the Toftrees golf course and firepits overlooking the fresh herb garden. Kendeffy and his talented kitchen staff are happy to accommodate larger parties for a tasting menu in the dining room, as well as customize a menu for an intimate wedding or another special occasion.

For reservations, call (814) 234-2424. The Carnegie Inn & Spa also offers accommodations and spa packages. For more information, visit


Vilma Shu is an editorial consultant for Town&Gown.


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