When you read the TripAdvisor reviews for restaurants in Hermitage, Gondola House pops up at number one with 38 excellent reviews and zero poor or terribles. We thought that surely this must bode well for an excellent dining experience and we were right!
Delving deeper into various review sites throughout the web, the only negative (one that was espoused over and over) was the waiting times for a table – surely a mark of a great restaurant. If you turn up at 7 on a Friday with no reservation and immediately get a seat then there is something wrong…
We came on a Thursday early evening and the place was lively and bustling with maybe half a dozen wannabe patrons in the lobby waiting for a table. We were told 20 minutes for a table and 15 minutes later were sat in one of the booths with a great view of the kitchen and ready to taste the food from the number one restaurant in Hermitage.
Our server arrived quickly and gave advice on the beer and wine selection and was generally on hand when we needed him. Waiting times between courses and drink refills were perfectly acceptable and the guy himself was friendly and welcoming. He rattled off the specials which included a delicious sounding Salmon which Boss Lady ordered and a steak with blah that I ordered medium rare. For The Kid we ordered the kids cheese pizza (mainly because we also wanted to try the pizza 🙂 )
Mozzarella Cheesesticks – Hand cut and breaded, large portion was enough for the three of us. Could really taste the freshness and quality of mozzarella. Marinara sauce was rich and an excellent complement to the sticks.
Ribeye marinated overnight in Italian spices, with garlic green beans and mashed red potato (Special) – The steak was cooked to perfection with very subtle Italian flavoring. Green beans are not a favor of mine but BL loved them. The mashed potato could have been good was really dry and tasted like it had been reheated or left out a long time.
Salmon and Pilaf rice (Special) – Salmon cooked very well, still moist but cooked through. Sweet, Teriyaki-style flavor with garlicky veggies – squash, broccoli and carrots. Rice was slightly overcooked and too salty but certainly edible.
We asked for recommendations for wine and beer and had their special Sauvignon Blanc – Crisp, clean start with a lemon/lime finish, and the Shock Top Belgian Wheat beer – an unfiltered summery, citrous flavored and coriander-spiced glass of refreshment.