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A night out at Wooden Angel

On March 9, 2008

After discovering Wooden Angel on our first visit to Beaver, there was no way we were going to be in the area and not visit it again.

Wooden Angel is the fine dining half of a two restaurant complex located not far from the main street (which actually happens to be 3rd Street) in Beaver, Pennsylvania.  Its sister restaurant – Wooden Indian – may have food and ambience to equal the Angel but it’s a family restaurant so I haven’t yet made its acquaintance.   Our first visit to the Wooden Angel was back in the fall and at that time we were seated in the Cafe in the center of the restaurant (be aware that smoking is permitted at the bar and the bar is only a plate throw from any table in the Cafe).  At the time we were told that the restaurant’s less experienced servers worked the tables in the Cafe but our service that evening was well informed and friendly; the menu is identical to the menu in the somewhat darker and more private area to the left, so if you visit don’t be afraid to be seated in either area.  Both evenings we had reservations and the restaurant was full both nights, so always call ahead.

Wooden Angel
on the bright, cold morning following our evening visit

Being a few minutes early we began our evening sitting on a comfortable couch next to the bar sharing a glass of zinfandel.  The Wooden Angel has an extensive and much honored wine cellar stocked entirely with American wine.  To the right of us and the bar a party was going on in one of the Wooden Angel’s private rooms.  Across from us another couple was enjoying a before meal drink.  Given the bitterly cold weather that evening I’m pretty sure the female half of the couple probably woke the next day with quite a chest cold, as most of hers was amply exposed.

After only a brief wait we were led to our table.  It’s always a pleasure to find a restaurant where both the clientele and the layout of the dining room lend themselves to a quiet, private meal.  The atmosphere in the Cafe while not loud is a more open, on display feel.  In the main room the booths and tables are laid out with ample space amongst all of them.  Having a booth is especially intimate as the booths are wide, their backs are tall and the lighting is low.  We were almost immediately greeted by our bubbly yet not intrusive server with menus and a loaf of warm bread.

Many of the meals I eat on the road are a sampling of the appetizers or side dishes that a restaurant serves.  Wooden Angel has an extensive selection of entrees but it certainly doesn’t slack on the smaller plates.  On this particular evening we started with five onion soup – which comes on like a standard onion soup but opens up to be a truly different take with not only a variety of onions in the broth but a variety of cheeses in the crust as well; that was folllowed by delicious scallops and truffles in a rich cream sauce.  The third plate – garlic shrimp – was a little dry but disappointed only by its comparison to the other dishes we had that evening.  As the dishes were served we changed our glass to sauvignon blanc, a little bit of an extravagance but it lived up to its price.  Crab cakes finished the meal on a high note; pleasantly full we did without dessert.

Our meal was never rushed, the bill was in keeping with the atmosphere, service and food.  Wooden Angel is another of the many pleasures of spending a day in Beaver.  We’ll do it again. 

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