Fifty-five years after opening, the tavern adjoining Ohio’s oldest inn underwent an overhaul last year, upgrading the interior with a new design befitting its historic status and an upgraded menu to match. New finishes mix with Shaker furniture, and a dining patio with a Southern porch feel was added. On the menu, higher-dollar proteins like braised lamb shank and seared scallops sit alongside pulled chicken BBQ and prime rib slider combos, letting you fine-tune the tone (and price range) of your meal. Ingredients come from regional farmers, but some of the seasonal produce—and even a small portion of its beef—come from the restaurant’s nearby 353-acre farm in Oregonia.
Due to its affiliation, you expect to see classics, which you will (including the inn’s traditional roast turkey dinner), but Executive Chef Nick Roudebush also has some room to experiment. The Tri-State Ham Tasting plate sums up the what’s-old-is-new charm here. A nod to charcuterie, it has a homestyle spin, with three distinctly different hams, served together with housemade mustard, pickles, and rustic crackers. Refreshingly tart housemade strawberry basil and blackberry shrubs put a modern spin on a colonial tonic.
As you taste your way through the new menu, save room for sweets. Sharing a dessert menu with its sister restaurant, the trio of coconut, banana cream, and sugar pie is worth planning ahead for.
Black Horse Tavern, 27 S. Broadway St., Lebanon, (513) 932-5065