Opened in 1803, this historic inn is the oldest continually operated business in Ohio, its authentic colonial architecture having housed Charles Dickens, Mark Twain, Harriet Beecher Stowe, and 12 U.S. Presidents. It also rocks a shrimp and kale salad and has Cincinnati Bell Fioptics in every room. Mr. Dickens, meet the interwebs.
Named for the image of a golden lamb hung outside in early days—at a time when many patrons were illiterate—the tavern established itself as a halfway mark between Cincinnati and the cross-country National Road (currently U.S. Route 40).
In the modern era, the restaurant, with its panoply of Midwest comfort food, has been the main draw: Expect to find heaping plates of fried chicken, prime rib, and signature sauerkraut balls. But look for the unexpected, too. A recent special featured a hearty lamb barley soup alongside tender duck breast and sweet potato spaetzle with two slices of perfectly moist bacon-wrapped meatloaf that could feed a stagecoach full of 19th-century congressmen. While there are touches of culinary creativity—see the charcuterie plate, and the chilled shrimp and avocado bruschetta—go with the stuff that sticks to your ribs. Then sleep it off the old-fashioned way in one of the inn’s 18 rooms. Though many believe the fourth floor to be haunted by the ghost of Sarah Stubbs, daughter to one of the early owners, it will take a serious poltergeist to wake you from that food coma.
The Golden Lamb, 27 S. Broadway St., Lebanon, (513) 932-5065, goldenlamb.com