Thompson House Gets New Life with New Restaurant
With its new name of the Twelve Oaks Restaurant, you might not immediately guess the recently opened upscale restaurant in the Thompson House has a “Gone with the Wind” theme. But add to that clues like the Carpetbaggers Tavern and the Ashley Banquet Room downstairs and the Rhett Butler Study and the Magnolia private dining room on the second floor and, frankly, my dear, you’d have to be a feather-headed Yankee not to get the connection.
Owners David and Susan Yurkovich started renovating the 21-room, 1906 Thompson House back in February of 2013 and their year and a half long labor of love finally opened on July 22. With executive chef, Gregory Hager at the helm in the kitchen, the menu features American food with Southern influences and a buy-local-and-fresh-whenever-possible mentality.
Now living in nearby Pitt Gas, Hager was born in Cleveland and cut his culinary teeth with experience in British Columbia, Canada, and Seattle where he tutored under Master Chef, Frank Faber. He’s assisted in the kitchen by a phalanx of four others including sous chef, Seth French, whose experience includes a stint at Nemacolin Woodlands Resort in Farmington.
Twelve Oaks’ bill of fare alludes to its Southern aspirations with dishes like Scarlett’s Chicken, Rhett’s Filet Mignon, Carpetbagger Pasta and Gulf Shrimp and Grits, but it also crosses over into other territory with selections like Lobster Mac and Cheese, Figs with Blue Cheese and Proscuitto and Jumbo Lump Crab Cakes. At the moment, the kitchen’s shining star is the Slow Braised Lamb Shank with a port wine reduction served atop garlic confit mashed potatoes, which has also proved to be the most popular dish on the menu.
Patrons wanting a more casual setting can settle in at the Carpetbagger’s Tavern and dine on such favorite as the Mule Burger – a one-pound mix of ground beef and sausage served on a bun made fresh by Emma’s Bake Shopper of Carmichaels, another relative new comer on the local culinary scene.
“We hope that our goal of combining great food and service with warm hospitality prove a winning combination,” said Susan Yurkovich. “The restaurant has been my dream for a long time, and I’ve put my heart and soul into making it happen.”
Open for lunch as well as dinner, Twelve Oaks also features a Sunday buffet brunch from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. for $23.95 per person or $12.95 for those twelve and under. (Senior citizens get a 10% discount).
Upstairs, an elegant afternoon tea is available in the Bonnie Blue Tea Room, and patrons can peruse the antiques and other interesting merchandise in the onsite specialty shops.
“We are thrilled to introduce Twelve Oaks Restaurant and Tavern to the community,” Susan Yurkovich said. “And we look forward to sharing our enthusiasm for Brownsville, the Thompson House and its rich history with our guests.”
Twelve Oaks Restaurant, 815 Water Street in Brownsville, is open for lunch and dinner from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m., Tuesday through Saturday, and for brunch from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Sunday. Phone 724-785-3200. The menu and other information such as the history of the Thompson House is available on website www.twelveoaksbrownsville.com.
Story by Dave Zuchowski for Pennsylvania Bridges