Bucks County Herald

Susan S. Yeske: Dining Out

The Washington House started as a simple farmhouse

The inn serves travelers and locals in elegant style today



A jumbo lump crab cake is among the most popular dishes at the Washington House in Sellersville.

In 1985 husband and wife William Quigley and Elayne Brick were looking for a restaurant to buy when they found the 18th-century Washington House in Sellersville.

“We fell in love with the bar,” said Brick of the ornate Victorian bar that has a split history; the mirrored bar-back dates to the 1800s, but the bar itself was destroyed during Prohibition. The current version was built after it ended.

The inn began operating in the 1700s when a simple farmhouse was located at the site, and the farmers would let travelers stay overnight on their journeys between Philadelphia and Bethlehem.

Eventually the building was expanded, and then expanded again to the current restaurant and inn, which includes 11 newly renovated rooms with private baths. Among them is the tower suite, where guests can climb up to a glassed-in observatory and see for miles.

While the rooms were renovated and reopened just last year, the restaurant portion of Washington House has been serving guests for more than 200 years.

The inn’s chef is John Fitzgerald, who with the owners has crafted a menu that ranges from braised venison osso bucco to apple and onion-stuffed duck breast to braised short rib. Customer favorites include vegetarian lasagna made without using noodles, phyllo-wrapped Canadian salmon and jumbo lump crab cakes with homemade chips.

For lunch there is a choice of sandwiches and entrees including macaroni and cheese with chorizo and shrimp, blackened salmon po’boy, grilled reuben, chicken quesadilla and pesto-stuffed Portobello sandwich.

The bar area has booths, while the other dining rooms are the handsome white-tablecloth area of the restaurant. For locals it is a place to come for parties of six to 60. But it also draws customers from a distance to dine or to stay overnight or both, including those who need a place to stay when attending shows at the popular Sellersville Theater.

Since 2001 Brick and Quigley also have owned the adjacent theater, creating a rare all-in-one package of providing food, lodging and entertainment. Guests staying at the inn occasionally have the chance to see a famous entertainer in their midst.

“A lot of people take advantage of all three,” said Brick, making a visit to the Washington House and Sellersville Theater a treasured getaway, which is exactly what the owners hope to provide.

“Our goal is to provide true hospitality,” said Brick, “treating guests, performers and ourselves with warmth, sincerity and respect.
“We are proud of the whole package and offer a welcoming environment that makes everybody happy regardless what they are looking for.”


WASHINGTON HOUSE RESTAURANT
126 N. Main St., Sellersville
215-257-3000
washingtonhouse.net

Cost:
Appetizers $5-$14, entrees $19-$28. Lunch sandwiches $9-$14, entrees $12-$15.

Customer favorites:

Salmon in phyllo dough, vegetarian lasagna made without noodles, duck stuffed with apples and onions, jumbo lump crab cake with homemade chips.

Hours:
11:30 a.m.-9 p.m. Mon.-Thu., 11:30 a.m.-10:30 p.m. Fri.-Sat., 11:30 a.m.-8 p.m. Sun.

Full bar

susan.yeske@gmail.com

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