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2009 Dining Trends Reflect Value, Comfort and a Taste of Home

An Ohio restaurant is following the current trend to change menus in order to incorporate fresher food that is locally produced. The chef believes local produce will ensure freshness of his menu and also support the local Ohio economy.

2009 Dining Trends Reflect Value, Comfort and a Taste of Home

Delaware North Companies

In 2009, the trendiest Americans are seeking comfort and value when dining out. And when they’re eating in, they’re seeking to inject a bit more pizzazz into their home cooking. In addition, the restaurant industry is forecasting trends that reflect today’s recessionary economy. Ohio’s Lodge at Geneva-on-the-Lake is keeping pace with those trends with a new menu, featuring regionally grown produce as well as creative culinary classes.

The Lodge’s Executive Chef Stephen Gary shares insights on trends with others throughout the national Delaware North Companies Parks & Resorts family of chefs. Within the organization, chefs are tuned in to the latest trends that will satisfy guests’ desire for comfort and value…with some creative culinary touches. In addition to his new menu for Horizons Restaurant, Chef Gary has scheduled some new culinary classes that will give guests the opportunity to learn how to prepare fresher, more flavorful dishes at a reasonable cost – similar to what they enjoy at their favorite restaurants.

A Menu Designed to Satisfy Today’s Palates
This month, Gary updated the Horizons menu, which includes some of the restaurant’s long-time favorites alongside items that reflect America’s desire for the new and innovative.

Chef Gary made an effort to keep value in mind by giving diners more for their money. “For example, we kept several long-time favorites on the menu, such as our Lake Erie Walleye dinner, but added a small house salad with each. Prices on all entrees were reduced, and now include a side salad,” Gary notes. Entrée prices range from $12 to $18.

“At the same time, we’ve introduced new menu items such as the Grilled Chicken Breast with Andouille and Mushroom Jambalaya, as well as Italian Herb Seared Sea Scallops with Basil Pesto. These new dishes are popular among those looking to try something a bit different without deviating too far from what we grew up eating,” he says.

Many of the flavors of these entrees are enhanced by the sauces, glazes, salsas and creams that are made from scratch by Chef Gary and the Horizons culinary team, and are done so using only natural reduction methods to ensure a richer, healthier, natural taste.

Some long-time favorites, such as Pork Tenderloin with Creamy Polenta, and the ever-popular Grilled Salmon with Jasmine Rice are among the hearty, simpler dishes that customers enjoy. “In the end, it’s about offering diners a great dining experience – a romantic view of Lake Erie, a selection of long-time favorites along with some new palate-pleasing entrees – all at a valued price.” Gary adds. “But perhaps most importantly, you get to sit back, relax, and have the professionals prepare your meal and serve you.”

Freshly Prepared, Locally Produced
A commitment to the freshest quality, locally grown produce is another mainstay of the Horizons menu, reflected in ingredients used to prepare such items such as Roasted Wild Mushrooms and Parmesan Tomato Cream.

With heightened demand for more natural and fresh items, Chef Gary has made an effort to incorporate local flavors, such as the maple syrup used in the Maple Walnut Glaze. Choosing to use locally-grown produce or products guarantees freshness and has the added benefit of supporting Ohio products and the local economy.

The Lodge regularly partners with The Chef’s Garden, a fully sustainable farm in Huron, Ohio that provides lettuce, herbs and micro-greens. “The amount of flavor produced out of some of these small shoots and bulbs is intense, and with the way that they are cultivated organically, it’s just a better product overall,” Gary comments.

Many of the selections on the wine list feature Ohio wines from vineyards located throughout the local region along with other national and international selections.

Although comfort foods and local products are the trend, there is still room for the exotic, which is grounded in simplicity. One popular trend is in Asian flavors, such as ginger used in sauces as well as different types of noodles. “Most recently, specials such as fresh pork wontons with ginger soy reduction and lotus root chips, as well as a sesame crusted sushi grade ahi tuna with soba noodle bowl, have been well received. We make an effort to incorporate new, creative and exciting recipes in the specials that we offer each evening.”

For Horizons reservations, call (440) 466-7100, then press “2."

Jeannette Petrolia, General Manager
(440) 415-1501

Michelle Wood, Yopko Penhallurick LLC
(440) 834-8615


About the Lodge at Geneva-on-the-Lake
Located at 4888 North Broadway (State Highway 534) in Geneva-on-the-Lake, the Lodge at Geneva-on-the-Lake features 109 finely appointed guest rooms (the majority with lake views); Horizons, an upscale restaurant with a striking octagonal dining room and breathtaking view of Lake Erie; a lounge with a rectangular bar and great views of Lake Erie; and amenities that include a fitness center, game room, indoor pool and gift shop. The Lodge entrance is located one mile north of Geneva State Park, on the left. For room reservations, call 866-442-9765 or visit For Horizons reservations, call (440) 466-7100, then press "2."

The Lodge is adjacent to Geneva State Park, which encompasses 698 acres featuring 1.6 miles of Lake Erie shoreline as well as a beach and bathhouse, six-lane boat ramp and marina, hiking, picnic areas and more. To learn more about Lodge at Geneva-on-the-Lake, visit

About Delaware North Companies Parks & Resorts
Delaware North Companies Parks & Resorts is a subsidiary of Delaware North Companies, a leading hospitality provider with significant experience in hotel, retail, food service, recreation and transportation operations. The company's portfolio includes historic properties in North America, such as Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex; Yosemite, Sequoia, Yellowstone and Grand Canyon national parks; Asilomar State Beach and Conference Grounds; Tenaya Lodge; Harrison Hot Springs Resort & Spa; Niagara Falls State Park; Jones Beach; Plaza del Pasado in Old Town San Diego State Historic Park; The Lodge at Geneva-on-the-Lake; The BALSAMS Grand Resort; and The Gideon Putnam Resort. For additional information, visit

About Delaware North Companies
Delaware North Companies is one of the world's leading hospitality and food service providers. Its family of companies includes Delaware North Companies Parks & Resorts, Delaware North Companies Gaming & Entertainment, Delaware North Companies Travel Hospitality Services, Delaware North Companies Sportservice, Delaware North Companies International and Delaware North Companies Boston, owner of TD Banknorth Garden, Delaware North Companies is one of the largest privately held companies in the United States with revenues exceeding $2 billion annually and 50,000 associates serving half a billion customers in the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, Australia and New Zealand. For more information, visit

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