A plate with a filet Mignon, serving of mushroom risotto, seafood cake topped with lime ailoi, green beans and a purple flower from the Inn at Centre Park

The Inn at Centre Park

The exterior of the Inn at Centre Park at twilight

Valentine’s Day has always been a big deal for Julie and I. With our anniversary being in mid-August, Valentine’s always marks the halfway point in another year for us. 

It’s also a great excuse to find a new place around the county for a romantic dinner.

A wooden staircase in front of art glass windows at the Inn at Centre Park

This year was a little different for us. Yes, we stayed in Berks County – the city of Reading, to be precise – but we didn’t go to a restaurant. Instead, we celebrated Valentine’s Day with dinner at the Inn at Centre Park, a bed and breakfast and event space in the Centre Park Historic District.

A table for two is set up in a corner room with large picture window and greenery at the Inn at Centre Park

Each month, the Inn at Centre Park opens for dinner – usually on the third Friday. In February, the monthly dinner was moved up a week in honor of Valentine’s Day (and Saturday dinner service was added). The meals are all prix fixe; in this case, it was a four-course meal with appetizer, salad, entree and dessert. 

A private dining room with a table for 10 is set up in front of a fireplace at the Inn at Centre Park

There was only one seating for the meal – 6:30 p.m. We were among the first to arrive which gave us a chance to look around at the elegantly appointed rooms throughout the first floor of the inn. 

An archway leads into a white-painted room with a chandelier at the Inn at Centre Park

Known as the Wilhelm Mansion, the building that now houses the Inn at Centre Park was the home of Charles Wilhelm for more than 50 years. However, it was originally built and occupied by Reverend Mark Anthony DeWolfe Howe, Bishop of the Episcopal Diocese. Our table for two was nestled at a door that featured original stained glass windows that depict two angels, one blowing a horn, the other singing.

Every nook and cranny of the house is filled with incredible detail, from the tall archways to the intricate moulding. This was certainly the lap of luxury in the late 19th Century and remains so today. 

A plate with three medallions of fried goat cheese with pear jam in the center and a balsamic drizzle from the Inn at Centre Park

After satisfying our curiosity, we settled in for the first course: fried goat cheese with crispy prosciutto and pear jam. 

It was a perfect beginning to the meal with a variety of flavors and textures. The soft, creamy goat cheese was countered by the crunchy, salty prosciutto. The pear jam sweetened the whole plate. The balsamic drizzle added another layer of sweet and sour. 

The first course really blew us away and set the stage for a great meal. 

A single roll on a plate with a butter knife at the Inn at Centre Park

In between courses, we were served fresh-baked rolls to enjoy with our salad. Homemade honey butter was already waiting on the table. Ours didn’t last that long. The soft, pillowy rolls were too good. With the sweet butter, they just melted in your mouth. 

Leaves of Bibb lettuce topped with apples, walnuts, celery and grapes from the Inn at Centre Park

Our second course was a Waldorf salad, and while it wasn’t a revelation the way the fried goat cheese was, it was still delicious. 

It was a traditional Waldorf with apples, grapes, celery and walnuts, but it was just done very well. And it was served atop large leafs of Bibb lettuce which was a nice choice for the greens.

A plate with a filet Mignon, serving of mushroom risotto, seafood cake topped with lime ailoi, green beans and a purple flower from the Inn at Centre Park

The entree course was a surf-and-turf plate with filet Mignon and seafood cake served with green beans and mushroom risotto. 

The filet was served with a simple herb butter, and it was good, but it didn’t really stand out compared to the rest of the meal. It was cooked well, but there wasn’t a “wow” to it like there was to the other three courses. 

I would say the same for the risotto and the green beans. (I am not a seafood fan so I have to take Julie’s word for the seafood cake, which she felt the same about). Filet Mignon is always good, and I will never complain about eating it. It just felt “safe” compared to the other courses. That’s the best way I can describe it. 

A plate with a chocolate dome sprinkled with red raspberry sea salt from the Inn at Centre Park

Dessert, though, was definitely a highlight. The fourth course consisted of chocolate “domes” with a ganache and raspberry center. The heaping dessert was sinful and delicious from the first bite to the last.

What really set the dish apart was the dusting of raspberry salt. Sweet and salty always works for me, and the concentrated raspberry flavor really added to the chocolate base. 

Really, I can’t think of a better way to finish the meal. 

A husband and wife sitting at a table in front of a stained glass window at the Inn at Centre Park

The four-course meal cost $60 per person, which seemed like a very good price for the amount and quality of the food that we had. Non-alcoholic beverages were included in the price (for those looking for a little something more, the dinners are BYOB). Also, there is very limited space so reservations are must for the Inn’s public dinners.

I’m sure the Inn does a good amount of catering events throughout the year because the staff seemed very much on top of their game. Everyone’s food arrived within minutes of each other and always tasted freshly prepared. The servers worked as a team and were very attentive throughout the meal. 

And, of course, the venue was amazing. It’s an ambiance you can’t get anywhere else in the county. 

Everything combined to make this one of the most special Valentine’s Day dinners yet. 

BCE Rating
Food: Very Good
Service: Excellent
Ambiance: Excellent
Price: A little pricey (but worth it)

The Inn at Centre Park
730 Centre Ave
Reading, PA 19601

Finer Dining Lunch & Dinner Reviews
Three scallops with risotto, spinach and a lemon in a round shallow bowl from Go Fish Seafood in Sinking Spring

Go Fish! Seafood Restaurant and Sushi Bar

The front steps of Go Fish Seafood decorated with bluish-purple Christmas lights and a wreath above the door.

In March 2018, a fire tore through the former Go Fish Seafood in West Reading. Instead of staying and rebuilding, the restaurant took the opportunity to make a move.

Eighteen months later, in September 2019, the new Go Fish Seafood & Sushi Bar finally opened in Sinking Spring.

A handprint and the words "Go Fish 2019" imprinted in a sidewalk panel.

Go Fish is tucked away along Hull Avenue, several blocks removed from the Penn Avenue traffic. Kline Building & Design Group were the most recent occupants of the site. To make the building restaurant-ready, a ramp entrance was added along with a sidewalk that runs from the parking lot to the front door. A single handprint can be found in the corner of the sidewalk, the words “Go Fish 2019” etched beneath it.

A fireplace is flanked by two sitting chairs in the waiting area of Go Fish

The ramp is a necessity not only for wheelchairs but for anyone who struggles with stairs as the front entrance features a tall, steep staircase. Stepping through the front door, you would never know that this was anything other than a restaurant. After checking in at the desk, we were led through the waiting room, complete with sitting chairs and a fireplace, into the dining area.

The dining room of Go Fish with exposed brick walls, hardwood floors and Edison bulbs hanging from the ceiling.

Exposed brick walls and pillars, Edison bulbs hanging from the ceiling and hardwood floors combine to give it the restaurant an upscale feel. The gorgeous bar is separated from the dining area by a half-wall. In the middle, above the TV displaying the night’s drink specials, “Go Fish” was lit in blue lights.

A black napkin folded in the shape of a fish.

And at our tables, the black napkins were neatly folded in the shape of a fish.

With our toddler at his grandparents’ house for the evening, Julie and I were on our own for a Friday night date night. There was a decent crowd when we arrived at 5:30, and it only got busier in the restaurant while we were there.

Our server was attentive throughout the night and was with us quickly to take our drink order. Julie ordered the “Pear Fizz,” a mocktail with pear nectar, lemon, honey ginger simple syrup, Jamaican ginger beer and seared thyme.

The pear fizz, a mocktail featuring pear nectar and a sprig of thyme sticking out the top of the glass.

We could smell the thyme before the drink was even on the table, and the aroma of the herbs in the glass continued to waft throughout. It was certainly fizzy – a product of the ginger beer – and a little sweet but the ginger helped to balance it out.

In addition, we also ordered water and were given the choice of spring, seltzer or chilled. Note: chilled means tap water. Spring is $4 a bottle, as we found out at the end of our meal.

The restaurant menu is carefully curated with only a few selections for entrees. Though it leans heavily toward seafood, the choices include chicken, steak, pork chop and gnocchi (also available with shrimp or salads). Sushi lovers probably already know this, but the sushi selection is the largest part of the menu.

Three scallops with risotto, spinach and a lemon in a round shallow bowl from Go Fish Seafood in Sinking Spring

I’m not a sushi fan – I’m not even that big of a seafood fan – but the one seafood item I have learned to like is scallops, and Go Fish’s version sounded too good to pass up.

The three seared scallops were served with lemon mascarpone risotto, baby spinach, garlic confit and lemon brulee.

The scallops were cooked very well, but what I enjoyed most were the bites with the garlic confit. I absolutely loved the garlicky sauce; I only wish there had been more of it. There were a couple small dollops on the plate, but I thought it was the perfect complement to the buttery scallops.

I was also a fan of the risotto. I was expecting it to have a little more sweetness to it with the mascarpone, but it was more of a hint than an in-your-face flavor.

Fish and chips (fries) with cups of cocktail sauce and grimiche.

Julie opted for the Go Fish and chips, a more casual offering of battered cod, rosemary frites (French fries) and sides of gribiche and cocktail sauce for dipping.

The cod was a very mild fish, and it was tossed in a light batter. I really enjoyed my taste with the gribiche sauce – think of it as the French version of tartar sauce. It was cooling and a little tangy and was a nice addition. It also went well with the fries, which we both enjoyed.

Neither of us really needed dessert, but it was a date night and the food had arrived so quickly that we felt obligated to stay a little longer and enjoy a post-dinner treat.

A half-size Mason jar of lemongrass creme brulee from Go Fish.

Our dessert of choice was the lemongrass crème brulee. We were not disappointed by the decadent creamy dessert. The lemongrass was a nice touch, adding just a hint of tang.

It was served in a very short Mason jar, which looked really cool but added a level of difficulty when trying to get to the cream at the sides.

The bar area at Go Fish, complete with the restaurant's name in blue lights with red accent lighting on the shelves.

With dessert added onto our bill, we ended up paying around $75. That’s a little more than we usually pay for a meal but a little less than we have paid at other finer dining restaurants around Berks County. And to us, it was well-worth it (though, maybe not the $4 spring water).

Go Fish is what the name implies – a place for seafood lovers. And it’s a great date night spot that has a finer dining feel to it.

It’s a place I would definitely recommend.

BCE Rating
Food: Very Good
Service: Excellent
Ambiance: Excellent
Price: A Little Pricey

Go Fish! Seafood Restaurant & Sushi Bar
301 Hull St`
Sinking Spring, PA 19608

Dessert Finer Dining Lunch & Dinner