Last night marked both the end and beginning of an era. The well-known and respected Will O’ the Wisp restaurant closed last fall and there was a lot of questions and concerns about just exactly what was going to happen to this local favorite restaurant that hosted for many years the famous pasta night. I kid you not when I say famous, the place was elbow to elbow on Wednesday. I think the dated décor and aura of the place just screamed renovation and change to make it the success it was in the hay day of its creation.
Never fear….new owner Brenda McDonnell (you may have visited her other successful businesses Brenda’s Pizza & Trader’s Coffee House) has taken the helm of the ship and rumors over the last few months are that great things were happening behind the walls on the renovation. Last night she welcomed friends from the community to come out and see with our own eyes, and of course our taste pallets, the new direction for this familiar Deep Creek Lake space.
The first thing I noticed was the organization and courtesy of the staff who made sure your experience started off right. It was standing room only in the bar/lounge and in the dining area. New bench seats and upscale lighting set the backdrop for the dining room and being a wood worker/hobbyist I was blown away by the solid black walnut tables. Overall, the place has a very open and modern floor plan with that new restaurant feel. My understanding is they completely gutted the kitchen to bring in new gear to help bring on this fresh new menu. I can tell you that I loved everything offered on this new delicious menu. I sampled an angus beef slider cooked to medium rare perfection with hints of pickle, chopped onions and cheese that was really fantastic. The spicy pork bites were popper-sized pork that had a semi-spicy tangy glaze over them that was perfect for someone like me that doesn’t like too much heat. The pork loin chops were cooked medium’ish with plenty on succulent moisture left to mesh with the apple sauce. My favorite was the shepherds pie, which is a bone-sticking comfort food that has ground beef, mashed potatoes, carrots, and some other secret ingredients. My favorite dessert was the banana nutella bread pudding, but I also enjoyed the chocolate flourless cake and the German apple cake.
Remember on your next visit to the lake to pop-in to the new Aces Run Restaurant and Pub at Will O’ the Wisp which is destined to become yet another gem here at the lake!