When Sandy Bentivegna took over the Corner Stables she figured she would spend five years in the business. Talk about best laid plans. In January, the restaurant under her management celebrated its 30th anniversary in its location in the Olde Tollgate Village.
Provide an excellent meal, plenty of food at reasonable prices, people will typically keep coming back. Because of it, the Corner Stables has become a York County dining staple, feeding generations of people.
“That’s my five-year plan,” Bentivegna laughed. “I just say life happens and you just roll with it and move on. I really enjoy the business. I enjoy the people.”
While my wife and I have been to this establishment many times in the past, it had been awhile. We went on a recent Wednesday night and, like we remembered, found the regular menu and specials hard to pick from.
Since the Stables are known for their ribs, I figured I would get something that included that delicacy and chose the rib combo, which is one of the many specials for the month of March.
The meal consisted of a 1/3 rack of baby backs, served with a creamy lump crab stuffed potato, salad, baked beans and garlic bread.
The ribs were as good as I remembered, maybe even better. When a place is known for something, it better be good, and they are fantastic. The potato was incredible, baked to perfection with crab and a light white cheese sauce that delivered a tremendous flavor.
My wife, as she tends to do, had trouble deciding. We tried the crab rolls appetizer, a creamy crab mixture with an assortment of melted cheese and bacon stuffed in an egg roll wrap.
Considering there were eight on the plate, it could have been a meal, a tasty one at that.
Gail decided on the Chesapeake crab Alfredo, which ended up being an enormous amount of food, including two sides, for only $13.99. The pasta dish featured plenty of crab and a sauce that was out of this world, both at dinner and lunch the next day - for both of us.
“(Originally the) menu was pit beef, pit ham, that type of stuff and it has expanded over the 30 years,” said Bentivegna. “People love our crab cakes and our burgers. If I had to cut down on our menu, I wouldn’t know where to go because everything sells.”
Everything sells because the word has been out regarding the Corner Stables for a long time. Even approaching typical retirement age, Bentivegna still runs the kitchen, from ordering food to putting the recipes together.
She said it best: “I am not ready to slow down.”
Her daughter runs the bar and the two collaborate on things involved drinks and bar specials. It’s a family place.
We topped off our meal with a yummy chocolate cake with peanut butter icing, made on the premises.
While it may not be the most romantic place in terms of atmosphere, it doesn’t have to be. It’s essentially a comfortable restaurant that has a separate bar that allows smoking. Yet, once in the dining room, there are no signs of the bar, smoke or otherwise.
However, there is one caution I must give when going to the Corner Stable: Be hungry.
We rolled out of the restaurant stuffed and ended up bringing much of our food, including the dessert, home. Unfortunately for me, the leftover ribs lasted all of five minutes when we go home as our son discovered – and demolished – them.
It’s been a life-long passion for Bentivegna, who grew up with a father than ran restaurants. She became a quick study.
“I’ve been around a long time in this business,” she said. “I’ve gotten so close to a lot of customers over 30 years. You have their children that come in, now their grandchildren. The customers became my friends. It’s been very, very good.”
If you go
Location: Corner Stables, 2575 South Queen St, York
Steve's pick: Rib Combo
Hours: 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Monday, 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Tuesday through Sunday, bar open later
Price range: $6.99 for burgers and some sandwiches to $20.99 for two crabcake dinner
Accepts: Cash and credit
Kid's menu: Yes
Details: Call 717-741-4320 or visit cornerstables.com