Every detail of the Eagles Nest – from the handpicked furniture to the untouched, original exposed beams, to the carefully prepared menu items – make this Springettsbury Township resident a favorite spot for locals.
"Everything we do is intentional," said Danika Bury, assistant manager. "I think it's what makes this a restaurant that has been so well received for so many years."
In 1937, the structure was built along Mount Rose Avenue with breathtaking views of the valley greeting each guest who walked inside. Today, guests can gaze as far as the York Galleria, the Caterpillar plant and many other well-known York County spots.
Before the restaurant became what guests known it as today, owner Hristos "Chris" Kopanis spent three years renovating the structure. During the renovations, passersby would often stop just to see if it had opened yet, Bury said.
On Sept. 3, 2008, the doors opened and the crowds have been coming ever since.
The exposed wood beams are original to the structure, and the wooden, high-back chairs as well as the black booths give an elegant yet comfortable feel. Individual candles that look like old-time oil lamps add a personal touch to each table.
With two floors and a full-bar on the first floor, the restaurant sits about 250 guests. A seasonal, outdoor patio is open from Memorial Day until early fall and sits an additional 60 people.
While the first floor bar doesn't offer a happy hour, diners can take advantage of rotating daily specials, including $5 glasses of wine on Wednesdays, $5 martinis on Thursdays and $1.50 Miller Lite and Yuengling Lager drafts Sundays, Mondays and Tuesdays.
Kopanis keeps himself busy in the kitchen – taking the responsibility of food preparation and meat inspection upon himself. He also marinates the steaks, filets the fish and makes homemade desserts.
One of the restaurant's more popular appetizers is the calamari. Reaching back to his Greek roots, Kopanis follows the tradition of beating the squid to tenderize the meat, Bury said. But instead of beating it against rocks, as fishermen would do off the Greek islands, Kopanis uses a special drum to get the same tender results.
The calamari is then lightly breaded, flash fried and served with marinara sauce ($9.95). The "happytizers" menu also features pikelia, a Greek dish of cheese and spinach puffs, olives, pita bread and grape leaves served with a cucumber sauce ($11.95). Another favorite is the Saganaki, a cheese served flambéed at the table side ($10.95).
Fresh, never frozen, seafood and hand-cut steaks are a point of pride for these restaurateurs.
Daily made seafood soups, including Maryland crab and cream of crab ($4.95 each) are popular items.
During a recent dinner visit, my husband and I were tempted by the variety of items on the menu. I ordered a glass of the housemade white sangria ($8), which is made days in advance so the fruit can marinate with the wine, Bury said.
For my meal, I ordered the 10 oz. crab cake ($24.95), with a cup of the broccoli cheddar soup and garlic mashed potatoes as my included sides. For several years, the crab cake has been voted one of the best in the county by the readers of the York Daily Record/Sunday News.
The soup was filling and fresh, while the mashed potatoes were creamy yet dotted with bits of red skin potatoes. A big fan of crab cakes, the one offered by the Eagles Nest is truly one of the best I've ever tasted. Broiled to a golden brown, it was still moist and tender in the center with lumps of crab meat.
My husband ordered the prime rib, a dish only available after 4 p.m. because it takes all day to slow roast, Bury said. It's cut to order and served at the desired temperature of the guest. It can be cut small ($21.95) or large ($23.95). He also added a 6 oz. crab cake ($9.95).
Despite full bellies, we were tempted by the large display of homemade desserts our server brought to the table. Our hearts were set on sharing a slice of the New York cheesecake, dripping with strawberry sauce ($6.45). It was light and fluffy with the perfect amount of sweet and tangy-ness. We scraped the plate clean.
If you go
Location: 2519 Mount Rose Ave., Springettsbury Township
Cuisine: American with Greek additions
Rebecca's pick: 10 oz. crab cake with two sides, $24.95, topped off with strawberry cheese cake, $6.45
Hours: 11:30 a.m. to 10 p.m. daily; lounge open until 2 a.m.
Price range: $2.95 soup du jour; $26.95 filet mignon
Alcohol: Yes, full bar
Accepts: Cash and credit
Kid's menu: Yes