Dining Out: Owego's ParkView promises experience, homestyle food

By Dave Greber

June 5, 2014 Updated Jun 5, 2014 at 12:12 AM EDT

Owego, N.Y. (WBNG Binghamton) We've talked in this space before about the importance of having an experience while eating -- otherwise, it's just fast food.

Owego's ParkView is as much about the food, as it is about the experience. Forced to choose, the nod goes to the food every time.

ParkView owner Beth Johnson and her husband Mark bought the restaurant and hotel a little more than two years ago.

And they say their vision has already paid off.

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"I love the hands-on customer relations, and all the different people that come in here," Beth said.

The ParkView features beautiful, down-home dining rooms that are soft and inviting; Beth likes to call it "country comfortable."

The pub is quaint and welcoming and encourages you to "belly-up."

And although the mid-1800s building is historic, Beth and her crew are making history in the kitchen.

"You'll find most people in Owego have some sort of emotional attachment to the ParkView," she said.

Nearly everything that walks from the kitchen is made from scratch, including

"There (are not) many things that aren't a recipe in our kitchen."

The ParkView bakes all their own bread, from the ciabattas for the burgers and sandwiches to the dinner and breakfast rolls. They also take pride in things like the foundation of a great Reuben: The rye bread.

There's no wonder it's their biggest seller.

Action News producer Amy Khuu -- normally, quite the talker -- was speechless after her first few bites.

"I don't even want to talk you right now," she offered, mouth full. "I'm in the zone."

Then was off to the mac 'n cheese, a special recipe that does so well, Beth has decided to pair it with different mixings, including chilli, Buffalo chicken, spinach and seafood. The result is rich and aromatic. And it's a challenge to finish.

We finished off with some of the best entrees in Owego: A panko crusted, lemon haddock served over rice and almond-crusted chicken breast.

The experience at the ParkView is also unique because the building -- which includes a 23-room hotel that's under construction -- is said to be haunted. Built in 1867, it's featured on the I Love NY Haunted History Trail.

"It's nothing that I really paid attention to when we first got here and started fixing the place up," Beth said. "But I have to admit, I've had a few experiences where it's really got me thinking."

Beth promises all the hauntings are full of "positive energy." But that could be the result of what she and Mark are doing with the building.

"I kind of get the sense that they're glad to see people in the building, and getting things fixed up and changed," she said. "And much of the work we've done is bringing the building back to its original state when it first opened."

The ParkView also features Bike Nights every Wednesday through September. The popular event includes live music, great food and a great atmosphere. The fun starts at 6:30 p.m., every Wednesday.

Owego's ParkView is located at 145 Front Street in Owego.