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While on a brief visit to Hershey we found a surprisingly good restaurant right next to our hotel.  It was recommended by the front desk so we made reservations and gave it a shot.

Walking over to "What If .. Of Hershey" we wondered what we'd be in for because it appears to be in a little business office.  But upon opening the door you head down a flight of stairs and there it is -- a really elegant restaurant.

Our reservation was for 7:15--and DO make a reservation here--but our table wasn't ready so we opted to have a cocktail at the small bar.  We probably didn't get to our table until 7:45.  This was a Friday night and the place was alive.  I'd say the lion's share of diners were locals and not tourists.

I started off my meal with an absolutely sensational appetizer.  A large grilled portobello mushroom smothered in a creamy, rich mornay sauce and topped with blue crab jumbo lump meat.  We had just come from blue crab country (Maryland) and I doubted that the lump meat would be fresh but it was.  My wife enjoyed twin crab cakes as a starter and they, too, were excellent.  Next came the salads and then on to the main course.

For some strange reason we each ordered a New York strip steak as our main course.  But the chef screwed up here.  I ordered mine very rare and my wife ordered her steak medium rare.  Mine came medium with a hot center, my wife's was closer to well.  Not wanting to create a fuss, we ate them and then asked the waitress to have a word with the broiler cook so that he or she wouldn't screw up the steaks of others.  I mean when you pay twenty bucks for a steak it should be done right.  And we probably should have sent them back.

I opted for coffee at the end of the meal and my wife had a very nice chocolate bread pudding.

If you're ever in Hershey with the kids (they'll love Hershey Park!) give this place a shot.  Casual dress is perfectly fine although many patrons opt for business attire.

What If .. Of Hershey is located at 845 Chocolate Avenue just a short walk down the street from the Hampton Inn.  (We had tried to book a stay at the famous Hershey Hotel but they were booked solid.)  Reservations are essential on weekends.  Their phone number is (717) 533-5858.  And they have a web site right here.