Wednesday, June 29, 2011

John J. Jeffries

I can't imagine a better place to sample the locally-grown, organic, sustainable food movement than Lancaster.  With recent press on its burgeoning arts scene, Lancaster becomes a tempting destination, a mere one hour away from Philly on an idyllic train ride.  John J. Jeffries seems to be riding the wave of what is becoming an increasingly attractive urban scene there: housed in a pre-1900 warehouse with a large covered outdoor seating area, the restaurant holds a subtle charm. 

As do its servers.  Ours was smart and personable and happy to share with us his favorites and picks, including the Linden Dale farm grilled mozzarella and tomato with herb relish below.
Normally, I'm not a fan of mozzarella in anything but the raw form, but something about this delicate roasting highlighted its flavors, rather than destroying them.  The tomatoes were amazing as well.  Did I mention the drinks?  Resplendent with things like fresh mint and rhubarb, they made refreshing an understatement.

Can't resist water served in milk or canning glasses, either. Or dining al fresco, or the perfect summer night or fresh ingredients.  Yes, I liked it here.

Entrees were equally appealing. I had been steered to the massive yet delicious Sweet Stem Farm Black Tamworth Pork "Gordita," with pork confit, griddle corn cake, corn mash, salsa, and chimichurri.  In case the griddle corn cake and pork didn't get you (whatever "get you" might mean to you), they drizzle beurre blanc around the edges.  You know, because butter makes everything better.  It was, as you would imagine, amazing.  The right blend of savory and tangy from the pork with a hint of spice from the toppings, layered against the comforting sweet backdrop of the corn.
My vegetarian friend ordered the seasonal stuffed squash.  She reported that the tiny tomatoes pictured below to be filled with the awesome summer goodness one might hope for from tiny bursts of perfectly ripe, lovingly farmed tomato accoutrements.
Convinced I was too full to ever eat again, I was afforded the shot nevertheless to try my friend's creme brulee dessert.  You know, it was darn good, with the subtle vanilla sweetness enveloped in a the perfectly smooth texture.  A perfect end to a summer night.  I mean, it would have been had I not missed the last train back to Philly.  Luckily, Lancaster features plenty of other bars and restaurants to occupy a weekend evening.

John J. Jeffries is located at 300 Harrisburg Avenue, Lancaster, Pa,

1 comment:

Brian said...

Great post, Lancaster is definitely a hub for locally sourced food. Are you familiar with If you're looking for local food nearby to Philly this guided tour takes you right to it, very cool.

Enjoying the photos on your blog, tantalizing to say the least!