Dinner in "Greater" Carlisle
At the end of the month we will be driving to Carlisle to meet our son to celebrate his 21st birthday. Lancaster seemed like an interesting option, until I realized it was ~60 miles away ! Any thoughts on interesting, and appropriate places to celebrate ?
How far do you want to drive and how "splurgey" do you want to get? About a half-hour (maybe a bit more) drive south from Carlisle in East Berlin is Sidney, a truly terrific restaurant whose owner/chef came from Lespinasse in NY. About 25 minutes east of Carlisle is downtown Harrisburg, which has a number of good options, including Mangia Qui and Bricco, both of which have Italian/Mediterranean-inspired menus and a festive enough atmosphere for a 21 year old. All three restaurants would be considered a treat for a 21 year old on a college budget.
Went to Sidney in East Berlin last night. With one exception, it was well worth the detour. The food was first rate, and well presented. I had a non-standard vichysoisse (more leek than normal) with interesting flarvourings, a wonderful grilled calamari over polenta - perfectly tender squid. They prepared on request a vegetarian dish that was equal to anything on the table. Desserts were also excellent.
The one downside was the noice. There was a very good band playing in the next room, and I'm afraid it may talking at conversation volume hard. The music was interesting, and I would have enjoyed hearing it, but only at a much lower volume. If that is the case when you visit, ask to sit in the front room on the left - it's the furthest away (unless you sit outside). BTW, the potato "crisps" as a table appetizer were wonderful (with Stilton and herbs, who knew ?).
101 E King St, East Berlin, PA 17316
Hope this isn't too late...I noticed some posters recommended a trip to Harrisburg, which is doable. However, if you want to stay closer to Carlisle, you might think about reserving a table at the bar at the Boiling Springs Tavern. The food and service are always great, so is the wine list, and Michael the bartender will treat you right. And please don't be put off by the fact that you'll be sitting in the bar. This is a historic place with a charm all of its own. With any luck, you'll still be able to get the thing I look most forward to each summer: the fresh tomato and mozarella stack with pine nuts. It's a treat!