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Mar 18, 2008 10:43 AM

Lancaster, PA

A friend of mine is coming to visit a past girlfriend in Lancaster, PA. He would like me to join the dinner, and asks me to see what the best is that Lancaster (and area) have to offer. I am turning to this board for advice. I don't think we want to go as far as Harrisburg or even Reading, but I leave it to your judgment if you think there are places that are really worth the trip.

One more constraint. Dinner will be next Monday. Places that you know are closed on Monday will not be useful to us (although I would still like to hear about them just for my own curiosity).

No limits on the kind of cuisine. BYO OK. No particular limit on cost, although we are not looking to be very extravagant.

Thanks in advance.


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  1. There are two places in Lancaster that I can recommend highly. Both are open on Monday. The first is Gibraltar -- fine dining, great seafood, great service and the pricier of these two restaurants. Gibraltar is right in town, adjacent to Franklin & Marshall College.

    The other is a place I go to quite often. It's the Olive & Jasmine Asian Bistro, in the heart of the outlet district If you like beautifully prepared, fresh sushi, Thai, Vietnamese, Japanese or Malaysian food, the Asian Bistro won't disappoint you. They are VERY accommodating there -- if there's something you'd like that's not on the menu, they'll be happy to prepare it for you. And you can always ask for their "sushi special" which is the chef's choice based on what's particularly good that day. That's not mentioned anywhere on the menu, but you can ask for it. The Asian Bistro is a "white tablecloth" restaurant where the prices are VERY reasonable, and, always a plus in my book, it's BYO. Just know that there are no wine stores anywhere near the restaurant.

    1. If you do a search on these boards, you'll find lots of similar threads w/ good ideas. My votes would be El Serrano's (Peruvian / Mexican food) or Fiorentino's (two locations; both good, but the airport location is a little more spacious). Not sure of their Monday schedules... Also, I've been to Olive & Jasmine -- it's much, much better than any of the surrounding chain choices. Have never been to Gibraltar -- I'm a vegetarian, so there's not much point for me -- but many of my friends in that area are big fans.

      1 Reply
      1. re: spyturtle008

        Another suggestion is the upstairs portion of El Serrano, a brand-new tapas bar that they're calling Culturas. We went this past weekend and were very happy with it.

      2. Across from the Rockville outlets there is the Lemongrass, I believe it's BYOB, but delish! Try the chu chee duck it's awsome.
        Open daily: Lunch: 11:30 am to 3:00 pm Tuesday-Sunday
        Dinner: 3:00 pm to 9:00 pm (10:00 pm Friday & Saturday)

        1 Reply
        1. re: Whitethorn

          Thanks, all. I will confer with my friends and report back next week.


        2. The original comment has been removed
          1. I'll throw out Doneckers as place for you to consider. It's located in Ephrata, PA. Depending on where you're coming from in Lancaster, it may be closer than it sounds. Doneckers was more or less put on the culinary map when a former chef who trained at Le Bec Fin took it over back in the late 90's, I believe. The food is fantastic and place just puts you at ease. It's sometimes difficult to find that blend of a relaxed environment and fine food dining. Their website is:

            1 Reply
            1. re: ShootingShark

              Just an FYI, There are rumors flying that Donnecker's is closing. Right now, they are not taking reservations after June 30th.