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dining in the gettysburg area

e
estarae Aug 28, 2009 05:14 PM

We're taking a short trip to Gettysburg during the week. I was hoping to go the Sheppards Mansion after reading the postings but we will only be in the area on Mon and Tues night. Any suggestions? We're interested in great food, fine surroundings are not necessary.

  1. p
    profjmm Aug 29, 2009 01:48 PM

    Sidney in East Berlin, PA is open on Tuesdays. The chef/owner there is a local boy who came back to PA after working at Lespinasse in NY as well as some other notable places. http://www.restaurantsidney.com/index...

    There is also a great Mexican restaurant right in Gettysburg called El Costeno. Mex-Mex, not Tex-Mex, and the food is very light and tasty. It's in a little shopping plaza on West Street.

    Too bad you'll miss the Sheppard Mansion. It's wonderful.

    7 Replies
    1. re: profjmm
      e
      estarae Aug 30, 2009 09:28 AM

      Thanks so much. Actually we're thinking of staying another night in the area to be able to eat at Sheppard's. What do you think is it worth another night?

      1. re: estarae
        j
        jme90 Aug 31, 2009 09:53 AM

        Some things you should know about the Sheppard Mansion:
        1) It's very formal.
        2) The appetizers (1st and 2nd courses on the menu) are uneven at best. Therefore, if you go, choose wisely or not at all. I've been disappointed both times I've been there.
        4) The portions tend to be small and borderline offensive for the price.
        3) The entrees live up to the restaurant's fine dining reputation and the homemade rolls are heavenly -- definitely get the pretzel roll.

        I'm not picky and I know this place has gotten quite good word of mouth -- that's why I went there, too -- but frankly I just don't get its ga-ga appeal. Mind you, it's been compared to the French Laundry. It's good, but not that good. You have to ask yourself: Do I want to stay an extra night and then spend an additional $200 on top of that to have an uneven experience?

        To be frank, I left there mightly disappointed after my last visit and realized that consistency is an important factor when I'm spending that kind of money on a meal. Yes, the entrees are delicious, the servers are pleasant and knowledgeable, but the rest (including the coffee -- served cold on one visit) is hit or miss. I haven't gone back since and don't plan to. My opinion; others may disagree and I'm sure they will.

        1. re: jme90
          p
          profjmm Aug 31, 2009 10:37 AM

          I'll chime in with a slight disagreement. I've been to the Sheppard Mansion three times in the past year and the only negative thing that I have noticed is that the menu is slightly less creative this summer than it was last summer. That might be because they have to cater to a local crowd (who would also find the portions offensively small) with nearest big city, Baltimore, being an hour away. That said, the chef has an enormous amount of talent, and I would tell anyone interested in food who is traveling to Gettysburg to try and make it to the Sheppard Mansion. Places like that need the support of chowhounds everywhere.

          1. re: profjmm
            t
            tartuffe Aug 31, 2009 11:42 AM

            I have found the Sheppard mansion excellent on my several visits. It is by no means formal. the setting is exquisite, but last month I saw msomeone with shorts, and I felt comfortable in a shirt and khakis. it is by no means expensive, and there's a $30 prix fixe; portions are smaller than at steakhouses, but I'm a big guy and have always left filled. i just love the chef's creativity, altho I agree with the last poster it was not as much in evidence on my last visit. I wish it were closer to Baltimore so I could visit more often.

            BTW, the inn is a really nice place to stay

            1. re: tartuffe
              e
              estarae Aug 31, 2009 03:58 PM

              thanks for all the input. We've made a reservation and plan to stay the night. I will report back

              1. re: estarae
                e
                estarae Sep 8, 2009 09:09 AM

                we had to cancel ...will report back when we do go. thanks for all the input

              2. re: tartuffe
                j
                jme90 Sep 1, 2009 07:00 AM

                Certainly, I would agree that the dress of the patrons runs toward the informal -- maybe a topic for another discussion -- but the interior of the restaurant certainly doesn't. Didn't you notice the blue silk wallpaper in the main dining room?

                And to clarify my comments about the portion size...if I'm paying $12 for an appetizer and what I get is a single scallop surrounded by some thinly sliced chorizo in a puddle of cauliflower puree, then, yes, I'm going to be offended. I'm not a bring-on-the-buffet, strap-on-the-feedbag kind of person by any means, but please give me some bang for my buck. I pay the same prices at Char's Bella Mundo in Harrisburg and walk away feeling completely satisfied. That's my benchmark, and the Sheppard Mansion doesn't reach the bar. In fact, the chefs at Char's are just as talented and don't get half the recognition. It's a shame.

                Also, there seems to be a bit of snobbery going on here with comments about "locals." Do locals -- because they live in a rural area -- know nothing about food? Please...

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