Tag Archives: fine dining

Things to Do in February

The winter chill is still in the air, but that doesn’t stop the fun in Lancaster! From two exciting festivals to the first Mud Sale of the season, you’re sure to find something unique to make your trip one to remember.

Festive Festivals

Lititz presents their Fire & Ice Festival over President’s Day Weekend (February 17-20) featuring ice sculptures, great food, live entertainment and activities throughout the weekend. To contrast the frosty ice sculptures, a Chili Cook Off is held on Saturday alongside the Winter Wonderland Carnival and Vendor Fair.

The sweet, sweet sounds of roots and blues music will fill the air of Downtown Lancaster during the three day Lancaster Roots & Blues Festival, February 24-26. The 2017 lineup includes over 50 artists performing at 8 venues throughout the city. A variety of ticket options are available, from one to three day tickets along with VIP and Under 21 options.

Dinner with Your Sweetheart

To celebrate the day of love, join the Vineyard at Grandview for a five course wine pairing Valentine Dinner that will infuse your holiday with romance. Delicious dishes are paired with the vineyard’s wines made on location. Mark your calendars for February 10 and reserve your seats today.

For the craft beer lovers, the General Sutter Inn presents a Beer & Food Tasting dinner featuring Founders Brewing Company on February 27. For $38 per person, you’ll enjoy courses paired with brews that will have your tasty buds buzzing. With the popularity of this event, reservations are required.

If PA Dutch style cooking is what you’re craving, Bird-in-Hand Fire Company is hosting their first Chicken Pot Pie Dinner of 2017. They are serving up all-you-can-eat chicken pot pie, peas, pepper cabbage, rolls, desserts, and more from 10:30 AM to 6:30 PM (or until they sell out) on February 25. It’s the perfect PA Dutch meal to fill your belly on cold day.

Bring Your Boots

Mud Sale season kicks off on Saturday, February 25 with the Strasburg Mud Sale. Whether you’re looking for great bargains on antiques, crafts, furniture and quilts or spectating and enjoying the wonderful food, be sure to remember your boots. These events are classically muddy as they are held as the ground begins to thaw.

Gimme Some Sugar

So sweet – it’s time for Maple Sugaring at Lancaster County Park. On-going demonstrations in the sugar bush of the park will be held on Saturday, February 25 and Sunday, February 26. Learn about the process from tree tapping to boiling to making the sweet product into candy. Maple products will be on sale for you to take tasty treats home to share.

Arts & History  

Browse Charles Demuth-inspired art at the Demuth Museum’s annual exhibition featuring Lancaster area artists. “Valentines for Demuth” invites Lancaster area artists to create works inspired by his work, 1896 Valentine. Works will be on display from February 4 to 26.

Rock Ford Plantation invites children ages 4 and up and their parents to celebrate the first President of the United States, George Washington. Enjoy cake and ice cream with Mr. Washington, enjoy crafts and games, and learn why we continue to celebrate his birthday. Reservations are required for this February 26th event.

For a complete list of events in February and beyond, click here

Waltz Wine Dinner at The General Sutter Inn

A perfect ending to the first day of Spring!

Eating out and Dining Out are two totally different things. Dining is often reserved for that special someone or group of friends looking for a special night out together. Additionally, if you’re thinking fine dining you’re thinking extraordinary food and drink. The Waltz Wine Dinner at the General Sutter Inn had it all!

For Cheryl and I, in recent years, it’s one of our all-time favorite dining experiences. We sign up the minute we see the announcement. This was our third and we’ll certainly be back again!

We arrived just after 5:30. There were ten tables of eight in the newly renovated ballroom at The General Sutter Inn. We were seated with three couples who naturally love good wines and fine foods so there were immediate common interests. From there the exchanges comfortably drifted to unique local experiences, world travels and a host of common interests. The conversations were easy and relaxed. We had a wonderful time together throughout the evening.

Jan & Kim Waltz, the proprietors of The Waltz Estate Vineyards are wonderful hosts. After they greeted us and thanked everyone for coming Jan talked about the uniqueness of their vineyards. It was unmistakably obvious that Jan is both passionate and meticulous about their wines as he articulated the history, the processes, the love and care he pours into his craft. Their list of awards is long, distinguished and well deserved. “The General Sutter Inn was the first local establishment to offer our wines,” said Kim, “when we first talked about a pairing the General Sutter said if we can get 35 people to come we can make it work. Tonight, again, we’re sold out to a packed house of 80!” Applause filled the room.

When asked, “which comes first the food or the wine?” Executive Chef Robert Brynes responded without hesitation, “The wine!  I build the menu from there.” And what a menu he prepared! Along with Chef de Cuisine Nicholas Hooton and their team, they prepared a delightful 5 course dinner. See the menu and the pairings below. They took fabulous wines and paired them with dishes that drew out the unique flavors of each. It was a magnificent experience. The wines by themselves are wonderful. The dishes by themselves were outstanding. Put them together and it was absolutely extraordinary!

Every dish with every wine was expertly paired. The aromas drew you in and the presentation made your mouth water. A taste of the dish, a sip of the wine. They served three whites and two reds. I’m not a big white wine fan but each of the pairings was exquisite. I enjoyed every course and each glass of wine. Something special happens when the pairing is done just right. Red, white it didn’t matter, everything was delicious. It’s hard to describe, you simply have to experience it.

Around 8:30 dessert and the final wine was served. Three delightful hours with new friends, great food and wonderful wines concluded with a sweet and savory taste to remember. It was a fabulous evening!

As our hosts thanked us once again for coming they mentioned that Waltz Estate Winery & The General Sutter Inn are planning 3 pairings a year. Check their websites for dates and be sure to reserve your seats.  If you are from out of the area, I’d suggest booking a room at the General Sutter Inn and make a weekend of it. They offer both historic early American rooms and contemporary Rock Lititz rooms. Lititz is a wonderful small town and Lancaster is a beautiful place to visit.

If you enjoy fine wines and fine dining you will love a General Sutter and Waltz Wine paring. Watch the announcements and sign up early. I know we will.

THE PAIRINGS
Wines by Waltz Estate Vineyards
Dinner by The General Sutter Inn
Lititz, Pa

First Course
Cranberry Relish, Brie & Toasted Almonds in Warm Puff Pastry
*Paired with Stiegal Rose

Second Course
Pan Seared Striped Bass with Roasted Fennel Puree & Spiced Green Apple Compote
*Paired with Sauvignon Blanc

Third Course
Pappardelle Pasta with Braised Pork Ragu
*Paired with Barred Rock Red

Fourth Course
Lollypop Lamb Chops with Moroccan Cous Cous & Parsnip Ribbons
*Paired with Baron Red

Final Course
Warm Peach Cobbler with Oatmeal Streusel Topping & Whipped Cream
*Paired with Seasonal Moscato

Makes your mouth water just looking over the menu doesn’t it. The experience is everything you might imagine and maybe just a little bit more!

Check out this high-class restaurant

If you’re looking for a fine dining restaurant in Lancaster, look no further than Checkers Bistro. Recently, I had the pleasure of not only eating at Checkers for dinner, but also getting a tour of the new location on Harrisburg Avenue. I was impressed with the recent changes made to this Lancaster City staple.

If you haven’t heard, this February, Checkers moved from its old location where it spent 7 years delighting Lancaster with its delicious menu, to a brand new, and much larger location on Harrisburg Avenue as a part of Champion Forge (next to the Lancaster Arts Hotel). The new location is beautiful and boasts a much larger bar area and comfortable new seating in the dining area along with a location for private parties. The entire space received a complete remodel and the dining room now flows beautifully giving a feeling of grandeur and class.

If you’ve dined at Checkers Bistro in the past, you’ll still enjoy its staple menu favorites at this new location along with seasonal specials that never disappoint. One of my favorite menu items is the pasta Bolognese. The soft wide parpadelle pasta smothered in a rich meat sauce an accompanied with cheese is a dish that warms my stomach and my soul each time I visit Checkers.

Checkers Bistro has always been and continues to be a great restaurant for a date, but the new location also makes it even better for a drink with friends. Checkers has a small plates menu, a delicious drink menu, and a large bar that winds through the new space accommodating more customers and making Checkers a great place to meet up with friends any time of the day or evening.

Even though the new location boasts a larger dining room and more seats, you’ll still need a reservation if you plan on having dinner on a weekend. Be sure and check out Checkers’ new website which also allows you to make reservations online through Open Table.

If you haven’t been out to see the new Checkers Bistro yet, add it to your to-do list and don’t forget to end with dessert. It never disappoints!

checker-blog2

Marah Harbeon is the writer and creator of The Red Velvet Blog (www.theredvelvetblog.com). Marah created the blog a few years ago to document her cooking and eating adventures as a home cook and self-proclaimed foodie in Lancaster County. The blog includes recipes, travel insights and local restaurant reviews. Aside from writing about food, Marah is also a stay at home mom and shares her love of food with her husband and Bernese MountainDog. If not eating, you can find Marah golfing with her husband or enjoying a long walk with her family.

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