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“One of my very favorite restaurants” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Checkers Bistro

Checkers Bistro
398 Harrisburg Avenue, Champion Center - Suite 700, Lancaster, PA 17603
+1 717-509-1069
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Ranked #10 of 510 Restaurants in Lancaster
Price range: $10 - $40
Cuisines: American, French, Contemporary, Eclectic
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Restaurant details
Good for: Romance, Bar scene, Doing business, Special occasions, Entertaining clients
Dining options: Breakfast/Brunch, Lunch, Dinner, Reservations, Late Night, Private Dining
Description: Checkers Bistro has an eclectic menu, with American, French and Asian infuenced dishes. We are passionate about Food, Wine, Craft Beers and Liquor. We purchase as many ingredients locally that are in season. Are goal is to deliver a fine dining experiance in a friendly and consistent setting. We welcome your feedback through TripAdvisor and will respond to your comments.Live, Love, Eat at Checkers Bistro.
Lancaster, Pennsylvania
Top Contributor
77 reviews 77 reviews
48 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 21 cities Reviews in 21 cities
21 helpful votes 21 helpful votes
“One of my very favorite restaurants”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 4, 2014

I have been to Checkers a number of times. The food is always consistent and so delicious. During the week it is very easy to have lunch there but if it is evening or a weekend you need reservations. I would recommend this restaurant to anyone that enjoys food. It is always prepared to order and delightful.

  • Visited August 2013
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
David P, Owner at Checkers Bistro, responded to this review, March 31, 2014
Thank you very much for reviewing us on Tripadvisor. Feed back is very important for all of us at Checkers Bistro. We appreciate your kind comments and look forward to welcoming you back to our new location. We also recommend reservations for lunch and dinner.
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243 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • Japanese first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
PA
Senior Contributor
31 reviews 31 reviews
11 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 17 cities Reviews in 17 cities
30 helpful votes 30 helpful votes
“Inattention to details”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed February 27, 2014

We visited from out of town last weekend with friends who had never been to Checkers, but were eager to dine there.
I'll start with the good: filet was cooked perfectly and pronounced "the best one I've ever eaten". The tuna was requested "seared rare" and was also perfectly done. The lamb chops (special) was cooked medium-well as requested. My diver scallops were lukewarm and the bowl was cold, but they were cooked correctly. Salads and soup were also very good. A request for more cranberry juice for the Cosmopolitan was promptly answered.
Not quite as good: we waited five minutes before our server appeared to take our drink orders and again to retrieve the check and credit cards. Not serious and I expect some of that is the sheer size of the new restaurant and the fact that the servers bus their own tables. Oh, they had only 7 dessert menus for the entire restaurant! How odd...
Not good at all: I found out the restaurant had moved from my sister, who lives in Lancaster. I called that day to reconfirm our reservation, which had been made 4+ weeks before. The young woman who answered the phone said "absolutely" when I asked to confirm the reservation. After that, I paused. No comment from this woman about the fact that they had moved. I mentioned that I had heard about the move. Another "absolutely". She told me the new address, and I asked about parking and was told they had complimentary valet parking, but NOT which lot to enter. Saturday, I had a call from the restaurant to confirm my already confirmed reservation. Again, no mention of the new location.
The Bad: We entered the lot by the Arts Hotel and didn't see ANY signs for Checkers. I finally got out of the car and entered an unlit and unmarked door, because I saw lights inside. I asked where I was...Checkers Bistro. I replied that you'd never know it since it was pitch black by the steps and there was no sign. We were told we could park in the open lot, which we did.
Very bad: I called to speak with the manager about the "housekeeping details"; no signage, no lighting and especially no mention that they had moved! Sorry, he isn't available, but the person answering the phone said she would take a message. No thanks!
And that is why I gave them 3 stars: inattention to detail and disregard for customers! The new decor is lovely, the lighting is better, the bar is set off from the main dining room, but none of this helps if you can't find the place! We have been to Checkers with out of town guests 2 or 3 times a year and always enjoyed the food, but this experience annoyed me. Here's a helpful hint: when calling to confirm reservations, MENTION that you are in a new location and give details about which lot has valet parking. I finally figured out that we should have entered off Charlotte St.!

  • Visited February 2014
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
    • 4 of 5 stars Food
Was this review helpful? Yes 4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
David P, Owner at Checkers Bistro, responded to this review, March 3, 2014
Dear love2travel082, I agree with everything that you mention and you are correct.
We do have some housekeeping issues which we are addressing.
I apologize for you inconvenience and we will get all the items corrected.
We hope to welcome you back to Checkers Bistro in the future, and you will see that everything has been addressed.
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Pennsylvania
Senior Reviewer
9 reviews 9 reviews
8 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
“The decor of new location finally matches service and fare we so appreciate”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 26, 2014

The owners and staff of our favorite, local restaurant Checkers Bistro have moved to a newly renovated location. The result is in a word: "stunning". The ambience and decor are finally in full synchronization with the renown food presentation, the wine list, the taste of the offerings and the exemplary service.
The new Checkers Bistro's decor is handsome with touches of sparkle and drama. The colors are deep and encompassing, the accessory details balanced and thoughtful, and the overall design of the spaces chic and intimate. The bar area is sophisticated without being pretentious. There is breathing room between this cocktail space and the dining areas, but the ambience shared between the two is cohesive and symbiotic. Quiet, private conversations can easily be had by guests in the dining areas with the sounds of the bar lending a rich, background hum of excitement and lively energy.
I speak mainly of the decor as this was what we have been eagerly waiting to experience. We expected our old favourites - the calamari and the coffee cured filet - to be on the menu, and as well prepared as in the past, and the service to be as on point. We were not disappointed. Our new choices from the wine list and the kale salad were also of expected high caliber.
Parking? A complimentary valet service took care of any concerns.
Lobby? A new, roomy space to lose the chill, fireside - a welcoming, high ceiling-ed space in which to catch one's breath, begin to unwind, hang coats and most importantly set the stage for entrance into a special atmosphere unique to Lancaster and at home in any major city. The main restaurant area is one conducive to great conversation and rich, invigorating comfort: a background fit to frame the service of the extraordinarily trained and accommodating staff as they present the high quality, well prepared and exquisitely presented small and large plates with exclusive, hand selected wine pairings. Is this review overly effusive? We challenge you to find out for yourselves!

  • Visited February 2014
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
David P, Owner at Checkers Bistro, responded to this review, April 4, 2014
Thank you very much for your detailed comments. We appreciate our loyal guests and strive to provide a great dining experience. Our philosophy is to continually improve our product.
Thank you very much for using Tripadvisor, we look forward to welcoming you back to Checkers Bistro.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Orchard Park, NY
Top Contributor
52 reviews 52 reviews
23 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 20 cities Reviews in 20 cities
30 helpful votes 30 helpful votes
“A very good dinner”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed February 24, 2014

My husband and I eat here on February 21st and enjoyed our meal. He had a Caesar salad that was good and I had their French Onion soup, which was a bit disappointing. I like a rich, dark broth and this was light in color and a bit on the creamy side. It was OK, but I'm not sure I could really recommend it.

For dinner my husband had one of their artisan pizzas and it was very good and I had their Kale salad with a side of roast chicken that was excellent - very different. If you are a kale lover, this is for you.

Our waitress must have overheard us talking and surmised that we were from the area and so when she brought the bill, she also brought a small white platter with "welcome to Lancaster" written in chocolate and two small tastings of their homemade lemon sorbet. A complete delicious surprise and also showed that "little extra".

Go and enjoy - you won't be disappointed.

  • Visited February 2014
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 4 of 5 stars Food
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
David P, Owner at Checkers Bistro, responded to this review, March 17, 2014
Thank you very much for your review in Tripadvisor. We are sorry you did not enjoy our French onion soup, we use Vidallia Sweet Onions for our soup. I realize we all have different tastes in food and normally we receive very positive comments for our French onion soup. Thank you again for taking the time to review us it is always positive to receive feedback.
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Lancaster, Pennsylvania
Top Contributor
61 reviews 61 reviews
43 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 17 cities Reviews in 17 cities
33 helpful votes 33 helpful votes
“The Best Restaurant in Lancaster!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 19, 2014 via mobile

I've been waiting to go to the 'new' Checkers and took some friends there last weekend. I was a regular at the previous Checkers Restaurant, so I was quite interested to see how the new, larger restaurant would compare. I wasn't disappointed. First of all, David (owner) has done an amazing job with the decor. It really is very inviting. We were seated right away (you should probably book a table in advance as on my visit the place was packed). Tables are well placed apart so you can have a decent conversation without being overheard. Wine list is small, but there is a nice choice and the owner helped me with my selection. Now a word or two about the food and service. Our server was very friendly and knowledgable. The food was fantastic. I had the lobster special. My wife and guests had steak, salmon and a salad. I'm not one for passing out high marks on these reviews - I'm really picky. But the food, ambience and service at Checkers made my evening a real delightful experience. It certainly is my most favorite restaurant in Lancaster!

Visited February 2014
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
David P, Owner at Checkers Bistro, responded to this review, March 17, 2014
Thank you very much Jeremy, but I cannot take credit for the decor. We had an amazing local interior decorator A K Interiors. We appreciate you taking the time to review us on Tripadvisor.
Look forward to welcoming you back to Checkers Bistro
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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