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“Perfect wedding reception experience!”
5 of 5 bubbles Review of John J. Jeffries

John J. Jeffries
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Ranked #2 of 567 Restaurants in Lancaster
Certificate of Excellence
Price range: $30 - $30
Cuisines: American
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Business meetings, Bar scene, Special occasions, Local cuisine, Large groups, Romantic
Dining options: Dinner, Late Night, Full Bar, Outdoor Seating, Parking Available, Private Dining, Reservations, Seating, Serves Alcohol, Waitstaff, Wheelchair Accessible
Dining style: Fine Dining
Cross street: Mullberry St.
Description: During renovations, workers found in the floor beams a signed inspection stamp--November 5, 1890--with the name of tobacco inspector John J. Jeffries. We named the restaurant after him. We’ve designed our menu based on local, seasonal, sustainable and organic agriculture and delicious recipes. Please join us and taste the difference of local farm-to-table sustainable cuisine in one of Lancaster's best fine dining restaurants. As the Chefs and Owners of John J Jeffries, we believe you will find our passion for supporting local businesses and preserving the land we live on, to be contagiously obvious in how we run our restaurant. All of our meats are raised locally, confinement-free on fresh green grass pastures. No hormones, antibiotics, steroids or forced-fertilization occurs. Our produce is local organic or chemical free. We use local grass fed cream, butter and eggs. We also provide sustainable seafood and support sustainable fisheries.
1 review
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
“Perfect wedding reception experience!”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed March 9, 2013

My husband and I were looking for amazing, locally-sourced food and impeccable service in a location for our wedding. We were completely thrilled with the food, the service (particularly Kim and Derek were incredible!), and the beautiful building was not only gorgeous for our pictures but made for the perfect setting for the celebration of our special day. The chefs and manager, Ladan, were so accomodating in making our event perfect. The chef paired wines with our dinner selections. We were able to relax and enjoy our guests and the meal, which was most important to us. Incidentally, our guests raved about the appetizers which includes chile rubbed steak tips, cornmeal fried oysters, and large sea scallops wrapped in bacon along with a selection of local cheeses. Since it was February, the chef worked with us to plan the perfect soup for the season: we landed on butternut squash and bacon bisque. We are pretty sure bacon makes everything better! For our main course, we opted for a choice of steak or grilled chicken. Everyone commented on how perfect both were! Dessert was a choice of creme brulee or Chef Brian Burton's chocolate cake with almond butter frosting.

From the beginning to the end of the evening, we enjoyed it all. If you're looking for incredible food that you know you can trust paired with flawless service, we highly recommend that you choose John J. Jeffries for your special event. We are also looking forward to the next time we can enjoy dinner together there!

    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
1 Thank aeckman
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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577 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Any
English first
Paciano, Italy
Level Contributor
99 reviews
77 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 52 helpful votes
“Worth the drive from Harrisburg”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed February 20, 2013

I went to this restaurant for a beer event and left feeling like I'd found a true gem of a restaurant and bar. I spent the evening in the bar, so I can't comment on the restaurant experience.

This is a long review, so for those seeking the Cliff’s Notes version: GO to John J. Jeffries. Now. Seriously, what are you waiting for?!

The restaurant is located at a hotel. This gives it a much different atmosphere than a place that typically serves mostly locals. The mix of people produces a dynamic energy and people are open to conversation. There were guests of all ages, singles and couples and groups, locals and people staying at the hotel. Most of the locals were repeat customers eager to recommend (and even share!) their favorites from the menu.

The food. I’d heard about this place from a foodie friend that was eager to try it out. After going to many places that looked wonderful on paper, but disappointed, my expectations were not high. JJJ’s promises and it delivers. We had or tasted the beef tartar, the Jim Bim Bop with kimchi, the beef Carpaccio topped with wafers of smoked scallops, and the fried potatoes with aioli. We lusted over the tuna Carpaccio and salmon tartar, but they weren’t sharing. Oh, and my friend had a salad.

There wasn’t a miss on any of the plates. Everything on the plate enhanced the dish. This chef understands flavor and restraint. He also understands texture. Unlike many area restaurants, he also takes the “local sourcing” commitment seriously. Every single bite was balanced and provided contrast in flavor and texture. It’s hard to pick a winner in the all-star lineup we sampled, but the Jim Bim Bop (really silly name for a really sophisticated dish) was so unique that I think I’d have to give it the blue ribbon, but the beef tartar was a very close second. I’m sure that you can’t go wrong with whatever you order (Honestly, I’d skip the salad, not because it wasn’t good, but because there are so many truly outstanding items on the menu.) When the potatoes smell so good that you swoon (they tasted even better), you know everything is going to be great.

Vegetarian alert: The chef made a VERY good vegetarian version of the Jim Bim Bop for a diner seated next to me. It wasn’t just a take-out-the-meat alternative. It could have been a menu item just as easily as the meat version.

The drinks. Put yourself in Steve’s hands and you will be a happy customer. This young man has an exceptional palate for cocktails and pairings and an engaging personality to go along with it. As I said, way back when I began this manuscript, I had gone for a craft beer event. Steve crafted a cocktail to parallel one of the craft brews. It was a complete success….like a twin from another mother experience. Understanding that I was in the presence of a thoughtful, skilled and creative drink chef, I asked him what I should have. His answer, a “Bees Knees”. I know I sound like I’m gushing all over the place, but when people get it right, they get it right…and this cocktail was perfect. A PA gin (Blue Coat…yum) with infused vermouth, locally sourced honey and topped off with sparkling wine. Don’t let the honey or the gin put you off. It was neither a sweet drink…nor a gin drink…it was just a damned fine drink. As were the others we tried. Don’t ask for a Bee’s Knees anywhere else, I’m not sure what you’ll get. This one is Steve’s own concoction.

The beer. It was craft beer from Round Guys Brewery in Lansdale, PA. Scott, one of the aforementioned (only slightly) round guys was on hand along with 2 of their brews. A Saison and one aged in bourbon barrels. We preferred the bourbon barrel brew, but both were very good. Scott is clearly passionate about brewing and it shows in the product. He and his business partner do unique brews (unusual Belgian styles, Berliner, etc), unlike most small operations. I’m eager to follow them and the growth of their business. So eager, in fact, that I’m going to their other area event tonight in Elizabethtown!

My triple J visit was wonderful from beginning to end. The food and beverages were top notch, but beyond that, they have succeeded (in the bar at least) in making you want to return for the great people and experience as much as for the great products.

  • Visited February 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
1 Thank Paciano12
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Atco, New Jersey
Level Contributor
59 reviews
26 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 186 helpful votes
“Unpleasant server”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed February 18, 2013

This was our second visit here and we were looking forward to a pleasant evening. After we were seated, our waiter came over and introduced himself as Carl and asked us if we were ready to order. Since we had just been seated, we asked for a cocktail and some time to looked at the menu. He arrived with our cocktails and recited the specials and asked again if we were ready to order. By then, I had the feeling we were being rushed. One of the specials was Bison which I ordered medium rare. When it arrived and I began to cut it, I couldn't even make a dent in it. I tried the center, no difference. As I was going through this ritual, my husband was watching and decided to try for himself. No luck. At this point, we concluded that it was probably a bad cut of meat. I decided to send it back, something I don't normally do. When Carl arrived, we explained to him the problem, his comment was,"would you like me to ask the chef to cut it for you"? Are you kidding me? Do I look like I had a physical handicap? The problem was not with me, it was with the meat. There was no apology from Carl, nor did he ask me it I wanted something else.. I requested the salmon, which my husband had ordered and it was delicious.
We had ordered a bottle of wine with dinner. After my husband tasted it, he mentioned that it was fine but needed to be chilled more. His response was,"would you like me to chill it for you?"
Well????? For dessert, we shared a cheese plate. Since the types of cheeses were not on the menu, we assumed the server would tell us what they were. Well he didn't! When the check arrived, the bison was not replaced with the salmon, so that needed to be adjusted. The French press coffee was great and the complimentary bottled water was a nice touch.
As a side note, a young woman, probably the manager, did come over to apologize and then returned to see if my salmon was satisfactory, which the waiter never did. Unfortunately, a server could make or break a meal and be a reason whether patrons return. Would I return? Probably not.

  • Visited February 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank kathieann
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
1 review
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
“Excellent!”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed February 16, 2013

There was a misunderstanding with out reservation, but the staff did what they could to accommodate us and I am glad they did! The service was top notch and the food was amazing!!! There's not one complaint I have and I would recommend them time and time again!

    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
1 Thank Whithohn
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
lancaster, pa
Level Contributor
43 reviews
28 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 18 helpful votes
“Charge too much small portions”
1 of 5 bubbles Reviewed January 24, 2013

this place is not worth the money, small portions of ok food nothing special Nice place but they need a new cheif

Visited October 2012
Helpful?
Thank vglos
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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