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“Simply Excellent”
Review of John J. Jeffries

John J. Jeffries
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Ranked #2 of 584 Restaurants in Lancaster
Certificate of Excellence
Price range: $30 - $30
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Restaurant details
Good for: Romantic, Local cuisine, Business meetings, Special occasions, Bar scene
Dining options: Late Night, Dinner, Breakfast, Reservations
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.
Reviewed July 31, 2013

With a menu that changes with the seasons, the words fresh and local help to define the ethos that makes this restaurant stand out. A great experience for dining as the wait staff is very courteous and knowledgeable. My wife and I have dined here multiple times and we have never been disappointed. The food is simply excellent.

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Thank Chris L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviews (615)
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432 - 436 of 615 reviews

Reviewed July 31, 2013

This little gem is in an old mill or factory so it has a lovely brick and beam charm to it. The bar area is quite hip and lovely. There is indoor (where we ate) and outdoor dining. The menu had a nice variety and of course fresh vegetables in everything. All our meals were superb. Although it's on the pricey side, if you like fine dining you'll love this place.

Thank GandRFountain
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 24, 2013

We hadn't been here in five years and the last times we went, we thought it was overpriced and pretentious. However, it has changed for the nearly perfect. The food was fabulous, the service excellent, with a delightful waitress, the prices were still fairly expensive but worth it. We were completely delighted. Our only comment was that the wine list, while really nice, was a little out of date. But that was hardly a limiting factor, just a note.

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Thank grand-girard
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 23, 2013

In an ideal world, the term, "farm to table" should not exist. All restaurants should be farm (or dock) to table, and, in this world, the best ones are. We have visited five 'f2t' restaurants in the last month, and this is the best. Not only do we search out f2t restaurants to try, we try to avoid their antithesis: the food service industry. In Lancaster county, as bucolic and abundant as the land is, eating is a problem. The hoards of visitors encourage and require many food service providers to address their hunger. Even when the Amish open their homes for dinner, it is not what they serve their families. It is sincere, but it is an income-producing venture. John J Jeffries is a low-profile gem; I do not use five-circle ratings often.
We were greeted with a spoonful of a gazpacho-like preparation as an amuse bouche and a plate of a quickbread and risen bread as we sat down. These were very tasty and were a nice start to the meal. I do not like unsalted butter, however. If the diner at the next table has heart disease, why should I suffer?
We ordered two salads and one soup from the small plates as starters. My wife was interested in the berry salad, a green salad with berries and walnuts and vinaigrette. The berries were only blueberries, but they went well with the salad. JJJ avoided overreaching by not including a variety of berries as some restaurants might do for appearance, only to have some berries interfere with the serenity of the salad by being too strident. I ordered the Heirloom tomato and fresh goat mozzarella salad which turned out to be a little bland, but still very good, with a wonderful freshness to the tomatoes and to the mild mozzarella. It is amazing how something as pungent as goat's milk can make such a mild cheese. I also ordered the Tomato, Zucchini & Roasted Garlic Scape Bisque, and planned to share it with my wife by 'spoons across the table'. Our server, a kind and attentive but not intrusive woman, informed us that she had split the bisque into two bowls for us and wanted to reassure us that we were not being charged for two items. The bisque was wonderful, very flavorful with just a hint of garlic, and nicely set off by the small dollop of goat cheese floating on top. This cheese was more pungent, appropriately so.
Eating vegetarian as I do, I have had my fill of bland entrees that derive their pedigree from meat-seasoned dishes, only to suffer a loss of character when the meat is removed and nothing is added back to take its place. The Summer Squash Vegetarian Johnny Cake with Colby Cheese, Sautéed Summer Vegetables, and Tomato Cream Sauce could have fallen into that trap, but it did not. Redolent with vegetable sweetness and savoriness, with crisp, salty crusts of broiled Colby on top and a thin but substantial corn-wonderful Johnnycake on the bottom, it was a unique, satisfying dish. Moreover, it was free from the overused pasta, bean and rice vegetarian standbys. My wife's Barnegat Light Dry Packed Sea Scallops with Roasted Sweet Corn, Bacon-Potato Chowder, and Tomato Salsa were prepared very well. Moist and a little too pink on the inside for her, but perfect for my (prior) tastes and those of most diners. She 'stretched her envelope' away from her avoidance of anything pink and said that she thoroughly enjoyed them. The accompanying corn and potato chowder garnishes were delicious.
Alas, we were too full for dessert.
The tab was the smallest of the five f2t restaurants we have been to in the last month.
Do I have anything negative to say? One. I do not like alcohol and usually drink water with meals. The water served at JJJ is the hardest, most mineral-laden that I can remember tasting. It is downright bitter and interferes with the taste of the food. I could have ordered bottled water, but I was just to mesmerized by my dinner to care all that much. However, it is a small, low cost step that they could take to make a small improvement.

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Thank satipatipatti
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 20, 2013

First time at this restaurant, other family members have been coming here and always rave about the food. I was visiting from out west and we made reservations for a family night out. The atmosphere is wonderful and the staff is very friendly and efficient. Each of the entrees was delicious, very fresh tasting and well presented. The pace of the evening was very enjoyable as well. Everything from the appetizers, entrees and desserts were fantastic, no complaints around the table. I would recommend reservations as the restaurant is very busy. If you are visiting the area this restaurant is a must for dinner.

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Thank Greg B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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