I don’t think we’ve ever done a review of Altana Rooftop Lounge in Lancaster, though we have all been there a time or two each, at the least. I met a friend there for dinner tonight. Jill is in from New York for a few days and we haven’t done dinner together since last year. Tonight was a gorgeous night to eat outdoors and Altana’s rooftop is a wonderful place to do so.
Our server was fantastic. He was funny and attentive, even though he was the only server *and* he was seating tables. He was a busy man, but never made it feel like we were an afterthought or that he was hurried. Definitely A+ service.
For starters – well, I forgot Jill doesn’t do seafood, so I ordered calamari and a charcuterie board since I got there a little while before she did. The calamari was good, as was the charcuterie. The charcuterie was solid – nothing overly exciting, but solid. The only thing I would have liked to have seen was something with some crunch on the board. It was missing crackers or nuts to offset all the soft textures of the meats, cheeses, and fruits.
For dinner, I went with the shrimp scampi, which was done with tomatoes and served over pasta. The dish was okay. The tomatoes were very clearly from a can and had that tinny taste to them. As I told the server, it was decent, but not something I would order again. Shrimp scampi with tomatoes is different enough as it is, but if you’re going to go that route, make sure the tomatoes are fresh and ripe. I think the dish had some serious potential, but I couldn’t get past that tinned taste. The shrimp on the dish were good, though. They were meaty and held up to the tomatoes.
Jill had the Altana (not Atlanta!) burger. She said it was really good and it didn’t need anything else added to it. The only cheese that was available was American cheese and she would have preferred something with a little more flavor, but when it came, the burger more than stood enough on its own without any cheese.
For dessert, I tried the crème brûlée cheesecake. It sounded intriguing and, as most know, I am always in search of the absolute perfect crème brûlée. This was not it. Jill and I both tried it. Well, I made Jill try it to confirm what I found. The cheesecake was gritty and it left a bitter aftertaste. Instead of a pleasant crunch, the top was burned far beyond what it should have been. Maybe 20% of the dish was actually consumed, and that was only because the two of us were trying to identify all of the problems with the dessert.
Recommendation: Go to Altana for great service and good drinks, starters, and dinner. Leave early enough to go downstairs and have dessert at Barberet (they have the most amazing pastries!).