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  • Writer's pictureDana

Passerine - Lancaster, PA

To celebrate my birthday, I went to dinner with Alex and Jilly at Passerine in Lancaster. It occupies the space that used to house Pour and then, for a short time, The Beer Wall. The renovations done to the space are lovely. It feels open and airy. The “café” area, where we ate, is done in light woods, with a large window looking out onto Prince St. Admittedly, it’s just facing the parking structure, but it lets in a nice amount of light.

If I had one quibble with the space, it’s the fact the tables are on the smaller size, particularly when you consider the size of the dishes. I think the pictures will show what I mean. But the food? It was good!

We started out with three starters: Honeynut Squash, Brioche Rolls, and Scallop Crudo. The scallops were our least favorite of the three. The dashi didn’t really meld with the fruits used with the dish and the scallops were cut too thick for what you would normally think of for crudo.

The brioche rolls were fun. They were a little on the dry side, but flavorful. More importantly, they came with both raspberry jam and tomato butter, which helped tremendously. The tomato butter was divine. We kept eating more bread just to have more butter!

Finally, the honeynut squash was served with a French curry. We devoured it quickly. It was so good that Jilly ordered another for her side with dinner!

For our mains, I had the New York Strip, Alex ordered the Grilled Diver Scallops, and Jilly had the Littleneck Clam “Chowder”. The menu informs diners that the steak will be prepared medium rare, and it was. I was surprised when it came out already sliced, but the meat was full of flavor and tender. As a side I ordered the radicchio salad. Even with Alex and Jilly helping, there was so much food that I had leftover steak and salad for breakfast the next morning! Huge portions of good food make me very happy.

Alex seemed to enjoy his scallops and, based on the taste I had, I don’t blame him. They came with a nice crust without the scallops becoming rubbery. He ordered the green beans as his side, which were served with dairy cream and anchovy butter. When I tell you he literally wiped the plate clean, he did!

Jilly loved her Littleneck Clam “Chowder”. It’s not really chowder, but a bowl overflowing with littleneck clams. As I mentioned earlier, she ordered more of the honeynut squash for her side because it was so good the first time around.

Onto dessert – there were three desserts on the menu and three of us, so we each ordered one and shared. I ordered the olive oil cake, Alex ordered the plum sorbet and corn ice cream, and Jilly had the pot de crème. Individually, the flavors were good for each of the desserts, but then Jilly had the idea to try the amazingly good corn ice cream with the warm olive oil cake. It went from good to out-of-this-world incredible. Alex mentioned how in icebreakers now when the ice cream question is asked, he will have to tell people his favorite ice cream flavor is corn. It was just that good.

As for service – our server was Jillian and she was a treasure; personable, knowledgeable, and just an all-around nice person. I watched other servers with other tables and that seemed to be a theme. Everyone seemed to enjoy working there, which is so nice to see.

I’m looking forward to returning to Passerine. They do a brunch that I’d love to try once the faire season is over and we have a free Saturday or Sunday.

A note: Passerine levies a 20% surcharge in lieu of a tip. This gets spread out across all of their hourly employees. You can also leave an additional tip, if you’d like, that goes only to the server. With how lovely Jillian was, you can bet we left more than the surcharge.

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