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“A Shabby Performance”
Review of John J. Jeffries

John J. Jeffries
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Ranked #2 of 572 Restaurants in Lancaster
Certificate of Excellence
Price range: US$30 - US$30
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Special Occasion Dining, Local cuisine, Business meetings, Bar Scene, Romantic
Dining options: Dinner, Breakfast, After-hours, 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.
Lancaster, Pennsylvania
Level Contributor
111 reviews
75 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 67 helpful votes
“A Shabby Performance”
Reviewed 3 August 2014 via mobile

When you ask for dish from the menu, you have a right to expect it to be delivered as advertised. Not so at dinner last evening. I ordered an appetizer described as 'Lancaster Fried Lancaster County New Potatoes and Pork Kracklin with Herb Aioli". Imagine my disappointment when a plate of fried potatoes arrived with a dish of a suspicious looking dip on the side. That's right. No pork anywhere. When asked, the server looked puzzled and said he would check with the kitchen. A few moments later the server reappeared. Laughing, he said (quote) "I didn't get the memo. We are out of pork crackling. But I can fry you up some pork belly". I asked why he thought it was OK to serve me a plate of potatoes as my appetizer. Rather than apologize, the server said: "As I told you, I didn't get the memo". I declined the pork belly as by this time, my fellow diners had all but finished their appetizers. Next up was my main course.
This was also a huge disappointment. The chicken was overdone and tasteless. The breading on the outside was cooked so hard, so when you cut it with a knife and fork it splintered into several pieces. My wife, who ordered the Jim Bim Bop was equally unimpressed with her meal. Looking at the other reviews here, I can only assume the John J Jeffries kitchen was having a bad night.

Visited August 2014
Thank JeremyPF
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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593 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
Date | Rating
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Any
English first
Lancaster, Pennsylvania
Level Contributor
62 reviews
44 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 156 helpful votes
“Unpretentious, it is truly about the food!”
Reviewed 19 July 2014

First time dining here. Excellent service all around and by far some of the best food around.

Ou waitress was very busy but always had time to talk, explain or educate us about the menu.

I had fried pastured chicken and loved every bite. My husband had skirt steak.... It was so flavorful and tender.

We look forward to returning.

  • Visited July 2014
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Thank Marge K
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Level Contributor
40 reviews
21 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 20 helpful votes
“Lancaster Arts Hotel restaurant”
Reviewed 14 July 2014

The food is local and homegrown and excellent! I had the shrimp risotto and loved every bite. My waitress Heather was so nice and recited the ever changing menu with passion. It is a little on the pricey side but well worth it.

Visited July 2014
Thank LifeisaBeach1111
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
York, Pennsylvania
Level Contributor
61 reviews
18 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 122 helpful votes
“Outstanding Farm to Table in PA Dutch Country”
Reviewed 4 July 2014

I have eaten around the world in some of the finest restaurants, and each time I return to John J. Jeffries I still say it still rates as one of the best restaurants I have ever experienced. Located in the Lancaster Arts Hotel adjacent to Franklin and Marshall College, this restaurant serves on its menu what is in season sourcing its food from local (Central Pa) farmers - the freshness cannot be beaten. What better place than to have a fresh meal in a predominantly farm area? Chef Cavanaugh picks all of his sources based on its quality, organic and humane farming practices, let alone sustain the local farmers. His dishes pair flavors in a way that is not overdone or outrageously gourmet, but savory and respectful of each ingredient.In other words, while his creations are well above mainstream eating, his dishes are "grounded in the real world of eating" rather than so eclectic that you don't know what your getting when the plate is put before you. The menu is impressively varied catering to the most carnivorous eater and the vegetarian conscious. You know a restaurant is good when its guest are saying "yum" and rolling their eyes in delight. The highlights include the pork belly, chicken and lamb.
Service is very good (waiters may include students attending F & M majoring in pre-med, and the like). The bar is festive and the boutique hotel the restaurant is located in is a wonderful pick for a stay in the area.

  • Visited May 2014
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
1 Thank cyclechick62
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Martinsburg, West Virginia
Level Contributor
130 reviews
92 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 56 helpful votes
“One of the best meals ever!!!”
Reviewed 2 July 2014

The service and quality of food in this restaurant are top notch! Atmosphere is wonderful and could easily be romantic for couples. (I was with my daughter) Everything is organic, which is a huge plus! But most important to me is the fact that almost the entire menu is gluten free. For a Celiac dining out can be a nightmare! I can't remember when I've had a better experience in a restaurant. The ONLY negative comment would be that my daughter got the scallops which is served on a bed of fresh salad greens, with tomatoes and a delicious dressing. At $32 for 4 scallops, I would think that they could at least serve a larger portion of salad. My dinner was quite filling and I was only able to eat less than half, which made me wonder why my daughter's was so skimpy. But she did say it was the best scallops she'd ever eaten. So other than her small portions, everything about it was perfect! I wouldn't suggest taking children to this restaurant, unless they are extremely well-behaved and quiet.

  • Visited June 2014
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Thank born2dans
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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