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Restaurant Week x 3 – Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner in Downtown Lancaster

Image 1There’s no better way to start off a day than with a hot, beautiful latte. So my Lancaster City Restaurant Week adventures began on the 300 block of North Queen Street at Commonwealth on Queen with a gorgeous, steaming mugful (fragrant with vanilla from house-made vanilla syrup finished from vanilla beans procured at The Herb Shop at The Lancaster Central Market). I settled into a window table with a decision to make about what Signature Breakfast Sandwich to choose from their $10 Restaurant Week special menu combo. Luckily I was there with a friend and we could ponder the choice together and there is no nicer place to linger in the morning than this beautiful space with wide windows on North Queen that allow you to observe the city waking up. The jury came in on the Meadow Sandwich – egg, goat cheese, seasonal greens, avocado and lemon oil on grilled wheat.  It was a perfect combination of flavors to begin a morning and avocado added a creamy texture that I enjoyed to the very last bite!

Image 2Lancaster City Restaurant Week not only offers an opportunity to visit a wider variety of places in a shorter period of time than might be the norm; it also seems to be an ideal time for me to catch up with old and too often neglected friends.  Lunch found me with one who always makes me laugh too loud (isn’t that the very best kind) at a restaurant neither of us had ever been before. Jessica and I were back on North Queen Street again for a visit to Souvlaki Boys. I have often enjoyed Mike and Pete’s fantastic Greek street fare when their food truck was in the vicinity of my apartment at lunchtime but I had yet had a chance to dine in their bright new restaurant. The blue & white interior is so inviting and seems to carry out their motto of “Come Eat” at the very first glance. The #LCRW2015 Special Menu offers any “Classic” Pita served with choice of side Greek salad or Fresh-Cut Fries plus a Fountain Drink for $10.  Both Jessica and I varied from the special just a bit and upgraded our pitas to some of the “Signature” styles for only a few dollars more. I decided on the Athena – Gyro, romaine, tomato, red onion, cucumber, feta and tzatziki, while Jessica had the Hercules – Gyro, tomato and red onion grilled with roasted red peppers, topped with feta, fries and zesty tzatziki.  Both were generous portions, filled with fresh and flavorful ingredients that made for an ideal lunch but did prove an impediment to the flow of catching up that we were doing. Hard to keep yapping when your mouth is full! I will just have to make more time to visit her at The Lancaster Central Market.

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You may be wondering how in the world I will be able to even think about dinner now. I have the answer in one word – Citronnelle! Going to this little jewel box of a restaurant is always such a special treat that I just break into a grin at the very thought. Of course the company is special for this evening’s excursion as well. Anja and Vy are as excited as I am for this night out and have been perusing the menu for weeks. Citronelle has a $40 Prix-Fixe and the trick will be to try to sample as much of it as we can between the three of us.

Image 4Arrived for our 6:30 reservation to discover there were already so many tables filled with diners enjoying Lancaster City Restaurant Week.  We brought along a nice chilled bottle of Chateau Ste. Michelle wine, one of the sponsors of this week long event. The service is always so polished at Citronnelle and my appetizer of Creamy Crab Croquettes arrived within moments. It tasted as heavenly as it looked in the presentation and was an ideal start to the meal. The three of us each ordered a different entrée and so were able to sample a bit of all on the Prix- Fixe menu of – Classic Cassoulet • Local Short Rib Bourguignon • Local Beet & Tomato Risotto. My dish was the risotto and it was rich and creamy with tiny sweet cubes of beets and lovely saltiness of crispy kale garnishing the edges. Conversation halted almost entirely as we all dug into our main courses! My companions finished up with Chef Rafael’s house-made ice creams, while I had his refreshing sorbets – black cherry and ginger pear. It was a marvelous meal to end a whirlwind of dining on this first day of #LCRW2015!

There more restaurants this year than ever for the spring edition of Lancaster City Restaurant Week. Look for this sign in participating restaurants and visit lancastercityrestaurantweek.com  for a full list of menus to explore.  It is going to be a delicious week here in Lancaster!

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By Kathlene Caroll Sullivan, guest blogger

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Kathlene Carroll Sullivan is a Lancaster City resident and the social media admin for Lancaster City Restaurant Week 2015.

Dining