Saturday, April 11, 2009

Jeffries' next pairing partner: Manatawny Creek

My apologies for skipping a day. I think most blogger will tell you, most serious ones anyway, that once you start these you'd like to post something daily. Occasionally maters at home, vacations, illness and, oh yeah, the job that brings home the bacon, gets in the way. So let me catch up today.

John J Jeffries Restaurant is one of those rare gems that throws its support behind local business and sustainability. It's located inside the Lancaster Arts Hotel only a few minutes off Route 30 and not far from the Park City Mall.

As chefs Sean Cavanaugh (a Pittsburgh native and Marriott chef whose last stop was the Vail, Colo., Mountain Resort and Spa) and Michael F. Carson (a York Suburban grad at the Charleston Restaurant in Baltimore before coming home) descrive on their Web site:

"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 and their communities. By doing so, we are encouraging a shift in consumer demand away from overexploited fisheries and unhealthy fish farming practices. Our water for drinking and cooking is filtered through an in-house carbon and reverse osmosis system. Our coffee is organic fair trade and locally roasted in small batches. At John J. Jeffries we also believe in sustainability for all the good folks that work with us. Medical insurance is provided to all of our full-time staff, and a family meal is prepared for all staff daily."

They've found a way on to my radar thanks to the food pairing seies they have started with regional wineries and brewries. The next one is schedule for Sunday evening, April 26, when for the first time they will pair with
Manatawny Creek Winery in Douglassville. Winemaker Joanne Levengood will have her fine wines matched up with another first: the Jeffries chefs have never before made an all-vegetarian meal for one of these pairings. Haven't seen a price for this one, but generally the bottom line is a steal considering it encompasses a multi-course meal, the wines along with an appearance by the winemaker, and tax and gratuity. These pairings already have included Pinnacle Ridge and Chaddsford wineries, and as more open in the region surrounding the restaurant, the potential for the wine base expanding increases.

And I'll think of my buddy Joe Sixpack in Philly as I add this to the events list: a Sunday, May 3 fund-raiser for the Susquehanna Sustainable Business Network. It will include blues (DJ Mike Chandler), brews (from Stoudt's Brewing Company in Adamtown, Pa.) and BBQ, and take place at the restaurant's terace from noon to 4 p.m. The cost is $25 for SSBN members and $35 for nonmembers. For anything regarding the restaurant, call 717.431.3307.

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