211 York has been a favorite "destination" restaurant for us for more than five years. Although it requires about an hour and a half from our home in Delaware, we are pleased to make the trip for special occasions, or just for a treat. Others who join us have always agreed it is well worth the trip for a special night out.
"Chef" is an abused term these days, so it should be noted well that Chef Timothy Papa carries that distinguished title in its true, full sense. We appreciate the attention of a real Chef!
211 York offers fine dining, a comfortable atmosphere, and considerate service by a pleasant, knowledgeable staff. We always look forward to visiting Chef Papa as such a fine experience is an increasingly rare pleasure.
211 York - a wonderful restaurant still!.
My husband and I have long enjoyed the fine food and staff at 211 York, but had not been there for awhile. After reading Bob Z's comments, we decided to pay a visit on Saturday night to check on one of our favorite places.
I guess it is just a matter of taste, because we had a perfect meal as always. The food was exquisitely prepared, and the scallop fritters - which we have been eating for more trhan 7 years - were wonderful, as usual. BTW, we did ask, and they are still prepared in a tempura batter, not beer.
I had tilapia, my husband the filet - both were delicious. Our check was approximately $120, including tip, and we had a glass of wine each. When we eat in Philadelphia, a similar meal would be at least $200.
What a relief! 211 York is still one of our favorite restaurants.
211 York? No thanks!.
The decor and the ambiance are quite lovely; the wait staff were mostly pretty good (see note below) but the food on the other hand... it ain't so good and it's damn expensive considering the quality.
For starters my wife and I shared a salad (frisée, red leaf lettuce, gorgonzola and pecans drenched in a balsamic olive oil dressing) and scallop fritters. The salad at $9 was nothing to warrant that price and frankly, we've done it better. The scallop fritters for $13 were really nothing more than 2 or 3 scallops quartered, dipped in a beer batter and served with a "ginger sweet soy sauce" that reminded us of something you buy at Trader Joe's. The entrees were a farm raised salmon with a dijon/ horseradish sauce ($26) and a crab cake (supposedly 99% lump and claw meat) served with a lemon sauce ($27). Both entree sauces were notable for being largely undistinguished and bland. Each entree came with (no kidding) a half a pound of cooked broccoli! It sort of reminded us of an Iron Chef episode...today's secret ingredient is BROCCOLI. We like broccoli but this was a bit of overkill! This was uninspired cooking at its best (or is that its worst?). Also making an appearance was the shoe string potatoes ($7 - wait a minute $7 for french fries?!).
The farm raised salmon was as bland as the stuff you can get at Acme and if the crab cakes had any lump or back fin meat, it was not apparent. All we both could taste was canned crab meat (not cold packed )and quite frankly, we've had better crab cakes at Myrna's Cafe or the Drake right up the street from 211 York. The shoe string potatoes were however dee-lish but really, how much skill does it take to give potatoes a ride in the Cuisinart and then a bath on some hot frying oil? The answer? NOT MUCH AT ALL! The dessert was a classic tarte tatin. It was actually quite good and may have been the best part of the meal.
With dinner we had a bottle of wine (a quite lovely California chardonnay). Our waiter apparently appreciated our choice but we would have appreciated it if he didn't stick his nose over the top of the bottle and inhaled like he was doing a hit of poppers just as we were tasting the wine. While we're on the subject of wine, it would behoove a place like 211 York use some decent glassware. Reidel makes a restaurant line that's inexpensive and reasonably durable.
The meal with tip was a little north of $210 for two. For that kind of money, we could recommend a dozen other places within a 20 minute drive (Chestnut Hill Grill, Friday Saturday Sunday, Osteria on North Broad St. etc.) because the food is so much better and inspired at those places.
The chef (who apparently loves to be called CHEF by everyone) is a New England Culinary Institute graduate, where he had enrolled on the advice of Georges Perrier, for whom he then worked. Knowing Monsieur Perrier, we suspect that this was more of a requirement than a suggestion, but it ultimately proves the old adage about leading a horse to water. Just because he went there doesn't mean he can cook. We suspect that the chef panders to an substantially older crowd because they may have simply forgotten what good food tastes like or are too lazy to drive an extra 20 minutes for better choices.
Our New Neighborhood Favorite!. Amazing! My wife and I just returned from a 6pm Saturday dinner. The scallop fritters might have been cooked a few seconds too long, but the sauce was intriguing. My wife's mushroom soup special was divine. The wine list was very impressive. For main course, my wife had a very good roasted duck on cabbage, and my spicy blackened swordfish was not only tasty, but huge. And the beans! Seriously, the green bean sides we had were cooked EXACTLY right--like we had never experienced before. Dessert? My wife's upside down apple tart was tender perfect, and my creme brulee was done RIGHT. (I've suffered through a LOT of substandard brulees to finally arrive in paradise!) The staff was very friendly, very knowledgeble (wait staff could answer detailed questions without going to the kitchen), and very attentive (without being a nuisance).
Worst Service!!!!!!!!!. The food was very good as always.but, in what seems to be a trend, the service was HORRIBLE...usually they are a little slow...but this was ridiculous. It took 45 minutes to get 3 salads and about 2 hours to get our main course. We asked to speak with a manager or host and were told, "We don't have a manager or host"...which was an outright lie considering the lady that has acted as the manager/host in the past was in the restaurant...but stayed away from the customers for most of the night. I worked in the restaurant industry...they should have at the very least offered to comp. something on our bill...or at least had the non-existent manager apologize.The service was completely unacceptable and very unprofessional. If you want a tasty meal and have no problems waiting 2 hours to get it...211 York is your place...otherwise I recommend dining elsewhere...
Was I eating at the same restaurant?. Decided to give this place a try based on reviews seen here. Where we eating at the same place? If the cook is an "alum" of Lec Bec Fin was he the dishwasher? The food here was distinctively average at best and therefore overpriced. $24 for rack of lamb that came out fully cooked through when I asked for medium is pretty bad. Sides were huge mounds of plain steamed broccoli. Plain and uninteresting food clearly geared toward the older crowd. This place wouldn't last a minute in the city and I remind myself why that's where I usually dine!
Great value. The food here is delicious (the chef is an alum of Le Bec Fin), and the prices are very reasonable considering how much food you are given (I frequently end up taking home a doggy bag...). The staff is also wonderful and very friendly.
You should go.
We've been to 211 York three times so far and each was a very enjoyable experience. The staff is very knowledgable, attentive and friendly. The second and third time we were greeted by name.
The chef/owner is an alumnus of Le Bec Fin and it shows. The menu is on the short side but they do have special items that the waitstaff will let you know about.
The soft-shell crab were out of this world and every other dish that we have tried has been great - including the housemade desserts. The prices are extremely reasonable for the quality of food and service that you will receive.
Sign in with Facebook Sign in with Facebook to see what your friends are up to!