Chilean sea bass with lobster//PHOTO by TESSA MARIE IMAGES
One of the first licensed public houses in America has made a glorious return with a sharp menu, on-point cocktails and an upscale-yet-casual ambiance. It’s nestled in a beautifully renovated historic building that’s part of the Sheraton Great Valley Hotel in Frazer.
Built in 1715, the White Horse Tavern earned a nod in Julius F. Sachse’s The Wayside Inns on the Lancaster Roadside Between Philadelphia & Lancaster as a “house of entertainment, for selling wine, brandy, rum and other strong liquors,” since those were thought to be “the best antidote against any or all diseases indigenous to the new country.”
Today, those early settlers would positively swoon with delight over re-imagined “antidotes” like the sweet-and-tart Lynchburg Lemonade, gingery Gin-Gin Mule, boozy Alabama Slammer, espresso-infused Café Old Fashioned and cinnamon-kissed Hot Honey Toddy. They’re just what the doctor ordered.
What’s old is also new again, thanks to chef David Wassel’s commitment to local farmers, selecting fresh provisions as the season dictates. Think Lancaster Free Bird Farms roasted chicken and local grass-fed short ribs, and look for Kennett Square mushrooms dressing many dishes.
Early pioneers didn’t have access to next-level cuisine at the old public house, but you can dig into a shareable app like hearty braised pork belly in a sweet cider reduction with smoky radish and charred scallion. Then choose a dinner standout like the tender Berkshire pork chop in a tangy cherry demi-glace, accompanied by apple-and-Napa-cabbage slaw with caraway and fennel seeds, and buttery-creamy cheddar-hominy grits.
Or treat yourself to one of Wassel’s favorites: Chilean sea bass. The meaty fish melts in your mouth, as does the decadent lobster that sits on top. The fennel broth explodes with flavor in the lemon-basil couscous. It’s one spectacular dish.
707 E. Lancaster Ave., Frazer, (610) 280-2580, www.whitehorsetavernandwinebar.com.