In the mood for a burger and fries? Route 30 is home to many of Pennsylvania's best diners.
But just west of York County, between Abbottstown and Cross Keys, is a restaurant on the strip that's turning food into artistic masterpieces.
C&D Bar & Grill is no diner. It's casual, fine dining, and it's the work of Charle Kalathas and his wife, Denise.
Charle Kalathas graduated from the Culinary Institute of America in New York before spending 10 years as head chef at The Orchards in Chambersburg. He and Denise opened C&D in 2011. Since, they've been rolling out stunningly colorful -- and tasty – dishes.
On the appetizer menu alone you'll find items such as Coconut Fantail Shrimp with strawberry yogurt sauce ($9.99) and Filet Mignon Wellington ($10.99).
It's the type of place where, every time you visit, you want to order something different just to see what it will taste -- and look -- like. Even a dish as simple as a side salad arrives as a mixed greens tower.
Denise Kalathas said the chef's specials rotate about every three weeks, so you can never get bored with this menu. The specials include appetizers, entrees and desserts.
"That just helps to keep our menu fresh," she said. It also happens to be among their most popular items, in addition to prime rib, filets, and one of their signature dishes -- Seafood Enchemise ($19.99), which is "sauteed shrimp, scallops, haddock and crabmeat topped with mushrooms and leeks, in a brandy cream sauce wrapped in filo dough and topped with bearnaise."
On a recent Sunday, I ordered Filet Mignon & Wild Mushroom Ravioli ($21.99) served with a salad (I ordered the Greek salad for $1.99 extra).
The salad, topped with a green pepper slice, red onion slices, cherry tomato halves, olives and feta cheese, arrived first with warm dinner rolls and fresh, creamy butter.
As I ate, I gawked at Route 30 traffic -- so many cars on a Sunday afternoon – from the large windows in the enclosed, wrap-around porch.
There are multiple seating areas in the restaurant, from a rustic bar section with booths to the bright porch full of tables and another warm and inviting space inside suitable for large parties. Each table features a fresh-cut flower.
True to form, when my entree arrived, it was like finding the gallery art that's impressive enough to have its own wall.
Green asparagus and red sundried tomatoes enlivened the otherwise neutral-toned dish with sauteed filet tips, ravioli and blue cheese bordelaise sauce. On the side, a sprig of rosemary tucked into a cherry tomato half added flair. The combination was as flavorful as it was colorful.
This particular pasta dish is a regular on the menu, but if you're curious, current chef's specials include Rosemary and Horseradish Encrusted Filet Mignon ($27.99), Caribbean Jerk Mahi Mahi ($22.99) and Shrimp Pesto Tortellini ($22.99).
On Sundays, C&D offers a brunch menu, including specialty drinks like Sunny Sunday Bubbly, Double Berry Bellini and Jalapeno Bloody Maria (just to name a few).
In addition to a children's menu, C&D also offers an extensive senior's menu for those patrons 65 and older. Dishes like Chicken Marsala ($9.99), Liver and Onions ($9.99) and Hamburger Steak ($8.99) come with coffee, tea or soda, and dessert.
The restaurant features daily specials, too, like Wine Down Wednesday with half-priced bottles of wine from 4 to 9 p.m. Indulge in all you can eat snow crab legs on Tuesdays for $22.99.
Or, if you can't fight the urge for Route 30 diner food at this fairly upscale eatery – chow down on a cheeseburger and fries for $5.99 during lunch Wednesdays.
If you go
Location: 6465 York Road (Route 30), Berwick Township
Jess' pick: Filet Mignon & Wild Mushroom Ravioli, $21.99, served with Greek salad, $1.99 extra
Hours: 11:30 a.m. to 10 p.m. Tuesday through Thursday; 11:30 a.m. to 11 p.m. Friday and Saturday; 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Sunday; closed Monday
Price range: $3.99, cup of soup – French Onion, Loaded Baked Potato or Crab Bisque; $33.99, Broiled Lobster Tails
Alcohol: Yes, full bar
Accepts: Cash and credit
Kid's menu: Yes
Details: Call 717-479-5369, visit cdbargrill.com , or search C&D Bar & Grill on Facebook