York Blue Moon
Location: 361 W. Market St., downtown York
Jess' pick: Chicken BLT Sandwich, $11
Hours: Lunch: 11:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Tuesday through Friday; Dinner: 4:30 to 9:30 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday
Price range: $6.75, Blue Moon Salad; $26, Petite Filet Mignon
Alcohol: Full bar
Accepts: Cash and credit
Kid's menu: No
Details: Call 717-854-6664 or visit bluemoonfresh.com
I'll never look at a BLT the same way again. Or several other comfort foods turned classy, such as Macaroni and Blue Cheese, Crab and Brie Quesadilla with Peach Salsa, and Buffalo Chicken Cobb Salad, all on the menu at York Blue Moon Restaurant.
These delightful pairings are the work of Janine and Darrell Tobin, who bought Blue Moon on Oct. 31, 2006.
Darrell Tobin was previously the executive chef at Country Club of York for nearly 25 years, having worked there for three decades, he said.
So it's not surprising he brings to Blue Moon a fine elegance, both in food and in atmosphere.
When I arrived at Blue Moon for lunch on a recent Thursday, I was impressed with how quickly the restaurant filled by some patrons with reservations and some without.
Inside, the restaurant is narrow with tables, a fireplace in the center front, rotating artwork on the walls, booths on one side and a full bar on the other. Stunning blue flowers sit at the center of each table. There is also an enclosed courtyard available for seating and for private parties year-round.
Darrell said patrons can expect renovations in the future, from improving the bar to integrating handicap accessibility.
The upscale experience makes this the type of place you want to celebrate a birthday, anniversary or job promotion. The service is exceptional — from unfolding your cloth napkin when you sit down to explaining in detail the seasonal menu.
The menu changes about six times a year, Darrell said, to keep it fresh and support local farmers. Farm to table is a concept he has embraced since the 1980s, long before it was trendy. So he developed close relationships with a lot of local farmers before even buying Blue Moon, he said.
The latest menu was unveiled in early July, and will remain through summer.
I went for the Chicken BLT (thanks to the server's recommendation), and it did not disappoint. The bacon is Nueske's (touted as the "world's finest applewood smoked meats" when I googled it online), topped with Bibb lettuce, cheddar cheese and the best part — fried green tomatoes — on a soft bun. The tomatoes really elevated the BLT from the classic we know and love.
Which seems to be Darrell Tobin's specialty — elevating dishes. Before the BLT arrived, I enjoyed a warm "everything" roll (seasoned similarly to an everything bagel) served with a small ball of butter.
The dessert menu was no exception to Blue Moon's fine display of food, with items such as Key Lime Pie, Apricot and Blueberry Cobbler and Mom's Chocolate Cake.
Darrell Tobin said he hopes in the near future to have the restaurant open for desserts and cocktails after shows at area venues. Blue Moon also offers catering, he said.
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