Bob Devine and Nick Ciaffone finds the right combination with American and Japanese cuisine to create a bold new menu for their new dining venture, The General.
The General is a bold dual culinary concept formulated within the impressively restored 300-year-old Lafayette Hill landmark that most recently housed the Barren Hill Tavern. Half the menu honors the inn’s roots with American classic and comfort-food interpretations. The other offers well-composed renditions of Japanese and Hawaiian fish dishes. Two menus, two chefs, one restaurant. “The American menu aligns with this historic building,” says Devine. “And the rest is for a neighborhood craving fresh sushi,” writes Ken Alan in Main Line Today.
From behind the main dining room’s newly constructed sushi bar, chef Eric Chen and his able brigade handcraft enticing sushi, sashimi and classic rolls. They also have fun with poke, the healthy and colorful Hawaiian rice bowl. The General’s version glistens with slivers of salmon, yellowtail, white tuna, tempura shrimp or barbecue eel.
The warm, convivial space retains the inn’s 18th-century flooring and beamed-ceiling backbone while adding contemporary touches and nautical overtones to each of the dining rooms. The restaurant’s third selling point is its bar and lounge, where you’ll find red, white, sparkling and rosé wines, along with sake, a rotating selection of seven drafts, and a strong commitment to the American craft cocktail and certain local spirits.
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