Thursday, September 23, 2004

OFF THE MENU

Shaw’s augments traditional fare

Reflecting concerns of some diners about large portions, Shaw’s in Lancaster has added "small plates" to its American list of old favorites.

In addition to salads and sandwiches, the numerous smaller offerings include scaled-down servings of pastas (pasta Bolognese, $11) and beef dishes (small cuts of prime rib, $15).

At the heart of the new menu is a page of daily changes, a large part of which is devoted to that week’s themes, such as Italian, Cajun, Australian, wild game, French and, through mid-October, "Fall Flavors."

The old favorites, however — steaks, chops and seafoods — remain a top draw and have their own page on the new menu.

A highlight is the double-cut pork chop ($18). Shaw’s has always carved its own steaks and chops, so this item is brought in as a whole Canadian cut of pork loin. "Canadian cut" means that the ends have been trimmed off.

The loin arrives brine-cured and applewood smoked. Shaw’s cuts them 3 inches thick, which comes out to about a pound’s worth of chop. The kitchen then dresses it with applejack brandy and brown sugar before char-grilling it. The grilling creates a glaze, resulting in a multitude of flavors in the finished product. A slightly pungent mustard sauce is served on the side.

Where: Shaw’s Restaurant & Inn, 123 N. Broad St., Lancaster

Information: 1-800-654-2477

— Jon Christensen