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Revere Tavern - A Match Made In Paradise by Clinton Martin

But, I digress. The decor is clearly colonial, true to the roots of this historic tavern. The vivid blues amidst hardwood floors, exposed beams, and stone walls harken back to the time when stagecoaches brought travelers west through the “wilds” of Lancaster County.

T

he Revere Tavern in the Amish Country village of Paradise is the perfect place for a date night. But, the matchmaking skills of this storied old upscale eatery go much farther than “boy meets girl.” These restaurant folks also know how to bring a bite and a drink together in heavenly harmony. As your humble culinary servant, I decided to pick up spoon and pen to review one of Revere's best dishes.. As we all know, when dining at a fine restaurant, the experience begins well before the first course arrives. Ambience in all respects is a very important part of the meal, and the Revere welcomes you like a gracious innkeeper host would friends for an evening meal. Actually, they do so not out of pretense, for they actually do have an inn.

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When I sat down at the bar, I was pleased to hear the chair that I lounged in give a soft, weathered creak, the kind of sound that wood makes when it has been trod on for hundreds of years, or in this case, sat upon. I placed my elbows on the bar, knowing that it had probably hosted thousands and thousands of travelers, maybe some famous (PA's claim to Presidential fame, James Buchanan is rumored to have been here many times) and maybe some nefarious (horse thieves were prevalent in the area). Did I need a menu? Why, no. I had already received one dish suggestion over and over again by those in the know. The Snapper Turtle Soup. I must admit, it was probably just as well that I didn’t see a menu, because I would have likely chickened out, and ordered something less adventurous – like chicken! But, I ordered with confidence. "A bowl of today’s snapper soup, please". I then laid down the gauntlet to the bartender – a young lady named Yadira. I charged her with choosing a drink that would pair well with the snapper soup. She pondered, calculating just which beverage to put alongside their signature dish. After a moment, she drew a glass from behind the bar and, confidently and expertly holding it under a tap, poured a brew I would never have ordered on my own, a Strawberry Wheat beer from the Lancaster Brewing Company.

The soup arrived in a quaint pewter crock with a heavy spade-like spoon. I could tell the soup was going to be hearty by the look of the sublimely thick gravy-like broth. I filled the spoon and took a sip which was almost more like a bite. I instantly was a recipient of a mouthful of the meaty snapping turtle, wholly unlike anything I’d ever tasted. The texture was especially new to me. It was tender, divided into small pieces that dissolved away almost immediately on the tongue. It was as much fun to eat it as it was delicious. I would take a bite, and hold it on my palate both feeling and tasting the flavors melt together. There were thin slivers of carrots throughout the stew, which added a nice earthy dimension, but the hero was clearly the meat, and the soupy gravy surrounding it. Yet, there was one variable that was up to me to administer. The little glass bottle of sherry. The dash of sherry is traditionally done tableside by the diner, tilting the bottle to crock to taste. I gave the soup a quick dash, and stirred in the rose-water colored liquid. It made for a great condiment to the turtle. With hotdogs go mustard. With turtles, sherry. I turned my tasting back to the beer, washing away the turtle flavors from my palate with a strong gulp. Yes, the Strawberry Wheat beer did taste of strawberries, but only at the finish. It was delicate yet able to stand up to the hearty stew. I polished off the soup and the beer determined to return, looking forward to further sampling the Revere menu. I'm quite sure that your own affinity with the Revere Tavern will begin with your first visit. Easy to find on Route 30 in Paradise, call 717-687-8602 for reservations.

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