The Greenfield is owned and operated by former White House chef John Moeller, who serves in the same capacity at the restaurant, and his wife, Suryati. The couple’s son, Zach, is the restaurant’s general manager. The Moellers, who have owned and operated the restaurant since 2018, offer guests an imaginative menu, attentive service and a setting that exudes an upscale but relaxed ambiance.
A restaurant since 1979 (its most previous owners were Ray and Sue Hottenstein), The Greenfield Restaurant & Bar is housed in a restored 1790 farmhouse that combines a modern vibe with elements of its 18th-century heritage. Seating for about 200 guests (pre-COVID-19) is divided among several dining areas, including the main dining room that features a hearth fireplace, as well as a number of smaller rooms, each with its own ambiance. Seating is also available in The Trellis Lounge, which delivers the look of an airy sunroom and has a more modern feel with its black granite bar and high-top tables. The plant-accented patio is the perfect spot for seasonal outdoor dining. For a touch of romance, guests may reserve a table in the wine cellar. Another special nook is the balcony that overlooks the lounge. “There are about four or five proposals every year at the restaurant. It’s always great to help put together a special evening,” Zach says with a smile.
“People enjoy the history of the building and love to explore the restaurant’s rooms. Some features of the stone farmhouse have been incorporated into the restaurant such as an original entry door and deep window openings. We also have a table that was crafted using wood from the original front door,” Zach says.
Chef Moeller’s tenure at the White House is also recalled through the mementos that hearken to the three presidential families he served, including those of George H.W. Bush, Bill Clinton and George W. Bush.
Chef Moeller, who hails from Lancaster County, began working in restaurants during high school. He is a graduate of Johnson & Wales in Providence, Rhode Island. Early in his career he worked at restaurants throughout New England. Wanting to immerse himself in French cuisine, he spent more than two years living, working and learning in France. From there, he landed in St. Croix.
In 1987, he relocated to Washington, D.C., where French-trained chefs held regular networking events. As a result of attending the events, he met chef Pierre Chambrin, who became the White House’s executive chef in 1989. He, in turn, recruited chef Moeller, who chronicled his White House experiences (1992-2005) in the book, Dinner at the White House – From the President’s Table to Yours. Upon returning to Lancaster 15 years ago, he operated State of Affairs Catering before taking over The Greenfield.
The Greenfield’s menu highlights high-quality, fresh local proteins and produce and therefore evolves in order to take advantage of what’s fresh and in-season. Local partners include Thom’s Breads, Sauder’s Eggs, Lancaster Coffee Roasters, Brogue Hydroponics, Bill Houder Cheese, Mr. Bill’s Seafood, Shenk’s Poultry, Fox and Wolfe Farm, Barr’s Produce and Kegel’s Produce. “We put a lot of care into our menu items. We want the ingredients to speak for themselves,” Zach says.
Customer favorites include seared diver scallops, seasonal fish, steaks and, for winter, braised short ribs. The Greenfield’s lunch menu offers a signature burger that is a house blend of chuck, brisket and Angus beef. Another special lunch creation is the turkey BLAT (bacon, lettuce, avocado and tomato). One of the dinner appetizers is a PA Preferred cheese plate – a selection of local cheeses served with date-nut bread, Stockin’s Apiaries honey comb and seasonal fruits.
The wine list features both locally produced and worldwide selections. The staff is trained and well-acquainted with the wine list and can make recommendations on food pairings. The Greenfield typically hosts regular wine dinners but Zach says they’re currently on hold due to the pandemic.
The Greenfield has responded and adapted to the ever-changing mandates and regulations surrounding COVID-19 in an aggressive way. Since March, their social media sites have been used to introduce weekly and daily menus that are available for take-out and curbside pickup. When outdoor dining was able to open, The Greenfield’s always-popular patio was in high demand.
Indoors, the restaurant’s COVID-19 response includes tables spaced six feet apart, contactless QR codes to scan for the menu at each table, servers wearing PPE and increased sanitation practices. Capacity is limited in accordance with current regulations. “We appreciate how understanding our guests have been during the past few months. Our goal is and has always been to ensure a safe and memorable experience,” Zach stresses.
The Moeller family and The Greenfield staff are dedicated to providing personalized service for restaurant guests, as well as for in-house private parties and off-premises catering. Zach says the smaller dining rooms are perfect for private parties such as rehearsal dinners, bridal showers or other special occasions. While there are catering menus, he stresses that a menu can be tailored to fit the event.
“John has a lot of experience creating private events – no matter if it’s a party for two or a wedding with 500 people,” he says. “Our high standards are the same whether it’s an intimate dining experience or a large event. We do recommend proper planning for an event but we can often work with short notice. Whether it’s a week or a year in advance, we make sure it gets done properly.”
The Greenfield Restaurant & Bar is located at 595 Greenfield Rd., Lancaster. Lunch is served Tuesday through Saturday, 11 a.m.-2 p.m. Dinner is served Tuesday through Thursday, 4:30-9 p.m., and Friday and Saturday, 4:30-9:30 p.m. Brunch is served Sunday, 9 a.m.-2 p.m. Reservations are recommended and can be made on their website. Take-out and curbside pickup are available. Both onsite and off-premises catering are available. Call 717-393-0668 or visit thegreenfieldrestaurant.com and on Facebook.