White Swan Restaurant & Tavern

 1264 E Newport Rd
Lititz, PA

White Swan Restaurant is Finally Open Again!

White Swan is a great neighborhood restaurant that offers a diverse menu in a casual and friendly atmosphere. My first experience was during lunch service six weeks after their re-opening having undergone extensive exterior and interior renovations under new ownership.
Beautiful hardwood floors run throughout two dining rooms and a full-service bar which also offers seating for diners. The walls are painted rich contemporary colors which along with the seating compliment the building nicely and mesh for a perfect blend of traditional old and fresh new – just what the ‘ole Swan needed! A warm welcome for sure when one enters the door into the dining room! As I entered others were gathering for business lunches and still others for casual lunches.
I was greeted by a friendly bartender with whom I chatted while I scanned the new menu offerings including the usual pub-grub, soups, salads and sandwiches and a menu for the kiddies too. The burgers are a whopping 1/2lb. and char-broiled too! They offer BBQ ribs and also Combo platters that give you a choice to pick one or two of the ribs, chicken, or fried shrimp – nice! Prime Rib on Fri and Sat., crab cakes and an array of pasta dishes.
I decided to try the crab cake because they claimed it to be “…no fillers..” No fillers – no kidding! It was delicious. I would rate the crab cake a “10” on a scale of 1-10…It was ample sized, broiled to perfection. The fresh cut fries were a pleasant surprise – they weren’t listed as such on the menu. They were crispy, just slightly greasy and salty – terrific. A great value at $8.95.
I decided to return for dinner a few weeks later on a Saturday evening. It was full, but not PACKED, certainly a manageable crowd – everyone seemed like they were having a great time. The staff was friendly, albeit the service a little slow and not feeling the vibe of a well serviced engine – but hey they are new at this, just a few weeks in – gotta cut them a break for goodness sakes, it’s going to be awhile before they collectively pick up their rhythm ya know?
I wanted to try the Prime Rib – they were sold out at 7pm (HUH?)- decided to try the Tenderloin Tips – they were HORRIBLE! They were tough; more like sir-loin strips NOT tenderloin tips. Really, I’ve been a foodie for a long time – folks NEVER order “tips” dining out there almost NEVER good – there is a reason why you don’t see them on menus anywhere! They appear on "Swan’s " new menu three times, which intrigued me…I thought perhaps they had a handle on this “rarely done well dish.” I don’t fault them really – it’s a tough dish. (no pun intended) My well-intended word of advice is, "Get these Tips off your menu AND quick! You are doing a great job – have a great menu – don’t let this one unforgiving dish weigh your menu down!
Didn’t try dessert, but on my next visit I ‘ll be sure to save room! Planning ahead…a must try will have to be the crab dip appetizer for sure and maybe one of the many pasta specialties – or a juicy char-broiled burger…hmm…decisions, decisions!
A web site is coming in the near future according to the bartender and reservations are not yet accepted. There are nightly drink and food specials offered on the weekends. Be sure to visit the Swan – you won’t be disappointed.

Crab Cake Sandwich

Listed under the Hot Sandwich portion of the new “Swan” tri-fold menu the crab cake was adequately described as “Tasty and delicious old school style with no fillers.” As a Maryland native and a long-time self-proclaimed crab cake aficionado, I thought I’d give it a try! I’ve long ago happily relocated to South Central Pa – haven’t regretted it for a minute – accept when it comes to the crab cakes – I’ve been disappointed time and time again after trying crab cakes in restaurants that claim to have THE BEST with no fillers – blah! NOT THIS TIME!! The White Swan delivers on this one! A MUST HAVE ITEM! My cake was broiled to perfection, golden brown, moist yet heated evenly through and was a nice size too. Served with a choice of cocktail or tartar sauce (I had both and they were great – tasted made in-house) The roll was okay – but was a bit disappointing as it was quite cold in contrast – perhaps would be better slightly toasted or at least warmed. A nice surprise was a side of crispy fresh cut fries, only slightly greasy and lightly salted! The dill pickle was great – crispy, fresh and cold.

Tenderloin Tips and Toast

I loved my crab cake sandwich and my overall first experience so much I came back again – this time for dinner. I wanted to try the Prime Rib, but they were sold out already at 7p.m. This rating was hard for me – I am a TREMENDOUS foodie and eternal optimist – I can always find good in SOMETHING – but really guys – this was terrible. This dish is a tough one though, this I knew before I ordered it! For this reason it is my cardinal rule to NEVER EVER order tips while dining out – EVER!! I even taught my sons that when they were little foodies in training – of course they are now grown full-fledged foodies and when my husband told them I ordered tips while dining at the “Swan” their response was “are you sure you were with Mom?” HA! OK here goes….I was bent on having beef, hence the tips in lieu of the prime rib. Why not select the N.Y. Strip or Filet Mignon you may ask?
To put you in my frame of mind, I respond:
- A). Because they offer the Tenderloin Tips as a hot sandwich sauteed with onions and mushrooms in a “special sauce” and also sauteed “to your (MY!) liking” in a light sauce with toast points AND Tips Burgundy ….that’s THREE times on the menu and I’m remembering how great that crab cake was and thinking if they have these tips listed three times they SURELY must know how to properly prepare them! They won’t come dried out and chewy – surely they won’t!
- B). I am feeling nostalgic and I am sooo happy the White Swan is open again, no one prepares tenderloin tips anymore(They are tough to properly prepare in a busy restaurant setting – no pun intended)….I am remembering the days gone by when many local restaurants (including the old “Swan”) did and they were oh soooo good!
- C). I finished my Martini BEFORE I ordered – never again….
I knew I was in trouble when (I never got my ceaser salad – no biggie – see, I told you I am not a whiner) my plate arrived topped with toast pieces cut in half. I saw no beef – and no “points” – I knew I was in big trouble – I made a terrible mistake and I was about to pay for it. I removed the toast and was disappointed when I saw strips of what looked like sir-loin NOT tender-loin. The beef was as tough as it looked and the sauce was indescribable – literally. I cannot think of anything to compare it to, I can only say it was odd tasting and bitter. The baked potato was a “nuked” potato – not good at all.

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