SIDEBAR Winter 2017-18 - 13

MONTGOMERYBAR.ORG

RESTAURANT REVIEW

The General
By Lydia S. Terrill, Esq.

T

he Friday night after Thanksgiving is typically a night I
don't feel much like cooking. Others seemed to share this
sentiment on this year's Friday after Thanksgiving at The
General, in Lafayette Hill, as we gathered together to collectively
come out of our post-Thanksgiving haze, with no turkey in sight.
The General invites diners to "forge their own dining experience,"
and it certainly allowed us to do just that. No review would be
complete without first delving into the storied history of the
establishment.
The General was opened in 2017 by the same team that
brought us From the Boot in Lafayette Hill, but the building's
history dates back much earlier. In 1732, the building was opened
as The Three Tuns Inn. In 1778, General
Lafayette and 2,200 men came from Valley
Forge to what was then known as Barren Hill
to spy on the British in Philadelphia. Generals
Smallwood and Hull were said to have used the
Inn as their headquarters during the Battle of
Barren Hill. The Inn was then expanded after the
war, adding unique features like corner fireplaces.
In 1946, the Inn's name was changed to the
Lafayette Hotel to reflect the building's history,
and in 1958, it was opened with extensive
improvements as The General Lafayette Inn. In
1996, Preservationist Mike McGlynn restored
the building to its Colonial heritage, which is certainly seen in its
current iteration as The General, but with an undeniably modern
twist.
We arrived at The General at around 7:30 on a Friday
night to discover that they had complimentary valet parking,
a welcome sight given the full parking lot and chilly night. We
were immediately seated, despite not having made a reservation.
Although we were seated next to a 21st birthday party, the noise
level was not too high. One of the first things you notice when
you walk into the dining is the large sushi bar and relatively
modern interior, which exist alongside some of the more
traditional elements, such as the fireplace.

I began my meal with a glass of red wine, which rang in at
approximately 10 dollars. One of my favorite things about the
wine list was that each wine is available by the glass, carafe, or
bottle. There was a nice selection of both reds and whites, along
with sparkling wine. My dining companion enjoyed a Bear
Republic beer off the small, but well-curated, beer menu. The
drink list also contains a handful of cocktails, all of which ring in
around ten dollars.
One of the features that makes The General unique is the fact
that it serves both the dishes you come to expect from a traditional
American restaurant, as well as a full sushi menu. The "traditional
American" side of the menu contains such classic appetizers as
French Onion Soup, Golden Tomato Salad, and
Marinated Beets, and entrees such as Fried Chicken,
Meatloaf, Shrimp and Grits, and Duck Breast. On
the sushi side, the appetizers include edamame,
tuna flat bread, and sliced yellowtail, and the sushi
and sashimi selections include sashimi (salmon,
white tuna, BBQ eel), classic rolls (California,
Philadelphia, Spider), and house rolls, including my
favorite, the Fire House, which is tempura shrimp
and avocado topped with salmon, jalapeno, sriracha,
and red and black tobiko.
Given our post-Thanksgiving turkey and
stuffing hangovers, we opted for the seafood side
of the menu, which included a Charred Octopus appetizer, along
with Crispy Calamari. We then moved on to share three rolls
(Philadelphia, New Lafayette, and Fire House), all of which were
excellent.
I will conclude this review by mentioning the service, which
was superb. Despite the fact that we came on a busy Friday
night, without a reservation, our waiter came to our table to take
our order promptly, and was attentive to our various needs and
requests. The runners ensured that our dishes were both delivered
and cleared in a timely fashion. Overall, I was exceptionally pleased
with the food, service, and atmosphere of The General, and I am
excited to have a new restaurant to add to the rotation.
WINTER 2017-18 13


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Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of SIDEBAR Winter 2017-18

SIDEBAR Winter 2017-18 - 1
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