Combine an inviting ambiance with an innovative repertoire, and you have the ethos behind C&D Bar & Grill. Located just north of Hanover, along Route 30 between New Oxford and Abbottstown, C&D Bar & Grill takes its namesake initials from co-owners Chef Charle and Denise Kalathas.
As any restaurateur in the business can tell you, owning your own restaurant can feel like you own a second home, so why shouldn’t you come to work each day and have the experience feel like being among family? That’s exactly the environment the couple has cultivated since opening the doors in 2011.
“Many of my staff members have been with us for four years or more,” Chef Charle Kalathas said, noting that this longevity is often unheard of in the restaurant business. “We enjoy this family feeling of keeping people together.”
Even while raising a growing family of their own, Charle and Denise wouldn’t have it any other way. This dedication to family and service runs throughout the Kalathas family. Charle’s father, brother and sister have been and continue to be involved in restaurant operations of their own.
Stepping inside the doors of C&D is like the feeling of coming home each evening. The dining room’s handsome wood paneling complements the soothing cream-colored tones of the walls. Along the outer walls of the building, rows of windows let natural light inside and offer plenty of window seating for guests. The seating area around the bar features cozy booths suited for smaller parties, couples or singles.
“It’s about enjoying food and enjoying people’s company,” Kalathas added. “We wanted to create a place with quality food at a reasonable price.”
Indeed, quality is the hallmark at the center of C&D. A graduate of the Culinary Institute of America, Kalathas has worked in kitchens in both Key West, Florida, and New York City. Before opening C&D, he held the head chef position at The Orchards Restaurant in Chambersburg for a decade, turning the business from a small family-run establishment into a notable fine dining restaurant in Franklin County.
His focus on the food for C&D, he said, reflects an emphasis on elegant casual dining. “We try not to take food to a level where customers are going to feel uneducated,” he said, noting the emphasis on dishes that reflect familiar favorites with creative interpretations.
As a guest, you’ll discover daily specials, a sumptuous Sunday brunch offering and imaginative fare on the menu. At this time of year, guests can indulge in hearty dishes such as stews and braises, like braised osso bucco.
Senior citizens can treat themselves to a satisfying lunch: a choice of a main dish (meat or seafood) with two sides, dessert and beverage. Selections range from broiled crab cakes and haddock to grilled ham steaks and pork chops.
Begin your culinary experience with a complimentary chef’s tasting of the evening, then settle in with C&D’s appetizer selections. The hickory-smoked bacon-wrapped sea scallops combine tastes of land and sea served atop an earthy wild mushroom ragout. Filet Mignon Wellington surrounds sautéed filet mignon tips with a covering of puff pastry and a topping of brandy demi cream sauce. With a nod to the Chesapeake Bay, C&D’s crab dip makes an excellent topping for freshly toasted slices of garlic bread.
Chase away winter’s chill with C&D’s signature soups. The Loaded Baked Potato Soup blends bacon, cheddar cheese, sour cream and scallions in a creamy, comforting soup, while the C&D Crab Bisque is a velvety creation topped with jumbo lump crabmeat. Presentation alone could stop in your tracks, but spoon eventually finds bowl in a French Onion Soup redolent with caramelized onions, homemade beef broth, herb croutons and a topping of melted cheese and fried onion straws.
Freshness resounds in salads, whether you crave a Caesar, Greek or Nicoise arrangement. The Iceberg Wedge updates the Iceberg lettuce wedge drizzled with its creamy blue cheese dressing by incorporating additions such as blackened gulf shrimp, herb croutons, blue cheese crumbles and sundried tomatoes.
Salmon Oscar is an impressive entrée featuring a seared Scottish salmon fillet topped with jumbo lump crabmeat and asparagus, and finished with a Parmigiano-Reggiano sauce.
The rich sauce topping expertly complements the combination of the salmon with the succulent crabmeat and tender asparagus.
Caribbean Jerk Pork Chops are a flavor infusion for diners seeking an adventure on their plates. “We use premium pork with nice marbeling. We coat the outside with spice from Caribbean seasoning, and you get the sweetness from the roasted pineapple chutney,” Kalathas said.
Sweet Endings & Cocktails at the Rocks
Desserts are made in house, so make sure you save room for some sweet endings. From Andes Mint Cheesecake to baklava, you’ll find something to round out your dinner treat. The Pineapple Foster, for example, is a delicious tropical creation featuring sautéed pineapple and walnuts in a rum caramel sauce paired with vanilla bean ice cream — and it’s big enough for two people to share.
On the property’s lower level, the Rocks Lounge offers a casual hangout ideal for meeting people after work over cocktails. “We were going for a more industrial feel here,” Kalathas said.
Juxtaposing stone and metal, the interior’s center focus is on a custom-built bar with plenty of space to linger with a date or with friends over beers and cocktails and shareable fare covering the range from Fried Reuben Balls to Rice Paper-Wrapped Shrimp. Slip into a booth and indulge in one of the hand-held offerings: crab melts or a bacon cheddar or Southwest burger.
During warmer seasons, the outdoor deck makes an ideal gathering space. The Rocks hosts musical entertainment each Thursday, with karaoke on Friday and a house DJ on Saturday.
Before you head out for the day or evening, you’ll be presented with a memorable C&D takeaway: two wrapped homemade chocolate chip cookies with a message from Charle and Denise — “Enjoy a midnight snack on us.”
“Years ago, my wife used to work for OXO kitchen gadgets. The people there had a cookie drive to benefit kids with cancer. We got the idea from that [benefit]. This is something freshly baked that people can enjoy later or the next day,” Kalathas explained.
Whether you’re visiting for happy hour, lunch, dinner or a special occasion, C&D Bar & Grill delivers affordable, artful cuisine on a plate and an inviting atmosphere in which to enjoy it.