Years ago, while traveling through Palmyra, I spotted a new-to-me restaurant and decided to drop in for lunch. I can’t say I recall much about the small family-run eatery, other than the fact that the menu was rather overwhelmingly extensive, offering an array of dishes from a half-dozen cuisines from around the world.
When I was searching online for places to visit in Cumberland County, I recognized the familiar name and proceeded to check out the menu. When I saw that it had been paired down for this latest incarnation, I breathed a sigh of relief. There’s a lot to be said about quality over quantity, and attempting to please everyone is often unwieldy, to say the least.
I followed the GPS to Tatiana’s, 4601 Gettysburg Road, Mechanicsburg, last Friday night. As we pulled into the lot, we couldn’t help but wonder if the attractive brick building was a historical structure. Later research revealed that it dates back to the 1800s.
When we entered the business and followed the employee to the second floor, we came to the realization that much thought had likely gone into renovating the structure. As we waited to place our order, we admired the attractive décor. Exposed brick walls and fireplaces punctuated the place with old-world charm. A fun and unexpected pop of modern style appeared here and there in the form of oversized alphabet letters in no particular order on various walls.
We began our meal by choosing Ukrainian meatballs with white champagne, alfredo sauce and gorgonzola cheese from the appetizer menu ($10). Additional choices included Maryland blue crab and mushrooms, Mediterranean flatbread with chipotle hummus, and seared ahi tuna on ciabatta. I noticed that many customers brought a bottle of wine to the BYOB, but Tatiana’s also offers a variety of appealing non-alcoholic selections like iced teas in flavors like mango, raspberry and Ukrainian fruit, along with a selection of organic hot teas and Mediterranean coffee.
Within just a few minutes of ordering, we received our miniature meatballs plated atop a light, delicate sauce. We enjoyed the subtle flavor and found ourselves wishing for more of the tasty sauce.
Tatiana’s describes its cuisine as a mixture of Mediterranean and Ukrainian, offering 16 entrees and several specials. Among the list are Osso Buco, butternut squash ravioli with shrimp, pan-roasted sockeye salmon Romesco, pecan-crusted sea bass and Ukrainian seafood stew comprised of sea bass, mussels, clams, onions and shrimp roasted potatoes in a saffron seafood broth.
I chose the Filet Mignon Bourguigon described on the menu as “grass-fed filet tips sautéed with garlic, onions, roasted red peppers, mushrooms and Ukrainian sausage in our signature sauce” ($27).
My companion ordered the Ukrainian stroganoff comprised of organic chicken breast, Ukrainian sausage, roasted onions, cremini mushrooms, red peppers and basil with an asiago alfredo marsala sauce tossed with pasta ($22).
The soup of the evening was borscht, but we opted for a salad for an upcharge, which ranged in cost from $3 to $5, depending on the selection.
My organic Mediterranean salad of field greens, heirloom tomatoes, red onions, roasted eggplant, olives, sunflower seeds and feta and topped with a cilantro lime olive oil vinaigrette was light on all the ingredients except the greens. I was looking forward to more than a few small flecks of feta in a Mediterranean salad.
The meat in my entrée was tender and flavorful. The sauce was a little on the sweet side and reminiscent of marsala. The homemade sausage was also rather sweet, but I couldn’t quite put my finger on the flavor profile.
When I questioned our waitress, Tatiana, about the ingredients, I was only informed that grandma made it. Oh well, you can’t blame a person for trying.
My companion reported that he enjoyed his creamy stroganoff served with plenty of grandma’s sausage and once again remarked on the subtleness of the flavors.
For a busy Friday night, Tatiana’s was working like a well-oiled machine. It appears to be a family affair. Tatiana waits tables with her other staff, while her husband works as a chef in the kitchen. Her son, who checked in on us from time to time, proudly displayed a beautiful dessert tray.
When pressed, he informed us that his grandmother was responsible for the sweet creations that include mouthwatering selections like a dark, fudgy and no-doubt rich gluten-free, chocolate torte, as well as key lime pie, cheesecake, baklava and Ukrainian pecan cake, to name a few. (Note: Each item sells for $8 for those interested in stopping in for a self-indulgent treat).
Entrees were generous enough that we found ourselves asking for a box for leftovers just before we exited down the stairs, taking the time to admire the décor on the first floor before we stepped out into the cold evening.
Next Up: Lunch at Yak N Yeti in New Cumberland