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French-American restaurant coming to downtown Lancaster

A French-American restaurant called Amorette is slated to open its doors on May 22 in downtown Lancaster.

Owner Tom Ponessa, a Lancaster native, also owns Cafe di Vetro and TW Ponessa & Associates Counseling Services Inc. in Lancaster and co-owns Marion Court Room, also in Lancaster.

He said he wanted to do something special with his next venture, which is in The Press Building at 401 N. Prince St.

“In our travels, we’ve often thought how special it would be to bring a new level of dining to our home,” said Ponessa. “We see this restaurant more as a gift to the city of Lancaster. And it wouldn’t have been possible without the local team of champions behind the May 22 opening.”

Amorette boasts a Michelin-trained staff, meaning that staff members have trained under Michelin-starred chefs.

Leading the ranks is executive chef Daniel LeBoon. The Lancaster native was previously chef and owner of French restaurant Josephine’s in Marietta, which closed.

“Our menu will be eclectic, American style with French and Asian influence,” said LeBoon. 

The cuisine will feature red Argentina shrimp, five different caviars, Nantucket scallops and A5 Kobe beef, the highest grade of Japanese beef.

Diners can sit at a private chef ’s table inside Amorette’s kitchen for a 12-course, blind tasting menu. 

Also on staff is a Michelin-trained level three sommelier from Paris. The highest level a sommelier can reach is four. The wine steward will educate diners about rare vintage wines.


Amorette’s menu will feature 500 wine labels from 10 countries. Price points for the wines will vary, said a spokeswoman for the restaurant, Samantha Quisgard.

A Michelin-trained pastry chef and maitre d’ will also be also be on the team.

Menu prices will be finalized within the next one to two weeks, Quisgard said.

She also noted that staff is still being hired.

David Lyall Interior Design in Lancaster, YOHE Architecture Design in Lancaster, Two Dudes Painting Co. in Lancaster, and Paul Risk Construction in Quarryville to transform the bottom floors of the Press Building at 401 N. Prince Street into Amorette.

Shelby White
Shelby White covers banking and finance, law and Lancaster County for the Central Penn Business Journal. For tips, email her at [email protected].

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