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Emeril’s Italian Table

Category : Bethlehem, Restaurant Reviews, The Lehigh Valley

BAM! So, that’s the trademarked slang that Emeril uses when creating his culinary masterpieces. And, since Emeril is no stranger to perfection, he has opened yet another great venue for eating and imbibing signature eats and drinks in the Lehigh Valley.

Emeril’s Italian Table, opening June 4th 2011, boasts an intricate old world Italian menu and a contemporary Italian vibe. Stone walls, dark woods, and deep colors. Front of the restaurant has a lively character as there is a bar fully stocked with rare Italian reds and whites, and a varied drink menu for the risk takers. And, next to that is an Italian specialty “meat” bar. Yes, a meat bar. You can sit and watch the professional chef’s slice cured hams and sopressata in front of your very eyes! And, then there’s the romantic and quiet back of restaurant, perfectly ambient for dates, family dinners, or business meetings.

But, let’s cut to the chase you want to know about the food. I will start by saying this… I had an opportunity to dine at Emeril’s Italian Table, pre-opening with some foodie friends, and we requested chef’s choice for all courses. By the way, did I mention Emeril himself was running the show that night? Well, he was, and that made the experience that much sweeter.

First Course – Antipasti

Cannellini Beans, Poached Yellowfin Tuna, Salt Roasted Beets, Grilled Octopus, Roasted Brussels Sprouts, Marinated White Anchovies, and Warm Housmade Focaccia

We were eased into the meal with some really tasty antipasti’s. Among my personal faves were the Poached Yellowfin Tuna (sushi grade and delish), Marinated White Anchovies (not too salty, just perfect), and the Housemade Foccacia (soft, warm, hint of garlic and perfect for dipping in whatever you have at your table).

Second Course – Salumi and Cheese

Prosciutto, Sopressata, Chorizo, and Pancetta Plate

Mozzarella, Parmigiano-Reggiano, Pecorino Romano, Fontina, and Gorgonzola Plate

Two plates were delivered and both offered an array of tastes. The meat plate offered some spicy and salty meats with fried dough, and a pepper jelly for some added relish. The cheese plate offered some tart, salty and sweet cheeses, served with a sweeter jelly that made the whole table swoon. And forget about the mozzarella, it was by far some of the softest, freshest mozz, we’ve ever had. Everyone loved it.

Third Course – Salad and Pizza

Burrata Mozzarella, Radicchio and Endive Salad

Italian, Funghi, and Clam Pizzas

The Radicchio and Endives were lightly drizzled with a nutty black walnut vinaigrette that complimented the bitterness of the leaf chicory and vegetable. And, again… The mozzarella on the Burrata Mozz salad was TDF. “To die for”, for the text savvy. The pizza’s were all wood burning and each one had their own personality. The Italian was hot. The chilies and the herb whipped ricotta gave a nice warm aftertaste that stays with you all night. My fave pizza of all three. The Funghi had a vigorous and at the same time delicate taste with its fresh local mushrooms and savory truffle oil. The clam pizza had a unique flavor combining rapini with this popular sea found bivalve, and married with the aromatically intensifying garlic.

Fourth Course – Pasta’s and Plates

Linguini Alfredo, Orecchiette, Eberly Farms Chicken, Sicilian-Style Premium Reserve Pork Loin, Housemade Meatballs, Veal Parmesan, Grilled Eggplant & Zucchini Involtini

At this point, I would assume I don’t have to say much… I’m sure you’ve seen the pictures and your thinking, “That place does look good!” So, I will say this… Each entrée was perfectly prepared, especially the table favorite, the Orecchiette. I personally recommend the Veal Parmesan and the Eberly Farms Chicken. The chicken was slow cooked on a brick giving it a soft smoky flavor while it was undoubtedly some of the juiciest chicken I have ever had. And, it’s organic. Perfect.

Fifth Course – Desserts

Biscotti Trio “Affogato”, Ricotta Cheesecake, Vanilla Bean Panna Cotta, Tiramisu, Housemade Cannoli, Dark Chocolate-Hazlenut Tart

After gluttonously stuffing ourselves with multiple courses we came to a head with dessert. We forged on. I mean, there’s always room for dessert, right? Table faves were the Dark Choclate-Hazlenut Tart and the Ricotta Cheesecake. They have skillfully mastered ricotta at this establishment, that’s for sure. I personally enjoyed the Cannoli and I’m not even a Cannoli fan. But they were stuffed with a soft cheesy whipped delightfulness that I thoroughly savored. Thoroughly.

My end thoughts are that “Emeril’s Italian Table” is yet another incredible Emeril’s creation… Created to make us gluttonous foodies, another venue option to divulge in culinary greatness within the Lehigh Valley. Thank you Emeril…

And, it’s in the middle of a casino! What more could you ask for? Well, maybe to win. Momma needs to pay her bar bill. (wink, wink)


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