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Uve' - Sparkling Superfruit / Gourmet Weightloss!Uve' - Sparkling Superfruit / Gourmet Weightloss! Seeing as how obesity is such an issue in today’s world, it’s no surprise that we are bombarded with foods and drinks that claim to help lose weight. It’s always an added bonus when we find something that helps lose weight AND tastes delicious! Recently, I stumbled upon a bright exciting bottle of Uve’… I had...

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The River GrilleThe River Grille 243 Northampton Street in Easton is an Address you MUST etch into the address book inside your mind and go to as soon as POSSIBLE. Why? Because THAT is the address of The River Grille – One of the most amazing restaurants I’ve ever been to and one of the best restaurants YOU will ever go to!  Simply divine is an...

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Wally's Wicked WingsWally's Wicked Wings I drove by Wally's Wicked Wings several times over the past few weeks and I KNEW it would be out of this world once I actually stopped! It had the word "Wings" in it's name... WIN / WIN for me!  I was not let down when my good friend, Bristen and I went for a 'guys night out' this past week. Don't get me wrong, Wally's...

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Sugars Stage & SpiritsSugars Stage & Spirits Recently we had the pleasure of dining at the all new “Sugars” Stage & Spirits located pretty much  at the corner of 987 (Airport Rd’s end) and Point Phillips Road in Bath PA! The former Klecknersville  Hotel has been a staple in the Valley for decades and Sugars did an amazing job with their own personal remodel,...

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Ooka SushiOoka Sushi I remember when I first started eating sushi. I quickly ascended into a culinary obsession for the Japanese fast food.  Fortunately, living in the flourishing suburbs of Philadelphia allowed me to indulge whenever I wanted to as there was an amazing tiny Japanese restaurant close to my home in Doylestown, Pennsylvania...

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Stefano’s Sicilian Grille, Northampton, PA

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Category : Northampton, Pennsylvania, The Lehigh Valley

Stefano’s Sicilian Grille 

 5364 Nor Bath Boulevard, Northampton, PA 18067  (610) – 262-8760 

  http://www.stefanossiciliangrille.com/

When you are looking to walk into a comfortable Italian restaurant /bar and forget your bad day, Stefano’s Sicilian Grille is that place. The staff is genuinely courteous and this family owned establishment will find you to be part of the family, or the family as part of your attentive staff.   You may find Domenico serving the bar patrons finely mixed martinis or my favorite the “Italian Sunshine”… Clementine Vodka, Triple Sec, Grapefuit Juice (I use Pineapple), and Cranberry Juice.   Or the cousins cooking in the kitchen and serving up the delicious Italian food.  

  

This happens to be a frequent stop for my husband and I as we are friends of the family and the food is phenomenal. Their word-burning pizza is nothing short of incredible. And, their vodka sauce is my all time favorite. Put them together and these guys from time to time will make me my most coveted “Vodka Penne Pizza”… Just ask for it, you will not be sorry.

On this particular occasion, we had the typical Stef’s starter of their fresh, warm, soft Italian bread with a delish and a little spicy, tomato remoulade for dipping.   Forget the laziness of bringing you a small plate of olive oil with a drip of balsamic reduction or vinegar… This dipping sauce they create, trumps any of that.  

  

For our dinner, the husband ordered the “Garlic Parmesan Wings”, I am not a wings freak like he is, but I can tell you that the meat falls off the bone and the wings are crispy yet melt in your mouth.  I, on the other hand, just wanted some fried eggplant and some of their vodka sauce, otherwise I said bring me whatever…  I was delivered the “Eggplant Rollitini”. Fried eggplant tightly wrapped around fresh ricotta and spinach on a bed of soft linguine dressed in the vodka sauce with pancetta swimming in it.  I know that if I was in the position of ordering my last meal, this would be it. I think I may have found a new favorite food group: Fried Eggplant.

 

Stefano’s Sicilian Grille in Northampton is the sister restaurant to Stefano’s Restaurant on 191 in Bethlehem. Both restaurants are run by the family and keep the tight Sicilian ethics of the front man and father, Stefano Lombardo.  But just remember the real boss is wife Patty and when she isn’t there, son Tony.  And, Domenico is always cooking up a masterpiece that’s off the menu or being eye candy for the ladies at the bar.

You can get a real wood burning pizza or fresh made gelato in a variety of flavors that are never the same.  The top of the line chef’s have been working at both establishments for years, Why?… Because they love it.  These well trained chef’s go to far reaches to please their patrons. They always go off the menu.

 

And, if you want to eat there on a weekend, make sure you call ahead.  The Valley loves the Stefano’s restaurants, you’ll notice any time you pop in, well respected business owners, doctors, and lawyers in the Valley are there relaxing and enjoying the fine food. You can get away with incognito casual wear or donning your best Hugo Boss or Elie Tahari suits right after work. Either way, you’ll fit right in.

Zingers Wings & Things – Kunkletown, PA

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Category : Kunkletown, Pennsylvania, The Poconos

                                    

THESE are how wings should be made! A great sauce, and a great texture to the chicken wing itself! Not undercooked and squishy or overcooked and dry! These bad boys were just spot on! It’s amazing how simple it can be but almost every restaurant screws them up. (My dad owned a wing restaurant years ago so I know a thing or two about wings!)

Deep fried in fresh oil, Zinger’s wings were out of this world! Their little wings & things cart tours the festival circuit and this time I actually caught up to them at The 2010 Good Guys Car Show at Pocono Raceway this past weekend. What a great time in general but what a great group of people! They have all the usual flavors you’d expect to find and it’s all HOMEMADE! 

If you’re out and about at fairs, festivals, or car shows then be on the lookout for the Zingers’ cart.  They do not have a website or a “Facebook Fanpage” yet but I was told they’d have a Fanpage on Facebook ASAP so look there soon! If you’d like more info or want to book them you can give Zingers Wings & Things a ring!

Zingers’ Phone Number – 610.681.5888

Edge Restaurant – Bethlehem, PA

Category : Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, The Lehigh Valley

74 W Broad St. Bethlehem, PA 18018 – (610) 814-0100 – edgerestaurant.net

           Our ”Gourmet Guy” promotion at WLEV and Cat Country 96 in The Lehigh Valley with EDGE sold out of their gift cards in 90 minutes! This means you should read this and GO there!

My wife and I had the pleasure of dining with our good friends at EDGE in Bethlehem. Edge is located on Broad Street at the intersection of Broad and Main – arguably one of the best “corners” in The Lehigh Valley. There is so much going on in downtown historic Bethlehem with the shops, eateries, etc. that EDGE just feels like it was ALWAYS supposed to be right here!  Living close by, we have frequented it often for happy hour appetizers. My wife, loves the Wednesday “Ladies Night” and of course, I’m NOT invited… But that’s okay! From the beautiful relaxed ambiance and decor, to the restaurant layout, staff, food, and all around experience and knowledge of cuisine – EDGE is by far one of the BEST places to dine in the area. (Legend has it that Larry Holmes’ son had his birthday party there that night so even the stars stop by!)

Our server Jamie has been with EDGE for a long time and Restaurant Manager Jessie Dech said that Jamie is his ‘Floor Captain’. That he is! Jamie has EVERYTHING in his head from the specials, to the regular menu items, to why certain wines go with certain dishes. I highly recommend asking for him!  Jesse is also a master of pairing wine with food at EDGE. The place was packed on this particular Thursday night which means they are doing something right!

We began our EDGE experience with a round of wine. We had the house Cabernet out of California, a Merlot from the same region, and a White Wine Spritzer. 

Appetizers could not come soon enough as we know how good they already are! My wife had one of her favorites-the Escargot special! It was amazing, served with a tomato cream sauce, onions, and in a puff pastry! Not the traditional way I’ve seen it but that is why EDGE is so great…they do things differently. We also had Tuna Tartare with Crispy Wontons and an amazing Tarragon Gnocchi – Duck Confit along with Truffle Parmesan Sauce and Crispy Shallots.

 All of those mixed together in my mouth was heaven. Sherri had their famous Shrimp Cocktail Martini with Caper Horseradish Sauce and Mal had an Endive and Roasted Beet Salad and it honestly was something I never would order but I tried it and it was out of this world! Say hello to a guy that now likes BEETS at EDGE.

Dinner was on my mind since about 11am! I ordered the Black Angus New York Strip Steak Medium Rare, Frisee, Truffle Parmesan Frites, and Au Poivre Sauce! How do you think it was? Right! Perfect! Plus they do it right! Executive Chef, Tim Widrick is amazing. I was speaking with one of EDGE Restaurant’s managing partners, Fran, and he reinforced what I just said. I was talking about the steak and Fran told me they pan sear it first then when it’s cooked to order, they let it rest. NOT a lot of places do it right like that. EDGE does!

 My wife enjoyed the Long Island Duck Breast which was so tender and juicy.  It came with Sourdough Spaetzle, Broccolini, and Dried Cherry Gastrique. Yum!

 Mal went outside the box and got the New Zealand Rack of Lamb with Green Olive Yogurt & Drizzle and I was lucky enough to get a taste!  Those of you who never have had lamb…EDGE is the place to try it! 

 Sherri enjoyed the Grilled Hawaiian Butterfish on a Salad of Baby Spinach along with Hydro Bibb Lettuce, Romaine Hearts, Parsley, Wonton Crutons, and a Lemon Thyme Vinaigrette. I have rarely seen Butter Fish on a menu before and being a seafood lover, I had a bite. It was SO RICH and delicious. Not too overpowering from a fish standpoint so if you like fish but don’t like that ‘fishy’ taste, THIS is a great dish!

We finished up with a sampling of Warm Banana Pound Cake with Maraschino Cherry Ice Cream, a Salted Carmel Chocolate Tart, and Mal and Sherri split a Toasted Coconut Molasses Tiramisu.  Mal said it’s not traditional Tiramisu so he wanted to try it…Mal fell in love! I had some too and the coconut was a nice crunchy addition to pair with the creamy Tiramisu! 

All in all, EDGE is a place we’ve been to before and a place we’ll be back to…a lot! A big thanks to Fran, Chef Tim, Jessie, Jamie, Glenn, and Kim @ EDGE. Gourmet Guy went home stuffed and happy and we had a wonderful night with wonderful friends! We’ll see you soon…my wife especially for “Ladies Night”!

Simmeria Cafe & Bistro, Fleetwood, PA

Category : Kutztown, Pennsylvania, The Lehigh Valley

Simmeria Cafe & Bistro – 24 E Main St , Fleetwood PA, 19522. (484)- 575-8555

www.simmeria.com

Simmeria Café & Bistro is all of the following. Quaint. Romantic. Relaxing. Soothing. Fun. Swanky. Most of all, it is a place that will make your taste buds love you forever! One of the owners of Simmeria, Chuck, said “This is a place where you can get familiar food served in a way that you never have before” — I think that says it perfectly!

Our good friends, Dean and Lynn, joined my wife and I, and we had no idea what we were in for. I have been  out by Kutztown, Topton, Fleetwood before many  times and I love the relaxing way of life as you make your way towards the West but I never dined at anyplace quite like this in that area! While talking with Chuck, he made a good point. There really is not a place like Simmeria near that area and this makes it a wonderful place to either escape to if you live immediately down the road in the Lehigh Valley, or if you wanted to meet friends coming to visit you from the Hershey, Harrisburg, or Reading areas.  This IS definitely a place worth going for Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner, Private Party, or just a cocktail at their State Of The Art Bar Area! (It is very slick!)

For starters, we enjoyed some Malbec Wine and a Red Zin.  Dean and Lynn enjoyed a Marga-tini and a Cosmopolitan.  Simmeria’s drink list is extensive and I truly wanted to stress that if you like top shelf drinks and top shelf brews, then this is for you. Of course, they also have the standard beers and drinks for your enjoyment, but if you’re looking for a perfectly made Martini or Manhattan then Bar Manager Dave has the drink for you!  They also have fantastic craft beers such as Victory Brewing IPA’s, Troegs, Stella, Dogfish Ale, Franziskaner and more. By the way, our server Joe knew everything about the drinks, apps, dinners, desserts and was just a fantastic guy in general! He really is a 5 star server! Thanks Joe!  

For appetizers, the Spinach & Artichoke dip was very rich and came with fresh bread and homemade tortilla chips.  We also sampled Calamari, which was lightly breaded and flash fried then covered in a Honey Wasabi & Horseradish Crema. I had to dive into one of my favorite dishes- French Onion Soup. It came piping hot and LOADED with GRUYERE Cheese! No one uses that around here! It honestly was the creamiest, fullest F.O.S I’ve ever had! Dean had Mussels in a White Wine, Butter, and Garlic Sauce and I tried a couple of them and almost ordered my own batch! Fantastic! 

For dinner, Lynn enjoyed Chicken – Saltimbocca Style – Sautéed Mushrooms, Italian Ham, and Mozzarella Cheese, served over Fresh Spinach. Dean dined on one of Simmeria’s specials: Char-Grilled Pork Chops served on a potato pancake and topped with Grilled Granny Smith Apples and Swiss. I sampled this and it was cooked to perfection. The presentation of the dishes, by the way, was like something out of a magazine. Check out my pictures! I had one of the specials: Pan Fried Mahi with Heirloom Pineapple Salsa and Red Potatoes and all of the flavors just mixed together as one complimented each other perfectly! My wife had the Pappardelle Carbonara, which comes with the traditional wide noodle with a smattering of peas, wild mushrooms, and pancetta, in a parmesan cream sauce! I LOVE Italian so I ate half of hers on top of finishing my Mahi and it definitely passed the test!

We all shared dessert and my love is Cheesecake! Simmeria had SEVERAL homemade cheesecakes to choose from like Cherry, Black Raspberry, Pineapple, etc.  I had the Black Raspberry and I honestly could have eaten 3 more. Homemade and fabulous! Dean and Lynn had Crème Brule and it came out as a trio of 3 different flavors…they complained….THAT IT WASN’T ENOUGH.  We then enjoyed some fresh, oversized cappuccinos that were delicious! Overall, Simmeria Café & Bistro was one of the best dining experiences I ever had. I truly mean that. 

We had a chance to meet Head Chef Scott and this guy will make virtually anyone who says they are a chef think twice about that! He was awesome!  Dave the Bar Manager knows how to turn ingredients into perfection and Chuck was simply a very gracious host. I love seeing business owners at the establishments and talking to customers and Chuck did just that! What a great guy.  There is a big history to that building in Fleetwood and he told us all about it. If you stop in there ask Chuck to fill you in on what it’s all about! 

On another note, the gang at Simmeria Café & Bistro learned that people in Fleetwood and the surrounding area love breakfast! It’s not just coffee anymore! Their breakfast menu is growing and quite popular so please check it out!  Also they are renovating and expanding their dining area already to include a new dining area up front and a private dining area in the back for private parties, dinners, and even gatherings for clubs, card games, etc.  Call for rates if you would like to plan an event at Simmeria.

Weaversville Inn and Jessica’s Tea Room-Northampton, PA

Category : Northampton, Pennsylvania, The Lehigh Valley

                       

Weaversville Inn is by far, one of the best all around dinners I’ve enjoyed. My wife and our guests Abby and John all agreed with my assumption!  I’m telling you that if you have not yet experienced this quaint dining establishment just North of Shoenersville Road in Bethlehem then you must  GO GO GO! From Laura who greeted us at the door, to Beth who was our server and Mark who is the Owner/Executive Chef for the past five years, everyone there made us feel like they were there solely there to make sure we had a fantastic dining experience! (Ask Mark when you’re there about the Inn’s history. Ben Franklin actually used to frequent it and so did some “Spook-tacular” friends!)

We started off with glasses of White Zinfandel, Red Creek Merlot, and House Cabernet‘s for drinks and Weaversville Inn does have an extensive drink menu and specials! (The bar area is also beautiful.)  For appetizers, we were treated to cheddar herb biscuits that were to die for! Warm, rich in flavor, and the kind of biscuits that just melt in your mouth.   John does not eat Pasta (what?) but he actually had a sample of my wife’s escargot for the first time and absolutely loved it. (Now THAT should say something- the guy hates pasta but loves Weaversville Inn’s escargot!) I enjoyed a rich bowl of French onion soup that was overflowing with bubbling cheeses that was simply how F.O.S. should be made.  The Tai shrimp was also fantastic and a very nice size!

                                                 

For dinner we all enjoyed wonderful side salads with an assortment of homemade dressings and croutons and then we sampled each other’s entrée’s.  On special, the sautéed medallions of beef topped with a horseradish demi-glaze were cooked perfectly to medium rare like we requested. The horseradish demi-glaze and the oven roasted potatoes with caramelized onion and rosemary  accompanying the dish just made it complete.  Abby’s Bacon wrapped pork tips were tender and juicy and the bacon it was wrapped in just brought out the all around flavor! My wife could not decide so she went with a perfectly cooked piece of salmon, fresh garden vegetables that were phenomenal and light, and Weaversville Inn’s Maryland style crab cake that was indeed “broiled to perfection” like their menu says it is!

                                                                                            

Dessert, (that I normally NEVER order) was a MUST at W.I.! We all enjoyed the homemade crème brule, peaches foster, peanut butter pie with rice crispy treats at the bottom of the chocolate crust that John said was “a delightful treat” and a homemade cinnamon bun sunday with vanilla Ice cream, homemade caramel sauce, walnuts and whipped cream!

Honestly, EVERY sample of EVERY item we tasted from the moment we walked through the door until we left was cooked to order, tasted like heaven, and the portions were “heaping” according to my guests. Thank you to Mark and the staff at Weaversville Inn.  Don’t forget they have a wonderful breakfast and lunch menu along with fantastic assorted teas in Jessica’s Tearoom. Their menu is for all tastes, sizes, and ages. They also do catering, weddings, bridal and baby showers and birthdays.