Vickers Restaurant - InteriorOn Christmas Eve, Monday, December 24, 2018, Vickers Restaurant, 192 East Welsh Pool Road, Exton, Pennsylvania, will be serving a special menu from 2:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m.

APPETIZERS – Smoked Atlantic Salmon: Capers, Red Onion, Horseradish Crème Fraiche, Toast Points, $15.00… Shrimp Cocktail: Blood Mary Cocktail, Sauce, $15.00… Petit Crab Cake: Fine Mustard Sauce, $16.50… Escargots Persillades: Garlic, Champagne, Herbes de Provence, $14.00… Lobster Ravioli: Champagne Cream Sauce, $16.00

SOUPS – Lobster Bisque: $12.00… Cream of Chester County Mushroom Soup: $12.00

SALADS – Vickers Heritage Spinach Salad: Creamy House Dressing, Crispy Bacon, $11.00… Caesar Salad: Vickers Homemade Dressing, $12.00… Harvest Salad: Port Wine Poached Pears, Blue Cheese, Toasted Walnuts, Red Wine Vinaigrette, $12.00

ENTRÉES – Roasted Christmas Duck: Farro Risotto, Brandied Cherries, Winter Vegetables, $36.00… Sole Imperial: Fresh Sole, Creamy Crab Imperial, Lobster Champagne Sauce, $39.00… Maple Glazed Salmon: French Lentils, Wilted Autumn Greens, Vermouth-Orange Infusion, $37.00… Roasted Rack of Lamb: Rosemary Dijon Crust, Port Wine Sauce, Potato Croquette, $42.00… Filet Mignon: Sauce Béarnaise, Crisp Potatoes, Market Vegetables, $41.00… Beef Wellington: Puff Pastry, Mushroom Duxelle, Truffle Pâté, Truffled Potatoes, Market Vegetables, $42.00… Vickers Crab Cakes: Maryland Lump Crab, Whole Grain Mustard Sauce, $39.00… Wild Mushroom Ravioli: Parmesan Cream Sauce, Wilted Spinach, Toasted Walnuts, $29.00

A menu will also be available for children under eight.

For more information, or to make reservations, please call Vickers Restaurant, (610) 363-7998.

Bon Appétit!



Washington State’s L’Ecole No 41 Winery

by artfuldiner on December 3, 2018

in Uncategorized

L'Ecole - LabelL’Ecole No 41 is a third-generation family-owned, artisan winery located in the historic Frenchtown School depicted on their label. Founded in 1983, L’Ecole was the third winery established in Washington’s Walla Walla Valley and quickly became one of the region’s most prominent and visible estates with national and international distribution.

The winery produces distinctive ultra-premium wines that reflect the unmistakable typicity of Washington State and the unique terroir of their Walla Walla Valley vineyards. Today, the winery is at the forefront of sustainable farming, notably with their Estate Ferguson and Estate Seven Hills Vineyards, both of which are certified sustainable and certified salmon safe.

L'Ecole - Bordeaux BlendsL’Ecole is one of the most respected and honored wineries in Washington State and has been the recipient of many national and international accolades over the years. It has been recognized by Wine & Spirits magazine as a Top 100 Winery of the Year fourteen times. In 2014, Decanter awarded the 2011 Estate Ferguson the International Trophy for the Best Bordeaux Blend in the World. In 2016, the 2013 Ferguson won the International Trophy for the Best New World Bordeaux Blend from Six Nations Wine Challenge.

Martin Clubb is the managing winemaker and co-owner of L’Ecole No 41 with his wife, Megan, and children, Riley and Rebecca. The winery was founded by Megan’s parents, Jean and Baker Ferguson, in 1983 as their retirement project. Martin assumed the operation of winery from Megan’s parents in 1989, six years after the winery’s founding.

Other than the single vineyard Bordeaux blends noted above, L’Ecole also produces a variety of red and wine wines, including Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Chardonnay, Syrah and Chenin Blanc, and Rosé.

L'Ecole - CabernetThe two L’Ecole wines I recently sampled are both accessible and reasonably priced. The 2014 L’Ecole No 41 Walla Walla Valley Cabernet Sauvignon, for example, is a heady yet elegant Old World-style Cabernet that is blended from multiple sources, including Seven Hills, Pepper Bridge and Ferguson vineyards. There’s plenty of sweet, ripe fruit here, along with a healthy dose of oak aromas and flavors. Currently on sale for $24.99 at Pennsylvania State Stores.

In the white wine department, the 2017 L’Ecole No 41 Old Vines Chenin Blanc was recently featured in the Wine Enthusiast as one of the “Top 100 Best Buys of 2018.” This is a wine that is bone-dry on the palate, offering up plenty of tropical-fruit flavors and a strong, balancing acidity. If the 2017 is difficult to find, the 2016, 2015, and 2014 are equally highly rated and more readily available from sources online. The current retail price is around the $15.00 mark.

Cheers and Happy Holidays!



Chakra InteriorOn Tuesday, December 11, 2018, 6:30 p.m., Chakra Restaurant, W144 Route 4 East, Paramus, New Jersey, will host a special dinner paired with the extraordinary vintages of the Prisoner Wine Company of St. Helena, California.

First Course: Salmon Carpaccio, Warm Lobster Vinaigrette; Wine Pairing: WHITE BLEND Blindfold 2016, California; Chardonnay, Roussanne, Viognier, Chenin Blanc, Muscat, Vermentino

Second Course: Seared Day Boat Scallop, Kombucha Squash, Sage, Pine Nuts; Wine Pairing: CHARDONNAY The Snitch 2016, Napa Valley

Third Course: Braised Short Rib, Fried Cauliflower, Black Olives, Capers; Wine Pairing: RED BLEND The Prisoner 2013, Napa Valley; Zinfandel, Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah, Petit Sirah, Charbono, Grenache

Fourth Course: Maytag Blue Cheese, Warm Figs, Szechuan Pepper Corn, Walnut Crostini; Wine Pairing: RED BLEND Saldo 2011, Napa Valley; Zinfandel, Petit Sirah, Syrah

For more information, or to make reservations, please call (201) 556-1530.

Bon Appétit!



Bunha Faun

152 Lancaster Avenue

Malvern, Pennsylvania

(610) 651-2836

Bunha Faun - InteriorI freely confess that I have decidedly mixed emotions about Bunha Faun… And if you happen to do a bit of surfing among the social media, you’ll catch of hint of that ambivalence here and there as well. For the most part, this is neither a gripe with the cuisine nor with its rather unassuming surroundings (for although the restaurant is housed in a former Dairy Queen, the interior is tastefully appointed).

No, the major complaint with Bunha Faun, both on social media and during my own dining experiences, has been the service… a two-fold issue involving both servers and the kitchen. On one Thursday night, for example, there appeared to be but two individuals taking care of the entire restaurant: the chef in the kitchen and one server in the dining room. And since there was a totally unexpected influx of diners on this particular evening, as you can well imagine, the pace at which food arrived at table was somewhat slower than a herd of turtles. My dining partner and I would gladly have tried dessert, but since this would have added at least another hour onto what we considered to be an already overextended stay, we opted to exit stage right.

At Bunha Faun, unfortunately, this kind of occurrence seems to be more the rule than the exception. And local scuttlebutt has it that even though the restaurant is located just around the corner from People’s Light and Theatre Company, those who plan to attend a performance hesitate to dine here precisely because of the events described immediately above. And this is also unfortunate, as the outstanding quality of the Asian-influenced French cuisine certainly belies the sometimes-spotty service.

Bunha Faun - Snow Peas… And once the Snow Pea Salad (pictured) hits and table, you know you’re in capable hands. Sublime in its apparent simplicity, the presentation incorporates only snow peas and mushrooms. However, as you note, the components are attractively arranged to please the eye as well as the palate, with sesame dressing providing the beguiling pièce de résistance. The Baby Spinach Salad – tossed with mushrooms & bacon bits and splashed with sherry vinaigrette – while not as photogenic, is also quite excellent.

Bunha Faun - Green Angel Hair PastaThe aforementioned sesame dressing also adds a good deal of pizzazz to the Oriental Noodles, with morsels of perfectly cooked chicken, carrots, broccoli, peanuts, and tofu in strong supporting roles. Other pasta starters include Black Angel Hair sautéed with crabmeat and Crab Ravioli in fresh tomato sauce. My nod for the favorite noodle opener, though, goes to the Green Angel Hair (pictured). Sautéed with prosciutto and mushrooms, it luxuriates in a lusty cream sauce and is finished with a tiara of parmesan cheese.

Bunha Faun - Escalop of VealAs you move on to the entrées, the French influence becomes more prominent, the Asian subtitles less so. Sauces abound… but they are invariably light & complementary rather than smothering & intrusive.  The Escalop of Chicken and Escalop of Veal (pictured with haricots verts and scalloped potatoes), for example, are both caressed by white wine sauces… the former embellished with apricot and ginger, the latter with wild mushrooms and prosciutto. In both cases, the flesh is moist and succulent, the sauces ethereal.

Other interesting possibilities include Filet Mignon wrapped in bacon and served with green peppercorns in a rich red wine sauce, Roast Duckling garnished with seasonal fruit, and a generous herb-encrusted Rack of Lamb adorned with a tangy mustard sauce.

Bunha Faun - BarramundiMatters piscatorial are a bit on the sparse side… The Sweet Red Pepper Shrimp and the Fish of the Day are the only items noted on the printed menu. However, Shrimp & Scallops, in various incarnations, do put in frequent guest appearances. The most recently sampled seafood item was the ever-popular Barramundi (pictured), a mild white fish with a texture somewhat akin to halibut. This was an excellent rendition; the flesh was moist & flaky and the ginger-scallion sauce a marvelous treat for the palate.

Desserts here are something of a low point. The only item made in-house is the Crème Brûlée, all others are trucked in from off-campus. And this is really a shame, as just a few more selections would add immensely to the total dining experience.

Bunha Faun - ExteriorOne final note… Dining at Bunha Faun can be either a tremendously rewarding or a thoroughly frustrating experience. The cuisine is carefully prepared and nicely presented; and, given its overall quality, quite reasonably priced. In addition, you may also BYOB (and there is no corkage fee), which certainly reduces the strain on your pocketbook. On the other hand, the service, as noted at the outset of this review, tends to be as schizophrenic as Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. On one evening, it may be spot on; on another, because of a shortage of staff, it may be insufferably slow… And you never quite know what side of its erratic personality is going to put in an appearance.

Given the restaurant’s eccentricities, is it worth a visit…? Yes, in my opinion. However… hoping for the best while expecting the worst may be your best course of action to avoid disappointment.

Bon Appétit!



Agricola - ExteriorOn Thursday, November 22, 2018, Agricola Eatery, 11 Witherspoon Street, Princeton, New Jersey, will be serving a special prix-fixe menu from 12:00 noon – 7:00 p.m.

First Course (Choice of) – Spiced Squash SoupRoasted Squash: Apple, Walnut, Raisin, Yogurt

Second Course – Organic Kale Salad: Carrots, Radish, Pumpkin Seed Vinaigrette

Third Course (Choice of) – Goffle Road Heritage Turkey Dinner: Roasted Vegetable, Herb Stuffing, Cranberry Chutney, Natural Gravy… Creek Stone Farms Short Ribs: Sweet Potato, Red Cabbage, Horseradish, JusSkuna Bay Salmon: Parsnip Purée, Carrot, Fennel Agrodolce… Lo’Re Pumpkin Pasta: Mushroom, Pickled Swiss Chard, Pumpkin Seed, Pecorino

Fourth Course (Choice of) – Pumpkin Spice Parfait: Gingersnap, Milk Chocolate Ganache, Pumpkin Pudding… Apple Pie: Cinnamon Crème Fraiche Ice Cream, Candied Cranberries… S’mores Bar: Malted Coffee Crunch Ice Cream, Toasted Meringue

The price of the prix-fixe Thanksgiving Day menu is $70.00 for adults; $30.00 for children 12 and under (plus beverages, tax & gratuity). For more information, or to make reservations, please call (609) 921-2798.

Bon Appétit!



Davio's KOP - Interior, BarOn Thursday, November 22, 2018, Davio’s Northern Italian Steakhouse, 200 Main Street, King of Prussia, Pennsylvania, will be serving a special Thanksgiving menu from 11:00 a.m. – 8:00 p.m.

Thanksgiving Dinner ($65.00): Oven-Roasted Free-Range Organic Turkey… Creamy Potatoes… Green Beans, Caramelized Onions… Rum-Glazed Yams… Herb-Roasted Root Vegetables… Savory Brioche Stuffing… Homemade Gravy… Cranberry Ginger Chutney

Special Holiday Desserts ($12.00): Salted Caramel Cheesecake… Homemade Apple Pie, Tahitian Vanilla Gelato… Pumpkin Pie, Cinnamon Chantilly

Children Under 12 Years ($23.00): Oven Roasted Turkey… Stuffing… Creamy Potatoes… Gravy

Tomorrow’s Turkey Sandwich ($13.00): Oven Roasted Turkey… Stuffing… Cranberry Ginger Chutney… Gravy

Prices do not include beverages, tax or gratuity. Davio’s regular dinner menu will also be available.

For more information, or to make reservations, please call (610) 337-4810.

Bon Appétit!



Nicholas - Game DinnerOn Thursday, November 29, 2018, 7:00 p.m., Restaurant Nicholas in Red Bank, New Jersey, will treat diners to a special five-course menu that reflects the best of wild game and seasonal produce.

Amuse: Roasted Chestnut Soup, Poached Pears

First Course: “Nashville Hot” Fried Quail, Cheesy Polenta

Second Course: Wild Boar Ravioli, Game Jus

Third Course: Bison Schnitzel, Field Greens

Dessert: Yogurt Cake, Concord Grape Sorbet, Graham Cracker Purée

The price of the special game dinner is $135.00 per person (plus beverages, tax & gratuity). For more information, or to make reservations, please call (732) 345-9977.

Bon Appétit!



HoHoKus InnOn Thursday, November 22, 2018, the Ho-Ho-Kus Inn and Tavern, 1 East Franklin turnpike, Ho-Ho-Kus, New Jersey, will be serving a special Thanksgiving menu from 12:00 noon – 6:00 p.m.

First Course – Autumn Soup: Spiced Butternut & Sweet Potato Soup with Maple Croutons

Second Course (choice of) – Fall Mixed Greens: Pear, Candied Pecans, Craisins, Brie, Balsamic Dressing… Butternut Squash Ravioli: Mascarpone, Brown Butter, Sage… Fried Goat Cheese: Bacon Lardons, Frisée, Honey, Crushed Pistachios… Seared Scallops: Shaved Sprouts, Delicata Squash, Beurre Blanc ($8.00 Supplement)

Third Course (choice of) – Turkey Dinner: Turkey Gravy, Apple-Sage Stuffing, Roasted Wild Mushrooms & Pearl Onions, Green Beans, Cranberry Sauce, Roasted Brussels Sprouts, Sweet Potato & Marshmallows… Salmon: Roasted Root Vegetables, Celery Root Purée, Brown Butter… Seared Halibut: Wild Mushrooms, Parsnip Purée ($8.00 Supplement)… Filet Mignon: Mashed Potatoes, Green Beans, Au Poivre Sauce ($10.00 Supplement)

Fourth Course (choice of) – Pumpkin Cheesecake… Whipped Cream, Berries… Pecan Pie… Vanilla Ice Cream

Children’s Menu (choice of) – Turkey Plate… Hamburger… Chicken Fingers… Grilled Cheese served with French Fries or Stuffing

The price of the special Thanksgiving Day menu is $49.00 for adults; $19.95, children 15 and under (plus beverages, tax & gratuity). For more information, or to make reservations, please call (201) 445-4115.

Bon Appétit!



Alba - Interior 2Once again, Restaurant Alba, 7 West King Street, Malvern, Pennsylvania, will be offering delicious pastas, sides and sauces to complement your turkey. All items come in disposable aluminum pans with easy reheating instructions.

Sides (minimum order 2 people): Mac and Cheese, $8.00 per person… Roasted Garlic Mashed Potatoes, $7.00 per person… Brussels Sprouts, PA Maple and Pancetta, $8.00 per person… Duck Confit & Brandied Cherry, Brioche Bread Pudding, $9.00 per person

Italian Classics: Quattro Formaggio Lasagna, San Marzano Tomato, $50.00 (serves 6)… Beef Bolognese Lasagna, $65.00 (serves 6)

Etcetera: Sage Turkey Gravy, $12.00 pt./$17.00 qt…. Five Spiced Cranberry Chutney, $8.00 pt./$12.00 qt.

Order online at or call the restaurant at (610) 644-4009 to place your order by Thursday, November 15th. Orders will be available for pickup the afternoon of Wednesday, November 21st. Restaurant Alba will be closed on Thanksgiving Day.

Bon Appétit!



Thanksgiving ImageOn Thursday, November 22, 2018, the Gladstone Tavern, 273 Main Street, Gladstone, New Jersey, will be serving a special family style Thanksgiving menu…

SOUP – Pumpkin Soup: Ancho-Cocoa Syrup… Grandma’s Chicken Noodle Soup: Natural Broth, Dill

FAMILY STYLE SERVINGS – Cider Brine Farm Turkey… Hand Carved Ham… Herb Crusted Salmon… Harvest Quinoa

FAMILY STYLE SIDES – Cranberry-Orange Relish… Country Style Gravy… Apple – Sausage Stuffing… Buttered Green Beans… Spicy Maple Glazed Brussels Sprouts… Sweet Potato – Kale Gratin… Classic Mashed Potatoes… Cranberry Cornbread

DESSERT TABLE – Traditional Pumpkin Pie… Dutch Apple Pie… Cranberry Cheesecake… Bourbon Pecan Square… Chocolate Mousse Cake… Pumpkin Spice Ice Cream… Fresh Baked Cookies… Coffee/Tea

The price of the family style Thanksgiving menu is $48.00 adults; $16.00 children under 10 (plus beverages, tax & 22.5% service charge). Portions are unlimited. For more information, or to make reservations, please call (908) 234-9055.

Bon Appétit!