Louette's - InteriorOn Sunday, May 12, 2019, Louette’s BYO, 106 Bridge Street, Phoenixville, Pennsylvania, will be serving Mother’s Day brunch from 11:30 a.m. – 3:00 p.m.

Sweet Onion Soup: Marcona Almond, Black Pepper Croutons

Greens Salad: Selection of Raw and Pickled Vegetables, Arugula, Walnut, Sherry Vinaigrette

Parfait: Yogurt, House-Made Granola, Banana Mousse, Berries, Mint

 

Croque Monsieur: House-Made Brioche & Duck Ham, Swiss, Grainy Mustard Sauce

Louette’s Cinnamon Rolls: Cream Cheese, Pecan Crumble

Poached Eggs: House-Made Biscuits, Canadian Bacon, Hollandaise, Hash Browns

Vanilla Pancakes: Apple Butter, Warm Maple Syrup

House-Made Ricotta Cheese Ravioli: Cherry Tomatoes, English Peas, Parmesan, Brown Butter

Oatmeal: Tart Cherries, Apricot, Cinnamon, Crème Fraiche

Steak & Eggs: Hanger Steak, Two Fried Eggs, Hash Browns

 

Crème Brûlée: Macerated Berries

Beignets: Crème Anglaise

Carrot Cake: Caramel, Apples

For more information, or to make reservations, please call Louette’s at (484) 924-9906.

Bon Appétit!

TAD

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Crystal Springs - Mother's Day Dessert DisplayOn Sunday, May 12, 2019, Crystal Springs Resort in Hamburg, New Jersey, will celebrate Mother’s Day with three family-friendly brunches, à la carte dining at Crystal Tavern and Restaurant Latour, and a free round of golf for Mom.

Families can choose from buffet-style Mother’s Day Sunday brunches in the Emerald Ballroom at Grand Cascades Lodge ($62 Adults; $25 Children 4-11; under 4 free), Black Bear Golf Course ($39.95 Adults; $17.95 Children 4-11; under 4 free), or Diamond Ballroom at Minerals Resort & Spa ($42.95 Adults; $19.95 Children 4-11; under 4 free)

The newly renovated 4-star Restaurant Latour will be open for dinner 5:00 p.m. – 10:00 p.m. featuring both 4- and 7-course prix-fixe menus for a gourmand celebration; while Crystal Tavern will serve its regular bunch and dinner menus all day from 7:00 a.m. – 10:00 p.m.

Moms can play free on four of the resort’s golf courses on Sunday, May 12th. Spa specials are also available for Moms on weekdays throughout the month of May.

Restaurant Latour, Crystal Tavern, and the Emerald Ballroom are located at the Crystal Springs Clubhouse, 1 Wild turkey Way, Hamburg, NJ; Minerals Hotel is located at 1 Stonehill Drive, Vernon, NJ; and Black Bear is located at 138 State Route 23, Franklin, NJ.

Reservations for the restaurants, golf, and the spa may be made by calling (855) 977-6473.

Bon Appétit!

TAD

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Mother's DayOn Sunday, May 12, 2019, the Frog and the Peach, 29 Dennis Street, New Brunswick, New Jersey, will be offering a special menu for Mother’s Day…

Appetizers (Choice of) – Truffled Potato & Sunchoke Bisque: Parmesan, Watercress Pistou… Tuscan Kale & Arugula Salad: Avocado, Crispy Chickpeas, Currants, Cara Cara Poppy Seed Dressing… Cured Tuna Sashimi: Cucumber, Tobiko, Lemongrass Broth… Local Hothouse Tomato Salad: Pimento Cheese, Pepperoni XO, Sesame Cornmeal Crisps… Roasted Local Carrots: Macadamia, Coconut, Pineapple… F&P Smoked Salmon: Truffled Egg Salad, Cornichons, Mustard Oil, Pumpernickel… Seared Foie Gras Medallion: Taylor Ham Salsa, Quail Egg, Tomato, English Muffin ($10.00 Supplement)… Saffron Crab Risotto: Jersey Asparagus, Lemon, Fines Herbes

Entrées (Choice of) – Spinach Fettuccini Wild Mushrooms, Calabrian Chili, Walnuts, Goat Cheese Fondue… Seared Day Boat Sea Scallops: Sesame Peanut Noodle Sushi, Pickled Vegetable Salad, Miso Vinaigrette… Steamed East Coast Halibut: Fiddlehead Ferns, Almond Broth… Grilled Organic Salmon: Fregola Sardo, Swiss Chard, Pearl Onions, Sorrel, Mustard Seed Caviar… Bacon Wrapped Griggstown Chicken Roulade: Gold Potato, Greens, Roasted Garlic, Grain Mustard… Grilled Loin of Spring Lamb: Artichoke Barigoule, Dijon Thyme Jus Beef Tenderloin: Sunchoke Purée, Haricots Verts, Green Peppercorn Cognac

Desserts – Molten Chocolate Cake… Classic Crème Brûlée… White Chocolate Lavender Semifreddo… Fresh Berry Tart… Trio of Sorbet Terrine… Assorted Cheese Plate ($6.00 Supplement)

The cost of the Mother’s Day menu is $65.00 per person; children under 12, $16.00 (plus beverages, tax & gratuity). For more information, or to make reservations, please call (732) 846-3216.

Bon Appétit!

TAD

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Ron's Original - DoorRon’s Original Bar & Grille, 74 East Uwchlan Avenue (Route 113), Lionville, Pennsylvania, (610) 594-9900, www.ronsoriginal.com/

Although it hardly seems possible, my initial view of Ron’s Original was posted in November 2012… But very little has changed in the interim. Tucked away in a mini strip mall, it continues to resemble the usual version of your local happy-tappy serving up the usual assortment of nondescript pub grub to the usual less-than-discerning indigenous clientele. Well… not quite.

Ron's Original - BarCheck out the restaurant’s website… Their soups are made from fresh stocks that are by-products of their slow roasted meats and chicken… Their meats are antibiotic and hormone free… Their burgers are fresh ground certified Angus and never frozen… Their salmon filets are fresh cut by the chef; their mussels and calamari are fresh ice-packed, not frozen… Their turkey breasts are freshly baked on the premises from fresh, hormone-free fowl; their bacon is nitrite free… Produce is delivered 5 days a week, and all salads are made with fresh-cut lettuce; and the mixed greens are hand-washed, dried, and mixed by the kitchen staff; vegetables are all cut fresh and cooked to order… In addition, the menu lists the items that are gluten free, hormone/antibiotic free, spicy, vegetarian, clean eating, and/or made from scratch.

Not exactly the culinary résumé of your average local happy-tappy… But the fact that a restaurant offers its patrons healthy cuisine is only part of the equation. Even the best of organic and/or local comestibles can be poorly prepared and sloppily presented. Fortunately, however, not only is Ron’s food good for you, but it is pleasing to the palate and the eye as well.

 Ron's Original - PizzaTaking a gander at the rather extensive menu, it may seem as if the kitchen’s reach has exceeded its grasp. One cannot help but think that it would be difficult (if not impossible) for an eatery to do so many things well. But, on second glance, the bill of fare is not quite as gargantuan as it at first appears. Any restaurant, however humble or upscale, invariably does certain things better than others. And this is true of Ron’s as well. But the key, in my opinion, is that this restaurant knows its focus, its limitations, and its clientele… and, therefore, continues to do a first-rate job across the board.

Ron's Original - Italian MeatloafA lion’s share of Ron’s menu, of course, is given over to the kitchen’s superb interpretation of so-called “pub grub.” But the restaurant also offers patrons a select variety of entrées, including a number of traditional Italian favorites.  My recently sampled Eggplant Parmesan, for example, was tender yet firm to the bite, smothered in melted cheese, and sided with al dente spaghetti kissed by a rich marinara. Even better, however, was my dining partner’s homey Black Angus Italian Meatloaf (pictured) topped with house-made marinara sauce and companioned by a mound of luscious garlic mashed potatoes and perfectly cooked broccoli florets.

Ron's Original - Peanut Butter Choc Chip CheesecakeAnd don’t let dessert pass you by. There are a number of palate-pleasing options to assuage your sweet tooth… but nothing quite measures up to the over-the-top Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cheesecake. More than suitable for sharing, this irresistibly rich and creamy delight is decadence personified. So, forget the calories and go for it.

The restaurant contains several dining areas. But the bar (pictured above), bustling yet inviting, is the most comfortable seat in the house. Even if there’s a waiting list for the dining rooms, which is not at all unusual, you can almost always squeeze in at the bar; either at the bar proper or at one of the high-top tables. Here you’ll find a diverse, friendly crowd, equally friendly bartenders, and a bevy of TV screens to keep the hometown fans happy.

If you’re on the prowl for well-prepared casual fare that utilizes top-notch ingredients and won’t break the bank, Ron’s Original Bar & Grill is highly recommended for both lunch and dinner.

Bon Appétit!

TAD

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La Fava - InteriorOn Thursday, May 9, 2019, 7:00 p.m., La Fava Restaurant & Bar, 1102 Baltimore Pike, #101, Glen Mills, Pennsylvania, will host a special six-course dinner paired with the wines of the Piedmont region of Italy. The special guest speaker of the evening will be Hudson Austin of The Wine Merchant, King of Prussia, PA.

First Course – Chef’s Selected Hors d’Oeuvres; Wine Pairing: Ruggeri Argeo Prosecco

Second Course – Marinated Monkfish: Field Greens, Favas, Sherry “Caesar” Vinaigrette; Wine Pairing: Araldica Gavi, 2017

Third Course – Oven-Poached Veal Carpaccio: Shaved Celery Root, Parmigiano, Truffle Balsamic Glaze; Wine Pairing: Bruna Grimaldi Arneis, 2017

Fourth Course – Tagliatelle: Wild Boar Ragu, Caramelized Fennel; Wine Pairing: Trifula Piemonte Rosso Doc Barbera/Nebbiolo, 2016

Fifth Course – Braised Short Ribs: Porcini Creamy Polenta; Wine Pairing: Parusso Barolo, 2013

Sixth Course – Toasted Almond Panna Cotta: Bitter Orange Coulis; Wine Pairing: Marenco “Strev” Moscato d’Asti, 2017

The price of the Wines of Piedmont Wine Dinner is $99.00 per person (plus tax & gratuity). For more information, or to make reservations, please call La Fava, (484) 840-8603.

Bon Appétit!

TAD

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Anthony’s Pizza & Italian Restaurant

127 West King Street

Malvern, Pennsylvania

(610) 447-7400

www.anthonysmalvern.com

Anthony's - InteriorTucked away in the Malvern Shopping Center, Anthony’s is a popular BYOB majoring in Italian comfort food. “Just how popular?” you may ask. Well, since the restaurant does not accept reservations, even on a normally quiet weekday evening, the wait for a table could very easily be 20 to 30 minutes… longer on weekends. Don’t say I didn’t warn you.

And there are some very good reasons why the crowds keep coming: the portions are generous, the price is right, the service is friendly and knowledgeable, and the food is damn good… There’s a bit of everything here, so you’re not likely to go hungry for lack of choices.

Anthony's - Caesar SaladThe appetizers, buttressed by such intriguing possibilities as Artichoke Casserole in beurre blanc sauce, Asiago Risotto Bites, Fig & Prosciutto Crostini, and Cheese & Charcuterie have a great deal to recommend them… But they seem almost superfluous – unless you happen to possess the appetite (and capacity) of a ravening hyena – as all entrées come with a nicely stocked breadbasket and choice of soup or salad (some entrées with pasta as well). And while the house salad is on the generic side, the Caesar (pictured) is endowed with generous shavings of Pecorino Romano, delightfully crunchy croutons, and a thoroughly engaging dressing. Among the soups, the Minestrone, a menu staple, is also well worth considering.

When it comes to the main courses, all the usual suspects are present and accounted for. The chicken and veal dishes, for example, may be ordered ParmigianaSaltimboccaCacciatoreMarsala… or Piccata; while the seafood offers up such familiar items as Linguine and Clams, Shrimp Scampi, Grilled Salmon, and Pasta di Mare, a combo of mussels, clams, shrimp, scallops and crabmeat in a white wine marinara sauce over fettuccine. And, in addition to the classic pasta dishes, you may also create your own, choosing an individual sauce, pasta, and optional extra (meatballs, sausage, chicken, and shrimp).

Anthony's Penne alla NormaAmong the classic pastas, the Penne alla Norma (pictured), the new kid on the menu block, is highly recommended. The penne – just the proper side of al dente – is accompanied by tender morsels of eggplant, tomato, garlic, and basil and crowned with dabs of ricotta and shavings of Grana Padano (a hard, slow-ripened, semi-fat cow’s-milk cheese comparable to Parmigiano Reggiano). And the rich tomato sauce is judiciously applied – the pasta is gently coated rather than drowned. A fine effort.

The baked dishes – items such as Manicotti, Spinach Crepes, and Baked Ziti – are also particularly noteworthy… with the mouth-watering Lasagna leading the pack. Bolognese sauce takes center stage here, with ricotta, marinara, and mozzarella in strong supporting roles. And for those who prefer to go meatless, the kitchen occasionally cooks up a knockout Vegetable Lasagna as a nightly special. Wafer-thin slices of eggplant stand in for lasagna noodles surrounded by a rich marinara sauce and topping of melted mozzarella.

Anthony's - Eggplant ParmWhen it comes to Italian comfort food, the acid test for me has always been Eggplant Parmigiana (pictured). I say this because, while it is a relatively simple dish to prepare, it is also very easily mucked up… The eggplant, for instance, can be too thickly sliced, undercooked, or woefully overcooked and mushy… the breading too liberally applied and soggy… the marinara thin and watery. Well, you get the idea. Fortunately, Anthony’s kitchen is right on the money. The breading is delightfully crisp, the eggplant firm to the bite yet tender, and the marinara rich and flavorful. It may not look like much, but, trust me, it’s soul-satisfyingly good.

Given the portion sizes (and the inclusion of soup or salad with entrées), dessert may seem entirely superfluous… However, if you can find the room – and can afford the extra calories – I’d have a go at either the cannoli or the house-made cheesecake. Both are first-rate.

One final word. If you’re in search of cutting-edge cuisine, you’ve obviously come to the wrong address.  Anthony’s serves up traditional old-fashioned Italian fare designed to warm the heart as well as the stomach. Red sauce reigns! So, pull up a chair and get comfortable… Just don’t forget to BYOB.

Bon Appétit!

TAD

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Easter PhotoDuring Easter weekend, Friday, April 19 – Sunday April 21, 2019, Washington House Restaurant, 55 South Finley Avenue, Basking Ridge, New Jersey, will be serving both dinner and brunch menu specials.

Easter Dinner Specials: Friday, 4/19 – Sunday 4/21…

APPETIZERS – Lamb, Kale & Farro Soup: Micro Greens, Cup, $7.00/Bowl, $10.00… Strawberry Spinach Salad: Candied Pecans, Gorgonzola Cheese, Mango Poppy Seed Vinaigrette, $16… House-Made Gravlax: Dill Citrus Aioli, Herb Toast, $17.00

ENTRÉES – Braised Lamb Shank Gremolata: Hasselback Potatoes, Haricots Verts, Natural Sauce, $29.00… Mesquite-Grilled French-Cut Pork Chop: Truffle Whipped Potatoes, Pan-Roasted Baby Carrots, Mango Chimichurri Sauce, $30.00… Pistachio-Crusted Halibut: Lemon Parsley Skillet Fingerling Potatoes, Sautéed Spinach, Orange Dijon Sauce, $32.00

DESSERT – Toasted Coconut & Carrot Cheesecake: Key Lime Anglaise Sauce, $13.00

 

Easter Brunch Specials: Sunday, April 21, 2019, 9:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m….

Lamb, Kale & Farro Soup: Micro Greens, Cup, $7.00/Bowl, $10.00… Strawberry & Goat Cheese Bruschetta, $12.00… Strawberry Spinach Salad: Candied Pecans, Gorgonzola Cheese, Mango Poppy Seed Vinaigrette, $16.00… Sausage & Broccoli Strata: Side Salad, $16.00… House-Made Gravlax: Dill Citrus Aioli, Herb Toast, $17.00, Deviled Eggs Platter: Wild Caught Shrimp Ceviche, Avocado Salsa & Toast

DESSERT – Toasted Coconut & Carrot Cheesecake: Key Lime Anglaise Sauce, $13.00

For more information, or to make reservations, please call (908) 766-7610.

Bon Appétit!

TAD

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Nicholas - Exterior 2On Easter Sunday, April 21, 2019, Restaurant Nicholas in Red Bank, New Jersey, will be offering diners several menu options…

 

 

Three-Course Menu…………….. $75.00

Four-Course Garden Menu………$75.00

Six-Course Tasting Menu………..$95.00

Children’s Menu…………………$32.00

Prices do not include beverages, tax & gratuity. For more information, or to make reservations, please call (732) 345-9977.

Bon Appétit!

TAD

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At the Table - InteriorOn Sunday, April 21, 2019, At the Table BYOB, 11 Louella Court, Wayne, Pennsylvania, will be serving a special four-course Easter brunch menu from 11:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m.

First Course (Choice of) – Yogurt Parfait: House Granola, Fresh Fruit, Almonds, Honey… Smoked Salmon Frittata: Frisée Salad, Shaved Baby Vegetables… Acadian Pearl Oysters: Spicy Remoulade, Mango Mignonette

Second Course (Choice of) – Beet Cured Salmon: Everything Spice, Fried Capers, Snap Peas, Tarragon Crème Fraiche… Potato & Leek Soup: Herb Oil, Micro Herb Salad… Melon & Burrata Salad: Toasted Baguette, Arugula, Pickled Shallots, Watermelon Radish

Third Course (Choice of) – Buttermilk Waffles: Strawberry & Blueberry Compote, Candied Bacon, New England Maple Syrup… Croque Madame: Grilled Brioche, French ham, Soft Boiled Egg, Swiss Béchamel… Chicken Salad on Croissant: Bibb Lettuce, Celery Aioli, Heirloom Tomato

Fourth Course (Choice of) – Strawberry Fields Forever: Berry Sorbet, Compressed Strawberries, Strawberry Chips, Torched Marshmallow… Chocolate Pot De Crème: Amoretto Crème Chantilly, Toasted Macadamia Nut

The price of the four-course Easter brunch is $55.00 per person (plus beverages, tax & gratuity). At the Table is a BYOB restaurant. For more information, or to make reservations, please call (610) 964-9700.

Bon Appétit!

TAD

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Local Greek

44 Leigh Avenue

Princeton, New Jersey

(609) 285-2969

https://localgreeknj.com

Presided over by Tony Kanterakis – also co-owner with his mother, Chrisanthe, of the New Athens Corner Bakery in Highland Park, New Jersey – Local Greek made its debut on November 19, 2017. The restaurant, which is located north of Palmer Square, just off Witherspoon Street, across from Tortuga’s Mexican Village, is a bustling bistro cum – bakery & market.

Local Greek - InteriorThe cozy, diminutive interior, boasting wooden floors, white subway tile, whitewashed walls, and rustic wooden tables built by the owner’s first cousin, a general contractor and architect, is a big part of the restaurant’s appeal. And when the joint is jumping, especially at dinner, things can get pretty tight seating-wise. But that’s all part of the fun. Fortunately, there is a side room that helps alleviate the crush in the main dining area.

Authentic Greek cuisine is the order of the day, with meze – the Greek version of tapas (small plates) taking center stage. Sweet and savory homemade style pastries and desserts are made fresh daily in the restaurant’s bakery; and the market features imported items such as Greek olive oil, coffee, tea, chocolates, and snacks.

Local Greek - Tomato FrittersThe small plates change weekly, affording diners numerous seasonal options. They are also sizeable enough for couples or larger parties to mix and match as appetizers. Several of the usual suspects are present and accounted for – Dolmades (grapes leaves stuffed with rice and Greek herbs with yogurt sauce) and Hummus (a spread composed of mashed chickpeas, garlic, lemon, tahini & olive oil), for instance. For something a bit different, however, be sure to try the Kolokithokeftedes, zucchini fritters. My dining partner and I recently sampled a delightful variation on the theme, Tomatokeftedes (pictured) fritters filled with tomato, mashed potatoes, and feta cheese served with a zesty tzatziki sauce.

Local Greek - SaganakiOther interesting possibilities include Gigantes, large lima beans swimming in a Greek herbed tomato sauce; Xtapodi, grilled marinated octopus with herbs, olive oil, and vinegar; and four Greek Spreads, featuring tzatziki, spicy feta, eggplant, and taramosalata (salted and cured cod roe mixed with olive oil and lemon juice). On the other hand, it’s hard to resist the tasty charms of Saganaki (pictured), Greek flaming cheese drizzled with ouzo. As photogenic as it is delicious.

Local Greek - PastitioAs you move on to the entrées, the kitchen continues its excellent work. Especially recommended are those dishes that have become synonymous with Greek cooking… The Moussaka, a combo of eggplant, potatoes, and ground beef topped with béchamel sauce, is benchmark… ditto the vegetarian version. And speaking of vegetarian, the Briam, traditional Greek roasted vegetables combined with kasseri – a stringy-textured cheese made from unpasteurized sheep and goat’s milk – in tomato sauce and topped with feta cheese is also a first-rate rendition… But I was particularly taken with the Pastitsio (pictured) – often referred to as Greek lasagna – a stunning combination of tubular pasta, beautifully seasoned ground beef, and luscious béchamel sauce.

Local Greek - Stuffed Baby EggplantAnother traditional Greek presentation that deserves mention is the Papoutsaki (pictured), so named because the it resembles “little shoes.” A baby eggplant is hollowed out, filled with ground beef (or vegetables) and potatoes and then topped with béchamel sauce. The rendition from Local Greek is also served up with an attractive small salad. This is a relatively straight-forward dish, but one that my dining partner thoroughly enjoyed. A slight variation on the theme, also quite good, is the Gemista, tomatoes stuffed with ground beef accompanied by kasseri cheese and herbed rice & pine nuts.

Local Greek - SalmonOther interesting entrées include Spaghetti Bolognese, a meat sauce with decidedly Greek oriented seasonings; Stuffed Peppers, roasted bell peppers filled with herbed rice & pine nuts; Shrimp Souvlaki, kebab served over rice with avocado and baby kale; and a Mixed Grill Platter, an amalgam of Greek sausage, pork & chicken gyro, beefteki (beef patties), and Greek fries served up for two or four. My favorite, however, would be the simple but seductive Solomos (pictured), grilled salmon filet sided by luscious lemon potatoes and horta (sautéed greens).

Local Greek - GalaktobourikoDesserts (as noted above) are all made fresh daily in the restaurant’s bakery and are easily washed down with a double espresso courtesy of the highly rated Portioli Style Coffee. Baklava, of course, is the sweet ending that immediately comes to mind; and it is excellent… as is the Ravani (Greek-style lemon zest sponge cake), Karidopita (Greek-style walnut cake), and the bakery’s other offerings. My nod, however, clearly goes to the incomparable Galaktobouriko (pictured), fillo dough filled with semolina custard surrounded by a pool of Greek honey… And bear in mind that the kitchen also serves up an impressive assortment of savory homemade pastries as well as a variety of Greek-style breakfasts.

Whether stopping in for breakfast, lunch, dinner, or an afternoon pick-me-up, Local Greek has all the bases covered… deliciously. If you’re planning a noonday or evening visit, however, just don’t forget to BYOB.

Bon Appétit!

TAD

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