Decadent Dish Restaurant Awards 2015
Photo by Alison Conklin
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Favorite Special Occasion
In a way, it’s a small pity that Bolete is tagged as a favorite place for a special occasion, because having this uber-talented chef cook for you any night of the week is an event worth celebrating. Tuesday through Thursday are extra special because you can mitigate the cost a bit by selecting the chef’s five-course tasting menu.
It’s $75 (add $50 for alcohol pairings) and the most immediate way to learn about what’s important to Bolete’s chef and co-owner, Lee Chizmar: fresh, local and, increasingly, as unfettered as possible.
It's obvious why Bolete is the splurge place of choice among our readers. “It’s expensive,” Chizmar acknowledges. “The best part is that we don’t make lots of money. Our food costs are high. If I won the lottery tomorrow, I would cook for free, because I love it,” he says. That love translates to the plate every time he cooks. “We just try to stick with the best ingredients and hope every year we get a little bit better,” says Chizmar. It’s also why Chizmar landed on the semi-finalist list this year for the coveted James Beard Foundation Awards for best chef, mid-Atlantic region. And it’s why in 2014 Bolete received the Diners’ Choice Award from OpenTable as one of the top 100 restaurants in the country. Luckily for us, an evening in this rustic but elegant inn, where Chizmar’s wife, Erin Shea, runs the warm, classy dining room, is just a short ride away. (Hint: The tavern side of Bolete, with its inventive cocktails and a scaled-down menu, is week-night approachable.)
1740 Seidersville Rd., Bethlehem | 610.868.6505 | boleterestaurant.com
Photo by Colin Coleman
With seven flat-panel televisions, classic fare plus a full dinner menu and lots of local brews on tap, this modern take on a diner is always hopping.
3701 Easton Nazareth Hwy., Easton | 610.252.4300 | diner248.com
Photo courtesy of Hotel Bethlehem
1741 on the Terrace at Hotel Bethlehem
With beloved chef Michael Adams at the helm, a carving table, omelets and waffles made to order and jazz or Celtic music in the background, repeat wins are no surprise.
437 Main St., Bethlehem | 610.625.2219 | 1741ontheterrace.com
Photo courtesy of Blue Mountain
Slopeside Pub and Grill
Roaring fires in the winter. Panoramic views of Blue Mountain from the outdoor terrace. Nature creates the most soothing ambiance here.
1660 Blue Mountain Dr., Palmerton | 610.824.1557 | skibluemt.com