Louie’s Restaurant has been an Allentown family favorite since 1958, when Sue and Gino Belletieri–parents of Louie and his two brothers–first opened the restaurant that grew to become the Louie’s of today. Their trademark sauces, such as the marinara with its robust flavors and garlic kick, are made with original recipes and are sold at area supermarkets. At lunch and dinner, families feast on signature Italian dishes at Louie’s checkered tables, where time-tested recipes continue to impress decades later. In addition to playing sports games on flat-screen TVs, Louie’s also hosts musicians on Friday evenings, providing entertainment aside from the pasta, glorious pasta, twirled around forks.
Like their recipes, the Mannino family comes from Sicily. At Italiano Delite, they and their chefs keep up the rich tradition of genuine Sicilian fare through a rustic menu filled with the likes of pasta and meatballs, baked lasagna, and penne alla vodka, as well as gluten-free and low-carb options. Their 30 specialty pizzas such as the Philly cheesesteak add greater variety to family-style eating, while their midday buffets please both belly and eye with a feast-worthy spread of hot and cold appetizers, pastas, entrees, and salads.
Inside a 19th-century farmhouse, Executive chef Javan Small uses seasonal meats and produce sourced from local farms to create contemporary gourmet dishes that have earned praise from Gayot. The dinner menu changes to reflect seasonally available ingredients and has included seared duck under orange oregano sauce, cast-iron-seared scallops with bacon corn pudding, and grilled zucchini cakes drizzled in carrot-chipotle syrup. Chef Small creates each dish using the techniques he learned studying in kitchens across the US and Europe. The chef even spent time working at a Michelin-starred restaurant in Luxembourg, where he learned the knife skills necessary to shred old dream journals full of surreal dinner recipes.
With its quaint wood accents and large farmhouse windows, the restaurant's provincial style perfectly mirrors the pastoral origins of chef Small’s ingredients. The website likens dining at The Farmhouse to “stepping into an Andrew Wyeth painting.” The six dining rooms exude simple elegance with wide-planked wooden floors and wooden chairs. The Farmhouse also houses an English-style pub that houses more than 60 bottles of wine, a four-page list of bottled beers, and more than 30 kinds of scotch whiskey.
White columns frame the red-tiled awning of Bellissimo Ristorante, a slice of Tuscan villa welcoming guests to a restaurant full of Sicilian and Neapolitan art and cuisine. The patio features classic statuary and a burbling stone fountain, while the interiors boasts rich wooden tables and chairs atop a terracotta tile floor. The flavor of authenticity extends beyond the décor to the menu, which features filet mignon douses with gorgonzola cheese and topped with lumps of crabmeat and thin curst Italian-style pizzas cooked in real brick ovens.
At Penn Pizza Restaurant, Chef Phillip has designed a menu that incorporates fresh-baked pizzas, stromboli, pastas, and juicy burgers. Pies emerge from the oven topped with a choice of 20 toppings that include pepperoni, meatballs, bacon, ham, and pineapples. More than 30 pasta dishes include fettuccini alfredo, ravioli a la vodka, veal parmigiana, and stuffed shells.
The culinary wizards at Mi Piace craft hearty and flavorful Italian dishes from fresh, high-quality ingredients. Meals commence with one of several curtain-raising appetizers, such as the baked clams, which are grouped in plates of six ($6) or by the delightful dozen ($12). A roster of eight pasta dishes ($10–$14) tempts diners with an array of sauces; various sea and land meats can make bowl-topping appearances for an additional $3. Balsamic vinegar and capers adorn the sautéed breast of the chicken cacciatore ($16), buffeted by black olives, onions, and extraneous syllables. Bread-bolstered offerings, such as the provolone- and red-pepper-laden prosciutto panini ($6.50), please patrons who crave carbs but are loathe to stack pasta between napkins, and a list of 13 pizzas ($9.50+) keep the handheld dining going strong. Dining adventures can conclude with an espresso-rich slice of tiramisu ($4) or an envious glance at a neighbor’s plate.