Named in honor of co-owner Anthony Morgan's family crest, Black Gryphon welcomes Italian, American, and Welsh cuisine into its repertoire, a combination that earned top casual-dining and international honors in Central PA Magazine's 26th Annual Readers' Choice Survey in 2010. Though the restaurant's menu, like the seasons before the invention of autumn, changes three times a year, its culinary team consistently honors the Welsh tradition of cooking with local produce and products. Chefs incorporate ingredients culled from in state, ranging from potatoes grown at Sterman Masser Potato Farms and tempuras concocted with Yuengling lager into the eatery's small plates and mains. Meanwhile, guests feast in a dining room decorated with artwork by local photographer Danielle M. Bostic, and a banquet room accommodates up to 50 attendees for private meals. Along with delectable fare, Black Gryphon enchants visitors with entertaining events throughout the year, including live music, comedy nights, art auctions, and murder-mystery theater shows.
Owner and chef of Josephine’s Restaurant, Daniel LeBoon learned to cook the old fashioned way—from other cooks—and spent his formative years on the line at establishments like Georges Perrier’s Le Bec Fin in Philadelphia and Alain Ducasse’s Hôtel Vernet in Paris. Armed with experience—and a certification as a professional sommelier—he opened Josephine’s Restaurant and started preparing his own culinary creations. He chose a classic log home as his venue, which was first built in 1792. Exposed beams hang over the dining room, flanked by log and stucco walls. Amidst this rustic charm, LeBoon artfully crafts every plate he sends out of the kitchen. He pairs his meals with an investigated and curated list of up-and-coming wines, which don’t require the extra-large trailers that more star-powered wines need.
Within the cozy, plush confines of a 19th-century brownstone mansion, Alfred's Victorian crafts specialty Northern Italian dishes alongside hand-cut pastas. Appetizers rouse tongue-napping taste buds with dishes such as mussels Livorno, baked in a savory tomato garlic sauce ($8), and the three-cheese-topped french onion soup ($6). Pasta patrons can give a toothy salute to the Al Ragu bolognese, which smothers hand-cut tagliatelle in a thick tuscan meat sauce and an even thicker accent ($15), while anti-carnivorous cravings can be sated by bites of portobello Ariana, a savory amalgamation of fresh spinach, melted provolone, and toasted almonds ($17). Pescatarians can launch a table-mounted trident into Alfred's many seafood delights, including cioppino with clams, scallops, shrimp, and mussels ($27).
Although Prudhomme’s Lost Cajun Kitchen occupies a nearly 200-year-old brick hotel and former speakeasy replete with underground tunnels and a reputation for hauntings, the restaurant nevertheless exudes a warm, lively vibe. For 24 years, aromas of fried shrimp and blackened catfish have drifted through the dining room, whose dark wood walls display a jumble of American antiques and artifacts as owners David and Sharon Prudhomme rove around greeting guests.
With more than 30 years in the food service industry, owner Lisa Foust and her staff grill, fry, and bake up a mix of classic American and deli-style eats. Dining fishermen can toss napkin nets over laps before sending fork spears into the chicken Chesapeake, a grilled boneless chicken breast topped with crab meat and a shredded cheese blend ($15). The savory grilled, smothered chopped steak similarly sates with a pound of ground beef under a blanket of grilled vegetables, steak sauce, and cheddar and jack cheeses ($13). Satisfy stomachs with grilled Reubens and Rachels stacked with corned beef, Thousand Island dressing, swiss cheese, and sauerkraut and coleslaw respectively, plus a choice of any deli side ($8.50 each). Guests can also dive mouth-first into 14-inch pizzas ($8), 8-ounce burgers ($8), or a small vegetarian strombolis stuffed with spinach, tomato, onion, peppers, broccoli, mushrooms, and cheese ($8 for a small size).
All big things start small, but few major farms start as small as family-owned Kreider Farms did, with 103 acres of land and only 12 cows. Today, the farm spans more than 2,500 acres and includes approximately 5 million egg-laying chickens, 2,000 cows, and 225 employees. The farm distributes its eggs, milk, and premium ice cream throughout the Mid-Atlantic region, and reports that it has become one of the largest egg producers in the state of Pennsylvania. Kreider Farms’ wares have been endorsed by multiple chefs, a more meaningful accolade than the cardboard crowns of excellence distributed by fast-food eateries. The farm takes its environmental mission seriously, treating the land with respect and adopting ethical and environmentally responsible practices. Workers happily share their knowledge and story with others during 90-minute farm tours or virtual tours on the website.