Speaking with Barbara Aichem-Koster, it's pretty clear that Black Forest Inn is a family business. "My father is head chef Heinrich. My brother is Heiner––short for Heinrich––and his two children are Heinrich and the other, Hansi. They're cooks too." Barbera and her kitchen full of Heinrichs have helped feed Stanhope for more than 34 years with what she calls German continental cuisine––a product of the elder Heinrich's rich culinary education.
"My father was born in Germany, learned to cook there and across Europe," she says. "He worked his way up in different restaurants. Then my brother went back to Germany and did the very same thing." It's this attention to tradition that Barbera credits to the freshness of the ingredients. "We try to use a lot of local produce in seasonal menus and specials. … We don't buy prepared items." Luckily for diners, that also means that the wurst sausages and the German-style pasta, or spaetzle, are housemade.
The elegantly rustic dining room has hand-painted stained-glass ceiling panels, exposed brick, and a hand-crafted bar stocked with a multitude of imported German beers. This, along with periodic live music, has helped bring a younger clientele to Black Forest. "I had a group of 20 young people in here for the Friday-night buffet. The staff pointed out what everything was, explained it to them. And one of the girls, she called later that week, wanted to say how fabulous it was. I grew up in this restaurant, so that was really nice to hear."
Donna Infantolino has been baking since she was tall enough to reach the kitchen table, crafting recipes from scratch in her aunt and grandmother’s kitchens. At her combination café and bakery, she and business partner Beth Butler begin every recipe with organic, sustainable ingredients, such as Nielsen-Massey pure vanilla and Scharffen Berger chocolate, whenever possible. The dessert dream team crafts wedding cakes, traditional and filled cupcakes, and one-of-a-kind sculpted cakes in original shapes such as convincing guitars or sassy pumps. They also accommodate customers with dietary restrictions through vegan and gluten-free options.
All in the Icing's staffers expand recreational baking abilities during small-group BYOB classes, which include all of the high-quality ingredients and equipment necessary to create sweet or savory recipes. At the end of sessions, participants head home with their tasty works to share with family or break into tiny pieces to add to crumb collections.
FrozenPeaks Frozen Yogurt serves as many as 24 flavors such as lemon, watermelon, coconut, and chocolate. Patrons can gussy up frosty swirls with fresh fruit, candy, nuts, and other toppings, or opt for a fresh, handcrafted frozen yogurt pops dipped in rich coatings and rolled in toppings. Nondairy options are available as well.
The cooks at Chopstick and Taste of Bollywood fuse traditional Indian cuisine with Chinese cooking techniques, mixing in hints of Thai and Malaysian culinary traditions as well. Masterminded by chef Alok Pratihar, the menus include succulent seafood, piquant lamb entrees, and vegetarian dishes.
We make all of their own dressings, soups & sauces and Mozzarella by hand. Mozzarella Sticks are made from Fresh Mozzarella. Spedini, mozzarella sandwiched between ciabatta bread and served with anchovy or marinara sauce. Entrées include hard to find traditional items like Beef or Pork Braciole & Osso Bucco.
Decorative bottles of olive oil perch atop Anna Marie’s display case filled with freshly-baked pizzas, lending a rustic Italian air to the cozy trattoria. Cooks crown these specialty pies and calzones with spinach, Bermuda onions, pepperoni, and hot cherry peppers, as well as whip up colorful plates of veal marsala and chicken or eggplant parmesan. They also crafts more than two dozen gourmet sandwiches named for celebrities, such as the Joe Pesci with roast beef, turkey, ham, and cole slaw, and the Michelangelo, whose recipe consisting of fresh mozzarella, arugula, and tomatoes is painstakingly painted on the ceiling.