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."
Though Loving Hut is part of an international group of restaurants spearheaded by Buddhist Supreme Master Ching Hai, each franchise, including the Ledgewood location, cultivates its menu according to local tastes. The result is a menu of thoughtfully crafted vegan fare. For instance, the cheese sauce that smothers macaroni and burgers is made in-house without dairy, and soy protein adds substance to a selection of sandwiches and noodle and rice dishes. All of this is served in a clean white interior lit by ornate golden chandeliers. On the walls hang floral paintings and a fish tank whose bubbles spell out "Thank you for not eating me".
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.
From its quiet corner on North Sussex Street, The Laughing Lion stands as a beacon beckoning diners to come enjoy gastropub fare inside newly renovated bar and dining areas. Hanging lights illuminate walls clad in flat-screen TVs, artwork, and the portrait of a lion who, though he isn't laughing, probably thinks giraffes look hilarious. For a more intimate dining experience, the Blue room gives groups private, personalized service during nights on the town or special occasions. Live entertainment—from bands and DJs to standup comedians—fills the space with music and laughs on select nights throughout the week.
One of the quicker ways to acclimate yourself to Reimei’s contemporary Japanese cuisine is to order the sushi pizza—it’s a scallion pancake that’s cut into triangles and loaded with chunks of spicy tuna, mango, and avocado. As a matter of fact, avocados are a fixture at the sushi bar, where chefs make use of them in 12 of the 14 specialty rolls (you also can choose ingredients to create your own roll). Other contemporary takes on Asian staples include fried rice served with lobster or taiwanese sausage, and prawns topped with macadamia nuts and honey.
An alternative to these offerings is Reimei’s hibachi cuisine. In a room with 10 grilling stations, skilled chefs spin their spatulas and perform culinary tricks as they prepare meat-heavy dishes such as swordfish, smoked duck, chilean sea bass, and maine lobster tail.
Aromas of lamb simmering in curry and yogurt-marinated shrimp cooking in traditional clay ovens waft through the dining room of the aptly named Indian Aroma. Guests dig into vegetarian appetizers and entrees, such as paneer pakora––housemade indian cheese fritters and eggplant baked with herbs and spices––and enjoy tender lamb and goat entrees seasoned with rich indian spices. Chafing dishes line the stone-topped counters of the buffet area where diners may fill plates with fresh-baked naan and basmati rice before adjourning to tables by the flickering fireplace. The modern, minimalist decor is a contrast to the traditional Indian cuisine, with lacquered tables, a wood-paneled floor, and a wrought-iron-chandelier centerpiece that habitually reads over diners' shoulders.