During his seven years in the Air Force, Shawn Moyer’s travels around the globe introduced him to numerous regional cuisines. He drew on his knowledge of different cultures while training at the York Career Institute, where he worked with many European- and French-trained chefs before being hired as Nikos’ executive chef. He’s been there ever since, concocting seasonal menus of modern American cuisine such as certified Angus beef burgers and his winter specialty snowflake au jus.
Along with his culinary crew, Executive Chef Shawn makes nearly every dish from scratch, using local ingredients such as poultry from neighboring Mennonite and Amish farms. His dishes are served in a sumptuous dining room with exposed brick walls, hardwood floors, and opulent flower arrangements. After dinner, visitors can light up a stogie on the patio of the Silver Star Cigar Lounge or watch flat-screen TVs at the bar.
In the evening, Kugo Steakhouse & Sushi Bar's chefs fire up their hibachi grills and begin to slice chicken and juggle seafood with panache, as nearby sushi chefs wrap fresh ingredients into tasty rolls. Noontime diners can opt for teriyaki lunchboxes or specials that include two or three sushi rolls.
Within one Victorian-style house, Porch dishes up American fare masterminded by Chef Joe Edwards and his team of proficient sous chefs. Tuesday–Saturday choose between dining on a light menu—brimming with burgers ($7+), pulled-pork sandwiches ($7.50 each), and pasta platters ($14+)—in the downstairs dining room, which occasionally hosts live music, or ascend the stairs to a world of white tablecloths and an upscale menu. Upstairs veal sweetbreads gallivant across tongues like tender fairytale princes accompanied by turnip confit, crispy celery root, and fig sauce ($9) and Chef Edwards’s Best of the Berks 2010 award-winning crab cakes arrive nestled atop pasta and beurre blanc ($28). Indulge aquatic cravings with a whole baby trout stuffed with crab ($24), or satisfy sweet teeth with a dessert made in-house using high-quality ingredients (available in both dining rooms).
Like a cookie godmother, Missy Hintze transforms humble ingredients into taste bud-pleasing royalty with original recipes and a wave of her bakery wand. More than two-dozen cookie ($10 a dozen in-store), cupcake, and brownie varieties ($1+) line the shelves, with favorites such as snickerdoodles and frosted sugar cookies mingling with newcomers such as the toffee-and-chocolate-filled Original Ugly Cookie and crispy treat tucked under a peanut butter and chocolate blanket. Sugar-seekers can also opt to fill large orders with an assortment of cakes ($30) and cookie gift boxes ($15+).
Winner's Circle Saloon & Grille carries on the traditions of the Wild West with lively music and an extensive menu of Western-inspired American favorites. Limber chomping muscles for a marathon meal with starters such as Western Round Up fries, where hand-cut potato slices are topped with a mighty triumvirate of cheese, barbecue sauce, and ranch dressing ($6). Then sample from Winner’s Circle’s Sandwich Wagon, featuring the Circle Roll Up, which smothers fried chicken tenders with lettuce, tomato, cheddar, barbecue sauce, and ranch dressing in a soft tortilla shell blanket ($8). Cavernous appetites will enjoy the brisket platter, a slow-roasted beef brisket basted with Winner's Circle's own JimiJam glaze and sliced thin, making it especially useful for jimmying locks or creating elegant beef brisket origami ($18). While noshing on flavorful bites, wash tongues clean with a selection of 10 draughts, including Budweiser and Guinness, or pick from a list of bottled domestic and imported beers.
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.