Blue Mountain Vineyards owners, Joe and Vickie, are pinot pioneers. Beginning with a 5-acre experiment in 1986, they discovered that the soil of the Lehigh Valley does a fine impression of French terrain, making it suitable for growing the grapes of cabernet sauvignon, chardonnay, and other European varietals. Since then, they've expanded to a 50-acre plot, where they now produce wines that have won awards from the Fingerlake International Wine Competition and Appellation America.
Panoramic views of the Blue Mountains overlook scenic terraces at the vineyards, where grapes spring from soil that soldiers roamed during the Revolutionary War. Tastings, concerts, and other events fill the winery's glass-flanked deck, spilling onto an outdoor patio surrounded by ponds as tranquil as a silent lullaby. Visitors admire the vines during tours, and they can also adopt their favorites to preserve the vines' flavorful histories.
Savoy's executive chef, Kevin Watson, a 2013 Pittsburgh magazine?s "Best Restaurants Party" winner and Savor Pittsburgh multiple-award winner, draws from 25 years of culinary experience to put a modern spin on American dishes, from barbecue ribs and burgers to seafood. Chef Watson?s eclectic m?lange of upscale entrees and comfort fare has been featured on Pittsburgh Today, in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, and in the recurring dreams of the restaurant?s regulars.
Meanwhile, the space's ritzy d?cor has enticed celebrities that include Boris Kodjoe, Joe Manganiello, Tyson Beckford, Cedric the Entertainer, and Mya. The Pittsburgh Tribune-Review marveled: "Pittsburgh designer Luca Paganico transformed an old, three-story building?in the Strip District into a posh, swanky, 74-seat establishment with imported Italian leather couches and chairs, fiber-optic bar tops, walls with lighting that changes color as customers dine, and different music playing in each room and hallway."
When Michael Manning made his first batch of home brew in 2001, he thought he had found his calling. Beer, however, turned out to be a stepping stone toward his ultimate beverage of choice?mead. In 2009, using a recipe the American Homebrewers Association published for Mead Day, he concocted his first batch of the honey-wine. Eventually, his personal recipe earned a Best of Show at 2011?s Valhalla mead competition. These days, he uses modern tools and his mastery of fermentation to craft The Colony Meadery?s many styles of mead, which range from strawberry- and kiwi-flavored versions to hoppy, IPA-style variations. The meads are available to sample at The Colony?s in-house tasting room, as well as various taverns throughout the state.
Every 20 years our government allows one business to turn every day of the week into a Friday with a series of special calendars printed on stone. Today's Groupon honors the restaurant gubernatorially ordained in 1993 with $20 worth of week-ending cuisine at T.G.I. Friday's for $10. Bring your family, friends, or a group of tourists that follow you because they think you're Jamie Farr to indulge in distinctly Friday fare at a restaurant renowned for delivering the euphoric feeling of having two consecutive days off work.
Even before Richard Naylor and his wife, Audrey, founded their winery in 1978, the Naylor family had been fascinated by the winemaking process. What began as a backyard vine-growing experiment first transitioned into an barrel-producing operation in a potato cellar. It then blossomed into today's idyllic Pennsylvania winery, full of vineyards, rows of wooden barrels, and a staff of friendly wine experts. Richard and his family lead groups through tours of the picturesque estate, imparting their wisdom about the fine varietals grown there, such as cabernet franc or chambourcin. Guests can sip fine vino during regular festivals and front-porch tastings, or they can experience live bands, competitive wine-tasting events, and even weddings in the welcoming, rustic setting of the Pavilion.
Growing up, Marcie Spampinato watched her father, Mike, masterfully manage a local country club. By seventh grade, she was working alongside him, and today—with a restaurant management degree from Penn State under her belt—she joins with Mike to co-manage their steak-and-sushi joint, Spamps.
Chefs trained in Japan artfully stuff the eatery's sushi rolls with fresh ingredients such as black-pepper-crusted tuna and flying fish roe. Fusion flourishes such as kimchi tartar sauce, miso beurre blanc, and sake reductions give entrees such as rib-eye steak an Asian flair.
And much like a chocoholic's dream journal, the eatery's new cocktails revolve around sweet flavors, especially Marcie's favorite, the pumpkin-pie martini. Libations, which also include wine and beer, flow freely behind a copper bar with TVs or fill glasses in a dining room with exposed brick walls and private booths. At an outdoor patio dubbed The Grotto, lofted TVs illuminate trellises and tabletops as well as bar-goers shimmying to a live DJ's beats on Friday and Saturday nights.