While peering through the glass-covered hole in the floor of Flow Bar and Restaurant, you may catch a glimpse of a featured item on next week's menu swimming through the underground Mauch Chunk Creek. Executive chef Zachary Pelliccio—whose farm-based upbringing informs his ultra-fresh fare—procures produce and earthy high-fives from the hands of Lehigh Valley and Pocono-area farmers as well as meat, poultry, and eggs from the likes of Spring Mountain Farms of Lehighton. Pelliccio crafts starters such as a duck rillette with cranberry and green-tea preserves and large plates including a grass-fed burger on house-baked brioche, realizing the edible portion of the renovation dream of co-owners Victor Stabin and Joan Morykin. The husband-and-wife team bought the circa-1850 stone building in 2004. Temporarily trading his paintbrushes and her journalist's laptop for a hammer and nails, Stabin and Morykin and a team of artisans conducted a overhaul lasting four years. The historic space has been a wire mill, silk mill, and toy factory, and now also houses art classes and galleries featuring the work of local artists, including Stabin himself. One gallery is devoted to encouraging children's creativity and has showcased the talents of the couple's two young daughters.
To create Pad Thai Restaurant's namesake dish, chefs stir-fry thin rice noodles, shrimp, bean sprouts, and crushed peanuts into a house sauce, the recipe of which is a closely guarded secret. It's one of more than 100 authentic Thai items that the culinary team creates using ingredients and herbs predominantly imported from Thailand. Along with coconut, ubiquitous bean sprouts and crushed peanuts fill the authentic thai pancake. Pineapple curry coats succulent cuts of duck, and a housemade sweet and sour sauce balances sesame-covered chicken. Glasses of thai iced tea or iced coffee wash down meals, but the BYOB restaurant also allows diners to supply their own drinks, rather than sip from a straw that connects to an opened soda in their car.
Crystal chandeliers, stained-glass windows, and Austrian drapes adorn Abigail's Tea Room, where guests savor freshly brewed tea and finger foods inside a three-story Victorian manor house built in 1883. The tearoom hosts up to 50 diners for lunch, as teas pair with a seasonally changing selection of salads, sandwiches, and quiches. During high tea outings, attendees nibble snacks delivered on Victorian china and a tiered luncheon server while sipping tea decanted from pots with intricate floral patterns. Afterward, visitors can stock up on tea gear in the gift shop, browse the Gilded Age Hat Gallery's cranial accouterments, or unsuccessfully try to hook up their iPods to the parlor's gramophone.
The Black Horse appeases grubbers and guzzlers with upscale tavern fare, specialty microbrews, and a rotating seasonal wine list. The expansive menu includes starters to stir up mouthwatering tsunamis, such as the philly-cheesesteak pierogies ($8) and battered asparagus fries ($6). Carnivorous main courses keep canines working at full chomp, including the braised pork shoulder ($19), or the Eberly Farms chicken breast, enshrouded in plump gnocchi, house bacon, and ancient mystery ($19).
York Blue Moon's decor, like its new American cuisine, is at once simple and elegant. Blue-striped awnings hang over the tall windows, while blue-cushioned booths and hardwood tables line walls hung with original artwork and fancy hats donated by nice old people. Even this attractive setting doesn't distract from the aromas of the menu, which fuses Southern and other regional American cuisines. Moroccan-style spring lamb, jumbo lump crab cakes, gorgonzola and onion-crusted filet mignon, Thai-style seafood stew, and other dishes are made for pairing with a brief list of more than 40 wines