Lehigh Valley is really making a name for itself, a big one at that. By that I mean the recent opening of Emeril's Chop House, the first Emeril Lagasse restaurant in the entire northeast (at the brand new Sands Casino Resort Bethlehem)!

Being a graduate of the Culinary Institute of America, I had high expectations for Emeril's, and I must say, I left very impressed.

Once we were seated, 20 minutes before our actual reservation, the waitstaff neatly placed a linen napkin in everyone's laps (white if you had light-colored clothes on, black if you had dark clothes on). And that was just the beginning:

- Beverage orders were immediately taken.

- Embossed leather-covered menus were handed around.

- The specials were rattled off from memory.

- A complimentary plate of mushroom pate with toasted bread rounds was placed on the table.

I started off having the Boiled Gulf Shrimp cocktail: four jumbo shrimp served with remoulade and cocktail sauces and Mirleton pickles.

Next, I had The Mix salad that was a blend of baby greens, fresh herb vinaigrette, cherry tomatoes and hearts of palm.

The next course was my entree. I ordered the Fairview Farms Organic Pork Chops with a side of asparagus. After ordering, the waitress pleasantly told me that I was going to receive 24 ounces of pork! I must admit, the flavor of everything was outstanding, but there was entirely too much food - I couldn't even finish one pork chop, let alone two.

Of course, I had to save room for dessert. I chose the fruit cobbler, which was very tasty.

All-in-all, the servers were very pleasant, the atmosphere was chic and the food was divine. I will definitely be returning some day soon.

Will you be heading to Emeril's Chop House?