With new hot spots going in, Bethlehem's well-known Restaurant Row along Broad and Main Streets continues to grow. And although I lived in the Christmas City until recently, I find myself there less and less frequently, much to my disappointment.

So when a colleague invited me out to a business lunch and suggested Mama Nina's Foccacheria on Main Street, a place which I had yet to dine, I immediately said yes. And boy, am I glad I did. All the buzz I'd been hearing about this place was true.

When I arrived, my friend was already there, seated in a booth. Based on what I'd heard, I expected it to be packed, but we were one of only two other couples there. (The restaurant filled up by the time we left.) For such a little restaurant there certainly is plenty of seating, which makes it a bit difficult to navigate to and from your seat without bumping into other patrons.

Since we were only having lunch, I didn't want to go overboard and order too much food since I'd heard that the portions were generous. I ordered one of my favorite dishes - penne ala vodka. After a serving of warm bread with freshly chopped garlic in olive oil, my entree arrived. The penne was al dente and the sauce was creamy and decadent, if a tad sweet which I liked. When I had eaten my fill and asked for a to-go box, I realized the bowl looked as if I hadn't made a dent in it!

Our waitress tempted us with dessert but we declined and settled for coffee instead. That just leaves more for me to try next time since I definitely WILL be coming back!

Have you dined at Mama Nina's yet? What was your favorite dish?