With New Year's Eve only a day away, I am thinking about the fine dining experience (reminiscent of my days living in DC) we had last New Year’s Eve here in Lehigh Valley thanks to the chef and servers at Bolete.
Bolete is located inside a beautiful old stone farmhouse, decorated with twinkling white lights, at the intersection of Broadway and Seidersville Road in Bethlehem. The dining room seats maybe 40 people, and a small bar area in a separate room has a few extra two-tops. The tables are a little closer together than average for Lehigh Valley (not any worse than most Manhattan restaurants). You'll definitely hear the conversation at the table next to you, but you'll also get plenty of attention from the staff.
When we entered through the front door, we were immediately greeted and our coats were carefully taken upstairs (more on that later).
Since it was New Year's Eve, Chef Lee Chizmar put together a beautiful seven-course menu, complete with two options for wine pairings for each course. (This year Chef Chizmar is presenting a five-course menu with optional wine pairings.)
For as much as we have eaten in nice restaurants, we don't always order dishes that include quail egg, foie gras, oysters, and escargot. The pre-fixe menu was a great chance to experience unique ingredients and preparations, and showcase Lee's team's creativity in the kitchen.
We enjoyed each course immensely, but particularly the halibut with lobster butter and homemade gnocchi. To finish the meal, the chef prepared ramekins of chocolate soufflé with a rosemary crème anglaise. Despite our full bellies, we savored every bite.
As we prepared to leave the dining room, our coats were retrieved by one of the skillful busboys (who we watched instinctively catch a wine glass as it fell from a sideboard with amazing grace). We guessed that upstairs there must be a hook for each table. No "coat check tag" to hang on to. Just another thoughtful touch that makes Bolete stand apart from the rest.
This post was written by Lehigh Valley InSite guest blogger Megan Santucci, who also writes the Lehigh Valley Transplant blog.