This month marks a very special anniversary for me and my boyfriend - 5 years! - which got me thinking about "special occasion" restaurants in the area. My favorite, hands down, is Grille 3501 in Allentown. In fact, it was just voted "Favorite Special Occasion" and "Favorite Overall" restaurant in Lehigh Valley Style's 2008 Decadent Dish Awards (on newsstands now).

It's been two years since I've been to 3501, but that's only because my pockets aren't deep enough to go there on a regular basis. 3501 is described as a "fusion of classy, urbane and modern" that offers Asian, French and Mediterranean cuisine. To a country girl like me, that translates to mean the fanciest, swankiest restaurant I've ever set foot in.

In the three times I've been to 3501 since it opened in late 2001, I've always ordered the same thing: filet mignon in merlot sauce. YUM! They do serve other things though; here's their menu.

While I don't tend to stray into the exotic when it comes to food, I will be adventurous when it comes to drinks. 3501 is a martini bar, which really rings my bell, so they have martini specials during happy hour and more choices than a bartender's recipe book.

So the next time you have a special occasion, try out Grille 3501 and let me know what you think!