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Some of my favorite restaurants with mini-reviews. I am to the point that I would rather cook at home than go out our for mediocre food and wine. Here are some places that are anything but mediocre:

Williamsport, PA Restaurants

  • DiSalvo’s – there’s really not another place in the same class as this restaurant until you get to Harrisburg or State College or beyond. A true top-chef-run kitchen with creative and flavorful dishes. They always have their trusty regular dishes and each week a page of special chef creations.

  • So many things I like about this one:
    • Decor and ambience – very classy and upscale. Very euro. And just perfectly matched to my personal tastes. I feel like I am back in Tuscany every time I have a meal here.
    • Bar – great bar (best in Williamsport) and great bartenders. Tate makes some of the best manhattans ever. He used Knob Creek bourbon and not too much of the other stuff (sweet vermouth, bitters, cherry juice and cherry). I judge manhattans all over the world by Tate’s. We recently had manhattans at the Cinnamon Club in London, ranked the best Indian restaurant in London and the manhattans there were barely up to Tate’s level. On top of that, they have grappa and Fernet and an amazing Italian wine selection.
    • Menu – always something interesting. I has my first stuffed squid here, my first of many fish species – often served whole, the best way, my first pappardelle. Great steaks, seafood and pastas. My favorite salad anywhere – the Greca – a slab of feta with tomatoes, cucumbers, olives, roasted peppers.
    • Wine List – if I could only spend more time with the deep Italian list.
    • The Open Kitchen – downstairs, a marble stair leads you to a beautiful dining area that has a beautiful ceiling, soft indirect lighting and a full view of the kitchen. Flames, pans, a real pizza oven – it’s really nice to watch the show while you dine.
    • The Courtyard – in warm weather, an open courtyard is the place to have your food and wine. Stone, trees and vines create a mini-oasis from the street hustle and bustle. Sometimes there is a jazz band but that’s just sauce for the goose.
    • Take Away – lots of stuff can be purchased for your home use – olive oil, pasta, ravioli, sauce.
    • Charcuterie – Vince DiSalvo, the chef, makes his own Pancetta, Guanciale, Prosciutto, and more.
    • Wine Bar – the Courtyard/Patio is adjacent to the new Wine Bar – a beautiful underlit bar space that has doors that open in warm weather. For hanging out with a bottle of Opus One, a glass of grappa or a great manhattan, after the meal.
    • Family – the DiSalvo family is everything you’d expect from a great, talented Italian bunch. Get to know them and they become some of your favorite people to spend time with.

 

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