Monday, January 19, 2009

Bay Leaf

When we had first moved to the Valley, I heard about a place called Bay Leaf (935 W Hamilton St.) in Allentown that served "Sorta Thai." It's French, it's Thai, it's American, and it's reputably served by some of the Valley's snootiest servers. In those servers' defense, we had a series of friendly servers today. When I asked whether there were any specials, one smiled and sincerely replied that everything on the menu was special.

Katie and I had one of the only tables away from the window, but with a great view of Tim Kennedy at lunch with a friend. The restaurant wasn't full, but there were quite a few tables of patrons already eating when we arrived at noon this Monday.

We both started with soup - I am noticing a pattern here, must be the frigid temps outside - and I had a curried chicken dish. Instead of a soupy sauce poured over chicken and rice, Bay Leaf's preparation included some very tasty slices of chicken, marinated and grilled in a mouthwatering array of spices. A pickled veggie salad over romaine finished the dish. I admit I wouldn't have ordered the salad on its own, but it was yummy: very fresh and lightly dressed in a vinaigrette. Katie ordered ravioli that looked to be a perfect lunch portion, handmade and nicely presented. With a drink for me, soup and entrees for two, the bill came to about $21.00/each with a well-earned tip.

Bay Leaf is right on Hamilton, across the street from Allentown Brew Works. There was a lot of foot traffic on Hamilton Street today as I was leaving. I had parked on the same block as the restaurant and fed the meter (which had expired before I returned, but I didn't get a ticket. That's a first!). Katie mentioned she'd heard good things about Cafe Buon Gusto (at 19th and Hamilton) so maybe we'll check that out after I return from a business trip to Aspen.

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