Monday, August 30, 2010

Cosmopolitan: The restaurant (part 2 of 2)

Cosmopolitan (22 North Sixth Street, Allentown) will be opening in just a few weeks, and will feature the Lehigh Valley's only honest-to-goodness celebrity chef. Bryan Sikora co-founded popular Philadelphia restaurant Django and Kennett Square's phenomenal Talula's Table, often called "the hardest reservation to get in the country," where reservations require a full-year's wait.

Bryan, approachable and passionate, works on Cosmopolitan's menu in a construction zone.

It's not too often that the Valley gets to enjoy cooking by the kind of chef that hangs out with Martha. Whose restaurant was profiled on NPR. And who's so serious about farm-to-table cuisine, one supplier made a variety of salad greens for him, and then coined it the Sikora mix forevermore.

Guests will consider Bryan's unique menu selections seated on one of three levels of dining, each covered with soft fabrics and leather, lush carpet and strategically-placed LED spotlights, a cozy atmosphere to enjoy dinner, drinks, and muse (a bite of food somewhere between an amuse bouche and a tapa - more like a single hors d'oeuvre). The first level will have live acoustic jazz four nights a week, private banquettes, a bar, and a few key see-and-be-seen two- and four-top tables. Up one flight of stairs or a quick elevator ride, guests can peer down through a hole in the floor, created to hold a two-story chandelier, lovingly restored since its days hanging in the now-closed Hess' department store in downtown Allentown.

The draft lunch menu includes ingredients like tuna tartar, crispy baby artichokes, and tomato gelee, but visitors can also choose a simpler, more affordable lunch combination, featuring seasonal ingredients. The first selection may include a potato chowder, garden salad and petite crab cake sandwich for a mere $9. Saladworks, it is not.

Dinner ingredients will be a treat for those who pay attention to source and preparation: scallops from Barnegat Bay (NJ), handmade pasta, Pennsylvania pastured lamb, truffled duck fries, and a variety of seasonal ingredients are on deck for the premier menu. The restaurant will bake its own bread and desserts, and prepare every last detail on site, down to the freshly-made ice creams.

To top off your meal, the bar will offer more than 26 wines by the glass, beginning at $8.95 - and sky's the limit from there. Your server may offer you two wine selections to try before you choose a glass to go with your meal. Want to share a bottle? You'll choose from 140 selections that GM and sommelier Kevin Lynn has personally picked to compliment Cosmopolitan's menu and atmosphere. Top-shelf liquors and beers will also be available in a bar that is designed to "hide" the bottles from sight.

Despite the menu reading like one you'd see in Manhattan or Philadelphia, the restaurant and its staff will make you feel like you're visiting a friend's place. That friend just happens to be a world-class chef who has a place on Sixth Street in Allentown (and valet parking!). Cosmopolitan will be a place to share a special meal, meet for a drink after work, hold an event (up to 140 people in the third-floor ballroom), or sample a wine or dish you've never tried before. I'll see you there!

The wine list is coming together!

Managers Jim Fortunato (formerly of Melt Restaurant Group) and Greer Dalpe (formerly of Providence's Napa Grille and King of Prussia's California Cafe) are working on details.

Getting the kitchen ready for the opening... mid-September 2010.

1 comment:

  1. I'm pretty psyched about this, but seriously what is with their website? I am praying that the logo on here is not their final choice. It would be a shame for all this work to be sullied by such bad graphic design.