The Keystone State’s Signature Eats can Please a Crowd

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  • Quintessential Favorites

     
    FROM THE Fall 2016 ISSUE
     

    Good ‘N Plenty does comfort food right.

  • Quintessential Favorites

     
    FROM THE Fall 2016 ISSUE
     

    Estia has an inviting rustic ambiance.

  • Quintessential Favorites

     
    FROM THE Fall 2016 ISSUE
     

    2nd Story Brewing Company’s custom beer options are ideal for networking.

When it comes to discussions of food, Philadelphia is arguably the best place to get cheesesteaks, but there are plenty of places across the state of Pennsylvania that off er signature foods that those attending meetings or events are sure to love. The Keystone State lets folks indulge in decadent chocolate, hand-crafted pretzels, iconic whoopie pies and a whole host of delicious treats.

Meaty Goodness

Con Murphy’s, located in downtown Philadelphia, is a great casual dining experience for groups that want to experience the local crowd. “I would say nine times out of 10 the Philly Cheesesteak is the first culinary box visitors tick off when they arrive in the city, and we are proud to offer a great one,” says Liam Kelly, managing partner. “Ours is thinly sliced, chopped sirloin beef with fried onions and American cheese served on an Amoroso’s roll along with fresh cut fries.” Con Murphy’s offers two private conference rooms that can accommodate a simple eightto-10 person meeting or a larger cocktail-style event for 100 guests. Both conference rooms are tucked away on the mezzanine level of the adjacent hotel [The Windsor Suites], providing a great quiet environment for attendees. The rooms feature Wi-Fi, flat-screen TVs, and microphone/speakers. Events can he held inside the restaurant and can accommodate groups of 20 to 40 for dinner/ buffet or up to 100 cocktail-style.

Lyman Winner, owner of the Frogtown Chophouse in Swiftwater, hosts a great number of business meetings at the restaurant—especially local pharmaceutical companies—in its private 32-seat back room. And while guests are there, they can munch on the specialty of the house—crab cakes—and its Pennsylvania-inspired braised short ribs. “I go to a local butcher and get them hand-cut and braise them in the oven for a couple of hours,” Winner says. “Our menu is flexible and we have a great team available for groups.”

Going Dutch

Good ’N Plenty in Smoketown is a restaurant nestled inside a farmhouse with a Pennsylvania Dutch menu, from fried chicken to pickled veggies and buttered noodles, served family-style for larger groups. “We have a larger dining room that can seat up to 400 people at a time,” says Glen Lapp, the restaurant’s owner. “We do host a few banquets each year, but we are very limited with our facility because we only have one dining room that is used daily to seat our bus groups and walk-ins.” It’s perfect for large events, however. 

A Taste of the Amish

Plain & Fancy Farm Restaurant in Bird-InHand specializes in PA Dutch cuisine and American fare, and also provides lodging in the adjacent AmishView Inn & Suites. Jennifer L. Buchter, general manager of the AmishView Inn & Suites, says there are two separate meeting spaces at the hotel—the lower level room that is 1,350 square feet and can be split in half with a divider wall; and its 650-squarefoot boardroom/theater which offers plenty of natural light from the two walls of windows and state-of-the-art A/V. “Meeting guests may choose to enjoy a catered lunch or dinner featuring traditional PA Dutch favorites, such as homemade chicken pot pie, fried chicken, mashed potatoes, brown buttered noodles, sour cream apple crumb pie, shoofly pie, and other local favorites [at Plain & Fancy Farm Restaurant],” Buchter says. “And the AmishView Inn is famous for its amazing farmland views and hot country breakfast buffet, featuring made-to-order eggs, omelets and Belgian waffles.” 

It’s Greek to Me

For those craving Greek food, Estia offers Mediterranean cuisine with fresh fish flown in from Greece, Portugal and Spain, but it doesn’t forget about its home locale. The restaurant offers Yuengling Lager on tap, fresh from the Pottsville-based brewery, and has a chocolate soufflé for dessert, made from some of the rich chocolate found in the state. “We offer a one-of-a-kind experience in Philadelphia, with the ability to pick your fish from our fresh fish display and have it grilled for you,” says Jeff Hudson, manager. As for meeting space, it offers both private and semiprivate rooms for groups from six to 180 and up to 30 guests, respectively. 

Pretzels and Beer

You can’t go to Old Town Philadelphia without enjoying some of the great ale the state produces, which is why 2nd Story Brewing Company is the perfect place to hold a meeting or event. “Our second floor can accommodate up to 150 guests for a receptionstyle event and up to 100 guests for a seated meal. It’s ideal for a networking event,” says Stephanie Bellomo, events coordinator, who adds that custom beer options are available for meetings. “Our space is ideal for theaterstyle presentations, but we can accommodate smaller groups for classroom-style setups.” When it comes to beer, from the raw ingredients to the finished product, its brewers put great care into every step. “We brew beers we like to drink and we  brew beers our clients will like to drink.  However, after our 2nd Story Brews, the house-made pretzels are very popular,” Bellomo says. “They are pretzel bites freshly made every morning. Brushed with butter and dusted with sea salt, they are served with our Fritzie’s Lager cheese fondue and signature spicy mustard.” 

Sophisticated Italian cooking designed for sharing transports guests to Italy.

 

As Marcella Hazan explains in the introduction to her “Essentials of Classic Italian Cooking,” the varying languages, climates, geography, history and local ingredients that defi ne Italy’s diverse regions make it diffi cult to classify one single cooking style as representative of the entire country’s cuisine. Rather, “It is the cooking that spans remembered history, that has evolved during the whole course of transmitted skills and intuitions in the homes throughout the Italian peninsula and the islands, in its hamlets, on its farms, in its great cities.