Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Palate - Newtown, PA

Having spending quite a few evenings a week over in Pennsylvania, it has given me the opportunity to check out some towns I would never have stumbled upon otherwise, and I have found some great restaurants in these areas.  This was yet another trip to charming Newtown, and I stumbled upon Palate.

I actually first heard of Palate because of head Chef/Owner, Justin Kaplan, who used to work at Blue Bottle Cafe in Hopewell, which is another one of my favorite BYO's.  I had heard that he opened Palate sometime over the summer of 2010, so when I remembered this, I had to seek it out!

That being said, a trip here was in order, and I happened in on a night that they were still serving their Valentine's Day menu, that they actually served it the weekend prior to Valentine's Day as well.  Regardless, I wasn't that hungry, and there were items on the menu that I was interested in.

First out was a complimentary amuse bouche, which was a roasted red pepper cappuccino.  This was absolutely genius, nice and frothy, and something that just makes you say, "Wow, who thought of this?"  While it sounds odd, and even has odd texture in your mouth, it was absolutely perfect and delicious!

For starters, I just could not pass up the pork belly.  Unfortunately, they do not have a description of the appetizer on their menu, but it was some nicely cooked, crispy skinned pork belly, with a maple glaze of sort and an apple slaw, I think.  The flavors were both sweet and savory, and this was just a great appetizer.  I would definitely order it again, and anyone who reads my blog and follows my Facebook knows my love for the 19th wonder of the world, pork belly!

For entrees tonight, I went with the Seared Sea Scallops with Brussels Sprouts, Bacon, Garlic -Potato Puree, and Pine Nut Brown Butter.  If I had to nitpick here, I would say that the scallops were just a bit over-seasoned and salty, but this only applied to about half of them.  Though I am not a salt junkie, I still didn't find it offensive, especially seeing as these were cooked absolutely perfectly, and there was ZERO grit to the scallops which is one of my pet peeves.

The brussels sprouts were nicely roasted, and what is there not to like about bacon and some butter with some brussels sprouts?  These were awesome, and the garlic potato puree hit the spot as well.

Really couldn't pass up dessert here, and the Ginger Cookie Tres Leches hit the spot.  This was served with a nice chill, was thick, dense, and flavorful.  Definitely no complaints here.

As for the restaurant itself, it is simple, charming, and just looks clean.  From the nice built in banquette, to the clean, dark tables and wood floors, it is just a great place!

The service was friendly and wonderful with a very attentive staff ranging from the Chef, to the bus staff, to the servers. 

While I have only been to Newtown twice, and I am sure there are many other restaurants to check out here, I hope to visit this restaurant again, and hope that I don't have a HUGE gap like always seems the case with restaurants that I enjoy.  Though off the beaten path, I think it is definitely worth the trip.  Check it out for yourself, and let me know what you think.  Hail to the chef!  Cheers!

31 South State Street
Newtown, PA 18940
Phone:  (215) 860-2898


Anonymous said...

Interesting. I tried to go at the end of January and it was closed with no notice. I read a few bad reviews on urbanspoon too. Maybe I'll give it another shot.

NJFoodies said...

I haven't looked at any of the other reviews online, so I haven't seen them. But like I wrote, it is definitely worth the trip, and I look forward to returning. Great place, and Chef Kaplan definitely has talent and passion. These are the kind of finds I love to discover, and I think there could be some greatness at this restaurant. But we'll see the next time I decide to visit!