Monday, December 05, 2016

Bolete Named One of 100 Best Restaurants in America by Open Table

It doesn't get any sweeter than this! This is no surprise to me at all, and it's not the first honor Bolete has received.

Chef Lee Chizmar’s Bolete Restaurant Named to ‘100 Best Restaurants in America’ by Open Table

Celebrated Chef to Co-Host Philadelphia’s Taste of the Nation in January

Bethlehem, Penn. (December 5, 2016)-- Chef Lee Chizmar’s Bolete Restaurant was named among the “100 Best Restaurants in America” for 2016 by Open Table last week, as the restaurant celebrates its ninth anniversary in Pennsylvania’s Lehigh Valley. Owners Chizmar and wife Erin Shea have made their mark on the Mid-Atlantic region by epitomizing farm-to-table freshness with their remarkable daily-changing menu guided by farmer relationships. This nod adds to the handful of high-ranking accolades they have been fortunate enough to receive from the dining reservation service since their opening.

Open Table lists that the awards showcase both long-running and new eateries and features restaurants in 30 states and the District of Columbia. Relative newcomers such as Le Coucou in New York, and Zahav in Philadelphia are among the winners, alongside notable spots like New York’s Gramercy Tavern and Philly’s Vetri.

Having been named to Conde Nast Traveler’s “100 Hottest New Restaurant” upon opening in 2008, Bolete continues to root itself in providing great hospitality and dynamic food. Everything is made fresh in the Bolete kitchen, including stocks, sauces and pastas. Earlier this fall, Chef Chizmar returned for a fifth year to headline the wildly popular open-air feast, Outstanding in the Field, teaming up with Blooming Glen Farm to present guests with a dinner ripe with farm-fresh provisions. Next month, Chizmar will co-host Share Our Strength’s annual Taste of the Nation in Philadelphia, guiding over two dozen chefs to help end childhood hunger in the United States.

In addition to their revered Bethlehem restaurant, Chizmar and Shea launched a new “farm-to-stick” ramen noodle bar, Mister Lee’s Noodles, in nearby Easton, Penn., earlier this year. It offers a fun, nontraditional take on the popular Japanese staple, sourcing ingredients from local farms to make each dish to order on site. As the first premium ramen concept to come to the Valley, Mister Lee’s has earned accolades from the community and sparked interest from main stage foodies, such as the New York City Wine & Food Festival, where Chef Lee did a pop-up in October to present one of his ramen dishes at their “Harvest Party”.

Chizmar, a graduate of the Culinary Institute of America, developed an appreciation for seasonal, local ingredients at Lark Creek Inn in San Francisco with Chef Bradley Ogden. He then moved to Boston for the opening of Great Bay, under the tutelage of owner Christopher Myers, which was quickly named Best New Restaurant in the Country by Esquire Magazine. It was there that Chizmar and Shea met, and so began their journey of creating one of the country’s future institutions in dining.

Bolete is housed in a historic stagecoach inn at 1740 Seidersville Road in Bethlehem, Penn., and was designed to be special place where guests are often greeted by Shea herself and can savor fine tastes in an elegant, unhurried atmosphere. Follow them online @eatbolete on Facebook and Instagram. For more information, call 610-868-6505 or visit Mister Lee’s Noodles is located at the Easton Public Market, 325 Northampton Street in Easton, Penn., and can be reached at 610-829-2799 or online @misterleesndls and