Posts tagged ‘Local’

April 25, 2012

Karla’s Restaurant New Hope, PA



I’ve lived in our little town of New Hope for essentially my entire life. There aren’t many real natives living here anymore. Few of us are still around to remember the open fields that are now filled with homes, and the quirky artistic town as it was back in the 70’s and 80’s. It’s very different now. Not to say it’s better or worse, just different. One thing remains the same, New Hope and Lambertville still offer some of the best restaurants in the greater Philadelphia area.

We love Karla’s. Cozy and full of locals, Karla’s offers some of the best fare in town. With the warm weather here to stay, sitting on the open air patio at Karla’s, people watching and sipping one of their fresh fruit martini’s is a perfect way to spend an afternoon or evening. Dinners at Karla’s are always consistently delicious. Fresh and prepared while you wait, Karla’s menu includes steaks, seafood, pastas and more, all with a Mediterranean twist. I love their fresh grilled salmon and their tender braised short ribs and scallops over risotto… simply decadent. Their house salad with Thai vinaigrette is my favorite salad in town. The dressing is light and fresh with perfect Thai seasonings. How can a simple house salad taste so good? I wonder if they’d share the recipe with us? If you’re looking for something a bit simpler, Karla’s serves a killer burger and house cut french fries. The smoky pulled chicken chipotle quesadilla and the Greek salad are perfect choices for a light lunch or as a starter. There are always nightly specials offered as well.

As I casually mentioned their fresh fruit martini’s above, I should be giving you a warning. These drinks are lethal. Maybe my alcohol tolerance isn’t what it used to be, but I can only drink one of Karla’s martini’s. It’s water for the rest of the night after a single cocktail. I’ve been told that there is 8oz of alcohol in each martini. I wonder if it’s true? That’s a lot of vodka! The lemon drop martini is my favorite. It’s so fruity and delicious… very deceiving. You’ve been warned! Pick your designated driver before you get there.

Karla’s still offers a locals night, full moon dance parties and Sunday brunch. If you’re heading into New Hope for the day, add this to your list of places for lunch, dinner or at the very least, stop by for a martini on the veranda. Bucks County locals who haven’t been to Karla’s, shame on you! Now is the perfect time to go.

Karla’s – 5 West Mechanic Street – New Hope, PA 18938 – (215)862-2612

February 22, 2012

Steakhouse Mushrooms and Arugula

Steakhouse Mushrooms and Arugula

Too much chicken! That was the thought that entered my mind yesterday when I was thinking about the blog and what’s been cooking here recently. Too much chicken! This is a fact that I am constantly reminded of by my daughter, who puts chicken at the bottom of her list of favorite foods. So, to say the New York strips were a welcome surprise last night at dinner, would be an understatement! I rarely cook red meat, but when I do, I run to the farmers market where they have local meat and pick up a few special steaks. Cooking red meat so infrequently warrants cooking only the best quality cuts of beef, and None Such Farms in Buckingham, PA truly has the best.

As delicious as the steaks were, they weren’t the star of the show. This warm mushroom salad with arugula, and grilled whole grain baguette was unbelievable! If you love mushrooms, add this to your next menu. You can serve this as a side, or without the meat as a vegetarian dinner. It looks like a lot of mushrooms when you first put them in the pan, but they shrink down quite a bit as they cook.

INGREDIENTS (Serves 4-6 as a side dish)

  • 5 tbsp olive oil, divided
  • 1 large onion, cut in half and sliced
  • 24oz sliced button mushrooms
  • 2 tsp fresh thyme
  • 2 tsp fresh rosemary, finely chopped
  • 4 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • A few cups baby arugula
  • Shaved Pecorino Romano cheese (as much as you like)
  • Kosher salt & pepper to taste
  • Really good bread (baguette, ciabatta, etc.)

Heat 2 tbsp of olive oil in a large (12-14″ frypan) over medium heat. Add the sliced onions and cook, stirring frequently until they soften. Add the sliced mushrooms and sauté until their juices release and they begin to turn golden brown. Add some salt and pepper, the fresh herbs and stir. Raise the heat slightly and add the balsamic vinegar and the remaining 3tbsp olive oil. Cook for a couple of minutes, stirring constantly. The vinegar and oil will become the dressing/sauce for the dish.

In a large, low serving bowl or a rimmed platter, pour the mushroom mixture over the fresh arugula leaves. The arugula leaves will wilt from the heat of the mushrooms. Sprinkle over the ribbons of fresh Pecorino cheese. Pile the mushrooms, cheese and arugula over big wedges of grilled bread. YUM!


Rub the sliced bread with a little olive oil and sprinkle with coarse salt. Grill for a minute or two until beautiful char marks appear and the bread becomes perfectly crispy.

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