Does anyone remember the very fine bakery in the West End on route 209, called Sassafras? I mean the one with the croissants that were the best you could get outside of France and only 50 cents each, and where the baker was more interested in bringing out the flavors of butter, fruit, cheese, etc., and less intent on sugaring everything to death (i.e., before the business was sold and moved to Stroudsburg).
Well, Michael and Elvi, the team behind the late lamented original Sassafras, opened a restaurant called Antelaos two years ago (on Main Street in Delaware Water Gap, phone: 570-426-7226), and I cant think why it took us so long to track them down, but Im so glad we did. The same philosophy of refinement, a light hand, focusing on the flavors of the ingredients, keeping it simple, has carried over.
We had a fantastic meal there Saturday night. The standouts were: baked artichoke hearts with herbed goat cheese and rosemary oil (perfectly fresh and lightly seasoned, and we were dipping our rolls in the rosemary oil when we finished the artichokes); savory, rich-flavored roasted beets in balsamic and orange vinaigrette with blue cheese and toasted pecans; squash canneloni with romano cheese in delicate semolina pasta with browned sage butter; grilled polenta; even the mixed vegetables served with the entrees were lovingly treated, crisp and tender. For dessert we had the panna cotta with dried cherries soaked in madeirawow! The panna cotta melted in your mouth and the sauce gave it a wonderful depth and slight acidity that balanced the soft sweetness. The rest of the menu (unsampled by us) includes lamb shank, veal cheeks, salmon, scallops, filet mignon, crab cakes, etc.
Great atmosphererefined, quiet, warm and only six tables, all full at our 9:00 Saturday sitting. Perfect service, even though it was only Elvi with a helper/bus boy and a hostess. It is BYO. Appetizers, salads, entrees, desserts for the two of us totaled a mere $55.
Dinner Thursday-Sunday only--get yourself some reservations and go! To date, our most outstanding dining experience in the Poconos, and ranks right up there with fine dining in NY, Chicago, SF, Miami, LA you get the idea.