323 NORTHAMPTON STREET
EASTON, PENNSYLVANIA HISTORIC DISTRICT
Friday & Saturday: 5pm-10:30pm
Friday & Saturday: 5pm-10:30pm
Let us start by thanking Malori Alonso , who set up our trip to Oak and was very helpful in coordinating the events, and to General Manager Lee Minnucci, who was so professional, engaging and informative that it was impossible for us to have anything but a perfect evening, so a sincere thank you to both.
I have been watching the progression of Easton for many years now and for those of you who haven’t ventured west, you should. There are superior restaurants and the trip is simple, you jump on 78 for 20 minutes and you are there. You don’t have to fight crazy bridge and tunnel traffic like you do trekking into Manhattan. You don’t have to pay extreme tolls and parking fees and frankly the people in Easton are friendly and accommodating.
On a brilliant fall evening we took a nice stroll across the circle square and arrived at Oak at seven p.m. with no expectations. We had no idea what was to come. We had taken a look at their website but that was it. The Steak house is beautiful. Open now for three months the people who constructed Oak did an incredible job. They paid attention to detail and that make the spaces sparkle. The creativity of the lightening fixtures, art work and perfect wood floors separate Oak immediately from others.
Oak has four floors. When you walk in the front door there are stairs that go down into a private dining room. The room is gorgeous, with a large wine cellar wall flanking one side and a table that seats 16. It does expand should you need it.
One can easily visualize a corporate board meeting here. You can also imagine an anniversary or a birthday celebration. According to Lee they work with all sorts of different groups and can accommodate many different requests.
Also located on this floor is the room where they dry age for their meat. This was very interesting and you could see the dedication that the owner put into his building when constructing it.
All the fresh beef is aged for several weeks to allow enzymes naturally present in the meat to break down the muscle tissue, resulting in improved texture and flavor. This is a complex process and takes an extremely clean environment.
On the main floor when you walk in the door there is a dining area that moves from front to back. The kitchen, which is in full view, iss located in the back. Watching the chefs work in time with each other was mesmerizing.
Many brilliant chefs work in very small spaces and have a hard time keeping out of each others way. This is not a factor at Oak, the kitchen is enormous and it gives everyone along the line a great chance to shine and shine they do. It is another testament to the owner who clearly spared no expense.
The wide stairwell next to the reception desk takes you up to the bar room and separate dining areas. The bar is lovely, has a nice level of low light.
It sets a wonderful tone for having a libation before your dining starts. Meals are also served at the bar should desire. The two bartenders were efficient, polite and they smiled their way through their chores.
The bartenders were very informative as to wine selections and made a perfect chilled martini. To the right of the bar is another dining area that has a very neat barn door that slides. If you want to have a private party on this level you can shut it off from bar/dining area. Again you can’t help but notice the artistic lighting fixtures.
Up one more level there is a rooftop bar with a retractable roof that opens and closes with the click of a button. We were surprised how easy it was to open. If you happened to get one of those beautiful Indian summer daysyou can get the roof open in no time.
In the middle of this room are two fire pits to keep the chill out of the air and add that ambiance. It’s a nice effect. One can imagine a moonlit happy hour up here during the winter.
The chef and general manager were kind enough to take the reins on our meal and showcase some of their delightful menu items. Our wait staff were professional, engaging, fun, smiling. They made our night a true joy. The managerial style of the restaurant is to have all tables have at least two, if not three servers. Your needs are met in seconds. You never have to wait for anything.
A varied selection of bread choices came with three dipping sauces. Even if you are doing the low carb diet, take a small piece of bread and dip it in the house sauce, the red one, which they told is applicable throughout the entire meal. They were right. It was a very nice touch and delicious.
We started with the rooftop crab appetizer, a large sampling of fresh caught crab meat surrounded by a mango avocado and cucumber blend that was pureed into a glaze around the outside of the plate. The crab melted in your mouth, was seasoned perfectly, and didn’t last long on the plate. You can share or it or spoil yourself and eat the entire offering.
We moved on to what would appear to be an unusual dish, charred thick cut bacon with maple syrup. First bite sent the taste buds to heaven. There were two large pieces on the place, plenty to share for two if you were on a date and sampling smaller plates. When you’re done you muse about ordering another portion, it was that good. Excellent.
The steak arrived, an immense dry aged piece of beef that was seared perfectly on the outside and gentle pink in the middle. The knife dripped through the meat like a hot blade through butter. It was simply perfect and it would hard to imagine getting better anywhere else. Wonderful.
It should also be noted that our fabulous tour guide and General Manager, Lee Minnucci , is a sommelier. He mixed and matched well suited wines to every dish and enhanced the meal tenfold. He was brilliant at it and very informative as to vintages and regions.
In conclusion, Oak is a great spot. It goes right to the top of the heap of restaurants in Easton. This is an excellent New York City quality steakhouse. You can go on a date, go with friends, business relations, or for a party. It is perfectly suited for any occasion. If you are someone who likes to dine out put this on top of your list.
We are happy to give OAK our highest rating, BRAVO – great job by all.