This is the first in a series of reviews of restaurants in the greater Easton area. For those of you who don’t know, or simply haven’t been traveling to the west very often, Easton has become a destination point for epicurean adventures. On every corner there seemingly is a new eatery that will delight your taste buds. We start with Stoke.
In the center of Easton there is what some might term a circle square that is the central hub for the restaurant district. Stoke is located on the south east side of the square a few steps down the alley way next to Pearly Bakers Ale House. It is a nice location, it gets you off the traffic bustle of eh square without having to walk very far and it offers you seating outside in the alley should you find yourself there on a nice crispy fall day.
At the onset I would be remiss not mentioning two people that were essential to this review, Jose Fetterolf, the general manager, who took the bull buy the horns and got the story off and running in a matter of moments and was so cordial it was fantastic, and Maurizio – our bartender – server – sous chef – wine connoisseur – and all around entertainment specialist, he made our stop simply delightful. My companion for the evening, AP, was also quite fetching and insightful, so thanks to her as well.
If you take a look at the menu in the link above Stoke might be described as a gourmet pizza restaurant, but it is so much more than that. The depth of the flavors in all the dishes was right on point and we salivated throughout.
Our first dish was a spinach and gorgonzola salad that was infused with figs, pecans and pickled onions and tossed lightly with a peppercorn vinaigrette. For a light to medium eater this could have been a meal for one all on its own. The flavors blended perfectly together and satisfied the nerve endings on the tip of the tongue. Very Nice.
Dish two was handmade gnocchi that was swirled in a mozzarella curd that enveloped peas and mushrooms all held together by a truffle vinaigrette. WOW The chef used a pan fry technique that lightly browned and seared the outside making the small dumplings simply divine. Again, if you are on a date this is a dish that can easily be split in two so that you can try a larger variety of the menu.
And finally the grand finale had to be one of their coal fire pizza’s. We ordered the Funghi Bianco which was a blend of wild mushrooms, onions, béchamel, mozzarella with truffle sambuca oil. I saw Maurizio get a wry grin on his face and then he asked us how adventurous we were and I knew the game was on. He said he had a special twist to the dish and went back into the kitchen and added some extra special ingredients to further boost what was already a tantalizing amount of toppings. The crust was crispy, held together and had a nice snap when it passed the lips. I’m still not quite sure what his special additives were but bite after bite flavors exploded. Fabulous.
And if your somehow not full after your sampling adventure and like cheesecake, it’s one of their specialties and it would be churlish not to have an espresso on the side
As for ambiance, stoke is a nice blend of modern décor that creates a semi casual atmosphere. You are not in a pizzeria, you are in a dining establishment. You can either sit at the bar or choose from tables or nice booths that can seat 6. They have a large selection of wines, feel free to ask Maurizio, he was an expert on all of their offerings and can easily point you in a direction is you simply tell him your tasting desires.
The grand question when examining an eatery is – would you go back – To Stoke – NO DOUBT ABOUT IT – enjoy