The next level of fine dining comes to the Lehigh Valley

Stepping inside is like taking a trip to a cozy, impossibly chic restaurant in Europe.

Every detail draws you in, from the nearly invisible acoustic panels to the dulling of excess noise to the comfy pillows of a Bavarian cabin.

However, this restaurant is of course not in Germany, nor is it in New York City or Philadelphia.

Located in downtown Easton.

Jason Hoi, Co-Owner of Kabinet Wine Bar & Garden, said:

Hui and his wife and business partner Melanie Hanshe opened Kabinetto, a fine dining restaurant that embraces the world of wine, this month.

Wine is just the beginning of this restaurant’s story. Australian-born Hoy is a fine wine expert who has worked in the retail, wholesale and import industries for nearly 30 years.

Hoy moved his wine career into the background, opening and running the Tucker Silk Mill, a café and grocery store in Easton with Hansche.

In June 2021, he and Hanshe announced plans for Kabinett, finally an opportunity for Huy to share his love and knowledge of wine.

“Now I can do it on my own terms,” ​​Hui said.

Even the name of the restaurant references wine. Kabinett is where German winemakers historically kept special bottles for themselves rather than selling them. (In this Kabinetto, of course, the wine is shared.) Kabinetto is also his style of off-drying Riesling, a versatile grape that thrives on both German and Australian soils, reflecting the owner’s roots. .

Of course, it is no exaggeration to say that you can explore different wines in Kabinet. Most fine dining restaurants have wine lists, some of which are extensive, but Kabinet lets you peruse what can only be described as a wine catalog. You can find almost any type of wine, with a heavy leaning towards Australian wines.

Hui said you don’t have to be a wine lover to enjoy Kabinet. The staff can help you choose the perfect wine to drink or pair it with what you’re planning to eat.

Of course it leads us to food. At the helm of the kitchen are his two head chefs — Jacob Watson and Paige Robinson — who hail from Salisbury Township’s multi-award winning restaurant Bolete. This gives you an idea of ​​the level of dining you will experience at Kabinet.

Of course, there are wines and nibbles, plates of salty conservas: white anchovies, ‘romesco’ sauce, crispy olives, breadcrumbs or pinay sardines, salted celery, fennel, lemon on toasted baguette. Enjoy the charcuterie.

But this is fine dining with vibrant mains on the menu. Roast chicken, mousseline, potato pavé, chanterelles and crispy kale. Braised Beef Cheeks, Sanchok Puree, Grand Cherry, Black Trumpet and Beef Chicharon are just two examples.

Vegan and vegetarian diners will find delicious options like spicy maitake mushroom tempura, caramelized scallion dip, pickled chimichurri, and whole roasted cauliflower confit with Persian spices, labneh, fennel, and pomegranate.

If you want something sweet to finish off your meal, there’s the ‘carrot cake’. This is a spice cake featuring carrot ganache, granola and brown butter frosting.

To be clear, the food and wine (and the curated cocktail and beer list) work in harmony. The menu is designed not only to incorporate world wines from the Kabinett catalogue, but to stand on their own.

Kabinett’s opening to the diner allows Hoy and Hansche to move forward with two more projects, which are due to be completed next year.

Kabinet has over 40 seats inside, but capacity will increase exponentially when the wine garden opens. A 150-person patio overlooking the Delaware River features long rustic tables, a casual menu of rotisserie chicken and salads, and easy-drinking wines and beers from Gertie, a vintage caravan restored in the ’70s. I’m here. The garden will also be dog-friendly. Hoy said he hopes to open for guests in May or June.

In addition, the couple are working on the evolution of Tucker Silk Mill, a former Australian-focused cafe and grocery store in Easton, to prepare to evolve and relocate next door to Kabinet. Closed in December 2021.

Hoy walked through the cavernous space that would become Tucker Garage + Grocery, a 12,000-foot grocery and general store. Aiming to bridge the gap between fresh produce and staples in the growing community of downtown Easton residents, the new Tucker will offer casual dining and artisanal groceries alongside a retail wine store.

These two projects may have the same attention to detail as Kabinett. Deputy Editor-in-Chief of Hoy and Food & Wine magazine, Hansche clearly knows how to create a unique dining space. Visual interest is present in every part of the restaurant, from the custom Art Deco lighting hand-blown by Olde Brick Lighting in Lititz, County Lancaster, to the bespoke concrete his bar by Bethlehem-based Majestic Concrete. there is.

“Everyone is really happy,” said Diner Hoy. “And we don’t have to drive to New York or Philadelphia.”

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