Bay Leaf RestaurantHaving just driven into Allentown, Pennsylvania to spend the night, we really hadn’t made any dinner reservations.  Checking with a couple on-line apps, we finally decided to try the Bay Leaf, at 935 Hamilton Street.  Turns out it couldn’t have been more convenient, it was just diagonally across the street from our hotel.

We read the four star reviews, and decided it was certainly worth a try. They were right on. Being a Thursday night, we were assuming we wouldn’t have trouble getting a table and we didn’t. As luck would have it, the center table in the front window had just been cleaned and we sat down with a view of the streetscape outside.

Service was good, but not rushed. There were many tables occupied, even late at night. Since it was late when we arrived, we were looking for something not real heavy. We opted for a soup, salads and an appetizer. What a great decision.

I started off with shrimp appetizer with fresh, decorative vegetable slices over a bed of lettuce, topped with a creamy dressing. Even though it was December, the cucumbers were the freshest I’ve ever tasted. I followed that with a mixed-greens salad featuring apples, gorgonzola cheese, port wine and a honey drizzle.

Doug had a seafood bisque which he really enjoyed. He then had the calamari which was wonderful – hot and seasoned perfectly with a Thai spiced sauce.

If you find yourself in Allentown, Pennsylvania, be sure to give yourself time to experience what may be one of the city’s best hidden gems…and ask for the table by the window.

Bay Leaf – new American and Asian Cuisine

935 W. Hamilton Street

Allentown, PA 18101