Menu highlights international selections
Former Wall Street analyst hired a chef to officiate
A chance encounter at the gym led to the hiring of the executive chef at Taste of the World, the 6-month-old BYOB internationally themed restaurant in New Hope.
Larry Bishop, a former Wall Street analyst, world traveler and avid home cook, was looking for a chef. He had an idea for a restaurant that would feature cuisines from around the world, and he knew exactly where he would locate it: in the former Occasions catering facility in Union Square.
Bishop has studied cooking here and abroad, having first learned the basics from his talented grandmother. He wanted a restaurant that would showcase the best the world had to offer, but first he needed a chef. “I always have had a passion for food, but not a vocation,” he explained.
He mentioned his search to a friend at the gym, who also is friends with Jean Giunta, a Culinary Institute of American graduate and former owner of the popular Andiamo across the river in Lambertville, N.J.
Bishop had been a frequent customer of Andiamo and knew Giunta and her top-shelf work. Negotiations followed, and the pair opened the restaurant six months ago.
“I am really happy here,” said Giunta, “we’re having a lot of fun.”
Giunta, Bishop and sous chef Zandra Guzman have crafted a menu that features some of the customer favorites from Andiamo as well as international selections. That means dishes such as Giunta’s white bean and porcini mushroom soup, wild mushroom and goat cheese strudel and deconstructed codfish puttanesca. Guzman contributed her chicken empanadas, which are made from scratch, while Bishop is in charge of the tapas platters that feature meat, cheese, seafood or vegetables.
Other entrees include pasta Bolognese with herbed ricotta garnish, lentil cakes over sautéed kale and lemon-garlic shrimp with parmesan grits.
A casual panini menu features flavors as varied as ham with avocado tomato, muenster cheese and fire-roasted peppers; prosciutto with provolone, marinated artichoke hearts and oven-roasted tomatoes; and grilled shrimp with jalapeno slaw and red onion.
Guinta’s rich butterscotch pot de crème tops the dessert menu, with her Key lime pie a close second, and her flourless chocolate cake a chocolate-lover’s delight.
Offering variations to the menu is a theme night every Wednesday, featuring cuisines from around the world ranging from Indonesian-Thai to Italian to Middle Eastern and Mexican. A favorite so far has been an all-American comfort food night featuring homespun dishes such as beef stew, chicken parmesan, lobster macaroni and cheese and chicken with dumplings.
With the cold weather upon us, Giunta said comfort food nights may become more frequent, and could feature themes based on European comfort foods.
A gourmet grocery store is planned for one area of the restaurant, but that’s been put on hold for now. Bishop and his staff are focusing on making the restaurant the best it can be. After a soft opening six months ago, the number of customers has built steadily, and reservations are now recommended for Friday and Saturday nights. With access to the former catering space used by Occasions, the restaurant also is booking holiday and other parties.
If you go, Union Square has parking meters that are operational until 9 each night, but there is plenty of space for parking.
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