My favorite BYOB in the Lehigh Valley is La Locanda Cavallo aka Cavallo’s on route 611 in Williams Township. It is definitely a place to go for a special occasion because it is truly a 4-5 hour "experience" of food, pampering and conversation. Upon arriving, we are greeted by our waiter, GianBrondo Cavallo who introduces himself and explains that he will be taking care of us for the evening. He opens our wine, tells us a little about our meal and tells us to make ourselves at home. Guests are encouraged to roam around the B&B between courses to chat, enjoy their wine and just relax. Beautiful music is played in the background and the environment is filled with antiques and treasures from their travels and regular guests.
The evening is typically a five course dinner with guests having their choice of fish, fowl or red meat for their main entree. However, patrons are asked upon making their reservation if there are any restrictions or allergies in advance. Shirley Cavallo, the owner and chef, will cater to the needs of all dietary requests such as vegan, gluten-free, ethnic and religious traditions. She makes everything from the finest, freshest, local ingredients and uses the produce that is in season. Despite the sound of her Italian last name, Cavallo’s is not a traditional Italian restaurant. I would describe it as fine dining that is truly eclectic in nature. My husband David and I often make reservations at Cavallo’s for family birthdays and our anniversary. The portions are huge so we often plan to take half of our food home for the next day! An example of an evening meal there would be to start with a beautiful appetizer like fresh lobster wrapped in puffed pastry or poached scallops in a sherry cream sauce over polenta. After the first course, a vegetable course is served such as a grilled vegetable stack with fontina cheese and maybe a piece of her fresh homemade sausage, Next, there is usually some type of fresh cut pasta-ravioli, cannelloni, tortelloni with crostini bread. (And this is before the entrée!) Next, the entree of your choice is served accompanied by fresh vegetables and fruit. When brought to the table, the plate looks like a masterpiece. The meal is typically completed with a luscious dessert, coffee or espresso, or in our case...a dessert wine. Throughout the meal, Shirley and Brondo come out of the kitchen to talk and tell wonderful stories about some of the amazing people that they have cooked for over the years. I recommend going on an "off" night for the best invidualized attention. Reservations are a must and the evening is paid for via credit card on the phone when you make the reservation so that you do not have to be concerned with paying, leaving tip etc. while you are there. Cost is an all-inclusive price of $150 per person. Tipping is not expected and is included in the price. Although, you always feel as if you want to tip because of how special your evening has been. I usually take Shirley a gift of wine, liquor or music. Although I am new to the area, it is my understanding that Cavallo’s will cater special events at their restaurant such as weddings receptions, showers, holiday parties, corporate events and group events. This restaurant indeed is the very best of the best!