Well, you may have heard about the new business by now since the Morning Call and the Express-Times picked up on them pretty quick. It’s a new place called Seasons on Main Street in Bethlehem, right next to the Mexican fusion restaurant, Tika’s. Billed as a vinegar and olive oil taproom, it’s one of the most unique business ideas I’ve seen in some time.
I spoke for a bit with Tim Balshi, the owner, about the concept and the execution. He noted that he and his wife, Soraya, are importers of different gourmet products for top restaurants in New York and his friend had the idea for the taproom concept in California, so he decided to adopt the idea and do an East Coast version. The walls are lined with stainless steel tubs, dubbed fustis, which hold the olive oils and the vinegars. Eager to help and explain, I tried a few different oils which ranged from bright and lively to complex and spicy. Tim even combined a few for me, giving me different ideas on delicious vinaigrettes (hint: persian lime olive oil mixed with honey ginger vinegar is amazing).
I picked up an 18 year aged balsamic and a lemon olive oil…still trying to figure out what I’m going to cook up with each but I’ll be sure to post it once I find out. I’d highly recommend stopping in this shop if you’re looking for something different and unique. They say they’re getting some different spices in (to compliment the live ones they have growing) as well as some other merchandise to fill out the shop.
Seasons Olive Oil and Vinegar Taproom
504 Main Street, Bethlehem, PA