According to those sources, Chef Guiseppe Grisafi is out to open a pretty damn big place that will serve 40 wines by the glass. Wine dispensers, which are big in wine-savvy cities, will allow guests to sample wines in a variety of pours, letting patrons to try rare or expensive wines in smaller sizes allowing for prices that are more palatable than an entire bottle might be.
The restaurant is pretty ballsy, especially for Grisafi who operates Roma Ristorante and Taste of Italy. In both articles he mentions NYC in relation to Main Street Bethlehem, which is more comical than anything. Main Street in Bethlehem is miles away from the level that SoHo is at. The restaurant, however, will undoubtedly succeed as the location is prime and the Lehigh Valley bafflingly doesn’t have a proper wine bar yet.
One exciting facet of the businesses is that they will be employing a sommelier, a proper wine professional to manage the inventory and serve as a guide to guests searching for the right glass. Sommeliers are few and far between in the Lehigh Valley, with only two restaurants, to our knowledge, employing them (those would be Sette Luna and Hotel Bethlehem).
The name of the establishment will be Corked, which is well, not a good name for a wine bar. In the wine world the term corked refers to wines that have cork taint, which renders the contents with a moldy newspaper scent.
The wine bar replaces what was supposed to be Pacino’s cigar bar, an ill-fated concept that was supposed to feature fine cuisine and allow cigar smoking. After tons and tons of delays, the concept eventually failed and the property was put back on the market.
We’re cautiously hopeful for this one, because it’s a desperately needed piece in the puzzle of a coherent dining scene that the Lehigh Valley is increasingly working to complete. And to that we’ll raise a glass of bone-dry cab sauv.