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Buon Appetito!

December 4, 2010

Last night, we had the pleasure of dining at LifeStyle, an Italian trattoria in Bedford, Pennsylvania.  The restaurant is owned by an American, Sarah, and her Italian husband, Stefano, who met in Italy and returned to the States to open a restaurant together.  The small restaurant (which also functions as an Italian goods specialty store during the week) is very cozy: all guests eat at a single, long table, and the limited space means that diners sometimes have to make reservation months in advance.   It’s only open on Saturday nights for dinner; however, if you can pull together a big enough group, they’ll let you reserve the restaurant privately for Friday night—which is just what our group did!

At LifeStyle, the menu is fixed price and features five courses: appetizer, primi, secondi, cheese, and dessert.  We were encouraged to bring our own wine to pair with the courses.  Our friend Nick, the wine expert, was there as well, and he gave our Masi Campofiorin two thumbs up!

The food was, plainly, excellent.  Before each course was served, Stefano would ring a loud country bell to silence the group (and we were loud) so that he could describe each dish in loving detail.  Of course, with the wine, many of those details are now escaping my memory, but I’ll try to recall each dish with accuracy!

First, we started with a crostini topped with sage and sweet, buttery caramelized onions:

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Next, we had the primi pasta plate: thick, house-made noodles with a cream sauce and orange zest throughout.  The combination of orange and cream was to die for—I think this was my favorite dish of the night.

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LifeStyle is also happy to accommodate to vegetarians.  For the secondi plate, the meat-eaters enjoyed tender pork tenderloin, stuffed with mushrooms and then wrapped in a flakey pastry:

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…While the vegetarians enjoyed perfectly seasoned omelets topped with sweet marsala mushrooms:

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So delicious!

For the fourth course, we were each served a plate of three cheeses: a fontina, a softer parmesan, and a hard, aged parmesan.  The cheeses were perfectly paired with a white wine jelly, a date, and a dab of honey. 

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And finally, for dessert, homemade fig pannetone served with a sweet, creamy zabaglione sauce. 

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What an amazing dining experience! The food was exceptional—simple ingredients and wonderful flavor combinations.  This meal was definitely tantamount to any meal we enjoyed in Italy last summer. 

Thank you, LifeStyle, for an unforgettable night of food, wine, and friends!

17 Comments leave one →
  1. December 4, 2010 2:47 pm

    Yum! Everything looks so delicious!!!

  2. December 4, 2010 2:47 pm

    That does sound amazing. What a cool way they do the restaurant!

  3. December 4, 2010 4:36 pm

    Yum, everything does look yummy! What a neat place, I would totally try it. I really like the simplicity and the small portion size for sampling a little of everything. Fun!

  4. December 4, 2010 5:00 pm

    everything looks really good but what’s up with the omelette? not sure about that one. i could eat 10 of those cheese plates. they’re smart to portion them out.

  5. December 4, 2010 6:00 pm

    Everything looks awesome…especially the crostini!

  6. patti permalink
    December 4, 2010 8:27 pm

    What a wonderful evening. I think we should try the orange and cream pasta when you are here 🙂

    • December 5, 2010 1:53 am

      Definitely! Ryan and I both agreed that it was our favorite dish of the night!

  7. Ayla permalink
    December 4, 2010 9:54 pm

    Everything looks amazing! I love how delicate the cheeses look.

    I’ll be leaving for Italy in 3 1/2 months and your post just got me all excited again. 🙂

  8. December 5, 2010 12:53 am

    What a lovely dinner and night out 🙂 All the dishes look great!!

    Have a great night!

    ~Lori

  9. December 5, 2010 2:17 am

    hi anna! long time no talk..hope you’re doing great! clearly by the looks of this meal…yeah, delish! “white wine jelly, a date, and a dab of honey”—YUM!!!!!

  10. December 5, 2010 2:19 am

    Love LifeStyle and love Sarah and Stefano! I met Sarah at Pier1 and did a big feature on them while I was at the Mirror.

  11. December 5, 2010 3:08 am

    take me with you next time? i can’t even imagine how fabulous all of that was 🙂

  12. December 5, 2010 3:10 am

    I didn’t know you all were going to LIFeSTYLE this weekend!

  13. Ginger permalink
    December 5, 2010 1:22 pm

    That whole meal looks fabulous! What a fun night!

  14. greensandjeans permalink
    December 5, 2010 1:48 pm

    That all looks INCREDIBLE! What a fun night!

  15. December 5, 2010 4:29 pm

    I love it when places like that cater towards vegetarians!

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