by Chrysa Smith

I can’t believe it’s almost a year since I first blogged about Donna Burdi. At the time, I had been to an event at her catering ‘cave’ in Bethlehem. And I mean ‘cave’ in a very good way. Her kitchen and giant dining table sat below ground level, in a Tuscan style room, finished in stone. Very private. Very intimate. You couldn’t get a more personal dining experience but for a ‘kitchen table’ reservation at a fancy restaurant.

But Donna’s approach is not so much fancy restaurant as it is really fine. And for that, she credits her grandmother–the lady who taught her what she knows about life in the kitchen. So it is with little surprise that just this past week, I ate lunch at Donna’s newest venture: Moscato’s on South Greenwood Avenue in Easton. And I must say—even at lunch, without wine and the ambience of candlelight and night, it didn’t disappoint.

First of all, it was well dressed—-and you know what they say about first impressions. The yellow/blue Tuscan table linens set a beautiful and elegant scene for what was about to come to the table.

My husband, who had been there before, had a bit of an upper hand. He ordered the Straciatelli ?? Soup—a light broth with baby spinach and egg. The flavor was superb. He followed it with a Gemelli Pasta in a vodka cream sauce with lump crab on top—a slightly sweet, creamy tomato sauce that was equally superb. My vegetable-herb risotto with grilled shrimp was fresh and light, and it was all so good and so filling, there wasn’t a bit of room left for dessert. So we ordered it to go.

Italian cheesecake with a flaky crust and light lemon flavor was just the thing for dinner, followed by a few Italian butter cookies; some with anise, others with nuts, maybe fig.

What really blows my mind, is that Donna has personally cooked it all. Now with a restaurant, she has kitchen help. But Donna makes her own pasta, bakes her own breads, all the desserts besides the cooking of entrees and management of a restaurant.

Lunch falls into the $7-$10 category: dinner, $7-$28, with offerings such as a Butterflied Veal Chop, Filet Florentina, pastas with seafood, beef, sausage, broccoli rabe and vodka.

If you find yourself in the Allentown, Bethlehem, Easton, PA area, check it out, trust this foodie—it has enough variety; all well done, to suit the palate of most anyone.

Moscato’s: 190 South Greenwood Ave., Easton, PA 18045: 610-250-0552.