the bookstore speakeasy [bethlehem pa]
NYE- Waste of time and $
1. When reservations were made the one question asked was are you having a special fixed menu or your everyday menu. The answer was the regular menu. Apparently the person answering phones that day does not know and makes up answers. Arriving at the restaurant we were greeted with a single sheet NYE menu. The regular menu looks very creative and the reason we chose to spend our money at this place on NYE. Friends of our had dined here once before.
2. The size of our reservation was 8- but the hostess wanted us to sit at two tables of 6 and 2... We took the liberty ourselves to rearrange the furniture to accommodate ourselves though it violated their "house rules" in the front of the cocktail book...
3. Cocktails. Drinks. Wow an amazing selection! Problem is if the bartenders do not know how to make them and it takes 30-40mins to get a drink its going to kill your business... Beer list, again great selection... but our party of 8 was ready to drink eat and be merry... sadly this was not going to happen... One other issue. Martini. In a "speakeasy" why would I have to specify a "Gin martini". Gin is featured in almost every drink in the cocktail list and vodka is found NOWHERE... Why was I brought a Vodka Martini... Just saying...
4. Food. $35 pp "4 course" fixed menu. 1st-Parsnip Soup or Confit Pork Belly. 2. A Sliced of Dried beef and a slice of bread or a spinach salad (sorry forgot the names)3. Smoky Tortellini, Striped Bass, or sirloin. 4. Fried banana with Cayenne chocolate and a walnut gelatoish or a blueberry panancotta. Price fit the portions. but neither the wife or i would have order any of this compared to the Daily menu.
Soup had a "sweaty gym sock" quality per one diner. Many agreed. Sad piece of pork belly... well... Bacon is technically from the belly of a pig... Though tasty, the tortellini and bass would be better classified as appetizers not mains and they didn't have any Standout qualities- but Overall the Price for the food was inline. The tortellini had you craving a niced crusty piece of bread to sop up the remains. Beware of bones in fish! Food was the highpoint of this place in my book. Stick to food and water
5. Bill... What is this scribble... ? party spent $280 on food...... our total bill was $500+ Wow... We got hammed on horrible bar service..but I still have no idea on what an individual drink actually costs.... 2 drinks per diner is what it averaged... So $13?
The conversation then revolved around what to do about tip... Our waiter did a nice job, Think his name was Connor or Something like that. Connor got lucky that the girls felt bad- I think the bar tenders deserve no cut of Connors tip.
My wife and I spent far less than we would have if the menu was not fixed that night. We also liked the pace the food arrived at the table between courses but the lack of drinks for the party made that hard to enjoy.
I fear we will not return-- There are just too many choices out there that will give you the whole package then to waste our time here again.
(Oh the decor and stuff like that was very creative- but that means very little to me!) It is on the dark side lit by little oil lamps. (its a basement in a warehouse) The attire displayed in the resturant was... Eclectic. The staff was clean period appropriately dressed... Diners. well. There were vampires, Haggrid from Harry Potter, Jeans, Suits, very odd very relaxed.
Bethlehem Book Loft & the Caffeine Cafe
501 E 4th St, Bethlehem, PA 18015