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“Mr. Stella's quite a character...”
Review of Encore

Ranked #4 of 43 Restaurants in Jim Thorpe
Certificate of Excellence
Cuisines: Italian
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Restaurant details
Good for: Romantic
Dining options: Breakfast, After-hours, Dinner, Lunch, Reservations
Description: Tony Stella's Encore combines passion for food, wine & craft cocktail into one truly memorable experience.
Reviewed 10 May 2014

Stopped in for lunch. The absinthe drink menu was extensive. Menu and service were OK. Definitely would be a spot for happy hour or after dinner drinks.

This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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482 - 486 of 519 reviews

Reviewed 7 May 2014

I had a hard time with this one, I gave it a very good rating, but that is based on the entire experience, the rating would have been lower had it been based solely on the food.
We stayed at the Inn down the street, we were in Jim Thorpe to see a concert at the opera house.
I was looking to get to Moya, but the time-slot was not available, so after some research we decided to give Tony Stella's Encore a try.
The reservation process was quite nice, very friendly service, I was hopeful and optimistic this would be a very good dining experience, last year we ate at the restaurant at the Inn, and although sufficient, it was a bit underwhelming, and we were hoping to score a great dinner in Jim Thorpe this time around.
The building is quite lovely and looked inviting, when we walked in we were greeted by Tony, a more jovial & friendly welcome was hard to imagine, the interior looked very inviting, classy table settings, white linens all set in a 19th Century decor, it all looked very good.
The waitress brought some warm bread in a basket with a very tasty dipping sauce.
After Tony read of the specials, to our enjoyment with much flair & passion, we ordered the Gazpacho and the calamari for appetizers, I ordered the filet mignon for my entree and my girlfriend ordered the rack of lamb.
The gazpacho was good, it came served with 3 large shrimp hanging on the edge of a large cocktail glass in which it was served, it had some kick, and I thought it was tasty.
The calamari however was mediocre, Tone had stated, "crispy fried calamari" sadly it was way too greasy, and the serving size was underwhelming, a few pieces of greasy squid on some lettuce served in a cocktail glass, in the middle of the glass a small cup with sauce, the sauce was average at best, a mixed opening to our dinner.
The steak I ordered medium rare leaning to rare, and my compliments to the chef, my steak was cooked to perfection, my girlfriend's lamb however was not quite so perfect.
We ordered the lamb medium rare, we wanted it pink inside and specifically stated it that way, Tony took the order himself, we wanted it "nice and juicy" instead it came to the table well done, utterly grey, a beautiful piece of meat cooked to death, the horror.
We let the waitress know the lamb was not at all cooked the way we ordered it, and she took it back to the kitchen.
Moments later Tony came to our table, he apologized profusely, but strangely he stated that all the lamb was cooked that way, that they were cooked in large batched, or I think that was what he was telling us, we were a bit puzzled, perhaps he can explain it to me again as a reaction to my review?.
In any case, it seemed that there was no way to serve the lamb other then well done, he did offer that my partner could order a different entree, but my steak had already been served and our concert was about to start in less then an hour, Tony gave her back the original overcooked dish, and told us there would be no charge, and some sambucas on the house..
While I appreciate the damage control, I have to say one thing, I if you can only serve lamb well done, then you need to inform your customers of this fact.
I happen to cook myself, and it is quite possible to cook lamb to order, I'm unsure what happened here.
Then Tony asked us where we were from, and how often do we come in Jim Thorpe, we answered from new York, and about once a year.
Now maybe it was all a curious coincidence, but after that we were utterly ignored, no more friendly check ups, no more funny jokes, and the free sambuca that Tony so graciously offered us earlier never materialized either.
Now there was a girl performing live music, and she was quite good it was very enjoyable listening to her, we bought her CD (5 bucks, totally worth it), so sitting there while being ignored was certainly tolerable thanks to the entertainment.
Finally I flagged down a waitress and asked her to please bring me the check and we headed to our concert.
This place has plenty of potential, it has all the ingredients to be great, maybe we were there on a bad night, who knows, I will try Tony again, perhaps soon, and I'm hoping that the bumps in the road will have disappeared by then.

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1  Thank tcdehaas
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 6 May 2014

We were staying at the Harry Packer Mansion, and looking for a place in town to eat. This was one of the few places to offer a filet, so my wife and I decided to make reservations on a Sunday night. When we arrived, it was quite quiet, and talking with Annette (our waitress) she explained Sundays usually were quiet this early in the season. When we sat down, it was just my wife and myself in the restaurant.

Instead of it being awkward, it was a great evening. We spent the night talking with Catherine and Annette as we ate, and they helped make my birthday so much more fun. The food was excellent, the wine very good, and the atmosphere of the restaurant was warm and inviting. What could have have been a very quiet evening of just my wife and I sitting in a nice, quiet restaurant, was so much better because of our interactions with Annette and Catherine.

The steak I wanted for dinner came out with a birthday candle in it, in case I didn't make it to dessert, they said. (I did make it to dessert, and I got another candle as well!) Initially we were concerned that they had to stay because of us, but they made us feel completely welcome the entire time. In fact, instead of closing and kicking us out at 9, they sat with us and let us drink wine until the owner came to close the restaurant at 10 (who also invited us to stay longer for drinks!)

We hadn't even left, and my wife was making plans to return for our anniversary dinner! This was one of the most enjoyable times we've had at a restaurant.

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3  Thank John H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 5 May 2014

This restaurant combines delicious food, beautifully plated...with a comfortable, but fine dining atmosphere. We found it to be very inviting and look forward to returning to enjoy the food and the experience again!

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3  Thank gem47
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 30 April 2014

This was the first time we ate here and will not be the last. Tony is great!!! He makes you feel like you have known him forever and you feel at home. The waitresses are very good. They have Gluten Free Pasta and will make any dish you want GF. The Italian food is just like my mom and I make!! Everything, the apps, salads(great dressing) dinners and deserts are all top notch. We can't wait to go back!! You must stop in and try it.

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2  Thank JY2eaRS91
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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