deLorenzo's Italian Restaurant

By Cathy Kiley

My husband and I have many friends who winter in Florida. Recently, we gathered a few together before their departure for a night of food and fun at deLorenzo’s Italian Restaurant in Forks Township. The deLorenzos have been bringing their multi-generational family recipes to the area for the last three years and Marlene “Mama” deLorenzo uses the same TLC in her restaurant preparations as when cooking for her family at home.

We made a reservation for a Wednesday night when we knew the band Tower Suite would be entertaining and the place was already hopping when we arrived at 7 p.m. We ran into old friends who were celebrating their granddaughter’s Confirmation in the main dining room with several family members. As we chatted with them, I couldn’t help but notice the platters of delectable looking appetizers being served at their tables and knew we were in for a treat.

After saying a quick “hello” to family patriarch Ernie behind the bar, we were shown to our table near the music. We all commented on the interior changes made since former tenants Zio’s and Tastebudz inhabited the building. The tastefully-casual rooms are decorated in muted colors and white linens adorn the tables and dress up the dining room. There are more casual booths lining the windowed wall and, together with café tables in the bar area, allow for plenty of seating for diners to enjoy themselves.

We sat back and listened as our server Alissa explained the night’s many specials. Mama stopped by to say “hi” along with the deLorenzo children who were there that night. Mama said she was sending over some Eggplant Rollatini which was just out of the oven for us to try, and we did just that with pleasure. The lightly breaded eggplant was fresh and delicious but the real treat was the extraordinarily light ricotta cheese (brought in from New York) that tasted almost “whipped” with spices and herbs and smothered with sauce. This was a delicious appetizer and a family recipe that I would love to have. Tom and I also tried the Calamari deLorenzo, tender calamari sautéed in a spicy lemon butter sauce with capers and hot peppers. This was a great appetizer and we loved it but it was spicy! (This preparation is also available with fried calamari rather than sautéed.) We sampled a Margherita Pizza as well which was something I had never tried at deLorenzo’s before. The grilled pizza had a thin crust, tasty tomatoes, fresh mozzarella and was dusted with fine herbs—just the way we like it. Another appetizer at the table was the New Zealand Mussels with peppers in an oil and garlic sauce. This too was delicious and spicy. The mussels were fresh and steamed perfectly to ensure tenderness. Our appetizers were accompanied by warm bread that we promptly used to soak up the delicious sauces that came with each dish.

We ordered side salads with our meals which arrived after the appetizers. I tried a Caesar salad that was good, garlicky and crispy-cold. Others enjoyed the Salad de la Casa that, with its huge olives, fresh tomatoes and hot peppers, was more like an antipasto than a house salad. We all agreed that the salads were good and portions extremely generous.

We sat back, sipped Chianti and enjoyed the music by Tower Suite, who played throughout the evening. We were grateful for the break in the food flow to digest a bit before the next course. Wayne and Marnie, our friends who live in Forks Township, said they spend a lot of time at deLorenzo’s. They enjoy this place where “everybody knows your name” and like knowing they can come in on any given night with the promise of a good meal and great, neighborly company. There is no denying that this is what you’ll find here.

Aromas wafted across the room as our dinners were being served. The first aroma was garlic emanating from Wayne’s Linguine and White Clam Sauce. The overflowing portion of al dente linguine, smothered in clam sauce and topped with at least a dozen steamed littlenecks, was a visual as well as palatal delight. It was delicious and served (as all the meals were) piping hot. Marnie ordered Veal Marsala. This popular dish needs no description but the tender veal sautéed with mushrooms in a Marsala wine sauce was good. My Veal Cara Mia—veal sautéed with shallots and served with prosciutto, mozzarella and spinach in a lemon butter sauce—was a wonderful choice. This dish was similar to Veal Saltimbocca (also on the menu) but in a lighter sauce. I ate every morsel and it was delicious. The veal quality in both meals was lean and tender. My friend Jill ordered the evening’s special of Sautéed Chicken with spinach, veggies and herbs in a rich, creamy red sauce and just a hint of brandy used to deglaze the pan. She raved about it then and made a point of phoning me the next day to say she enjoyed it again…for lunch. Her husband Dave ordered Mama’s Lasagna. This baked dish was layered high with meat and cheese and was so rich that over half of the portion would have been too much to finish in one sitting. However, I do believe that my favorite at the table was Tom’s Braciole served with Mama’s Sunday Gravy. The thin, seasoned flank steak was stuffed with fresh herbs and pancetta and cooked slowly until extremely tender. deLorenzo’s normally serves its Braciole over Rigatoni with Bolognese sauce but Tom requested the Sunday Gravy instead. Oh my. Mama’s Sunday Gravy is a dense tomato-based sauce, slowly simmered with all sorts of meat—meatballs, sausage, braciole and pork bones. The taste is incredible–an Italian culinary treat. All of our dinners were delicious but Tom and I agreed that his was the best that evening.

deLorenzo’s menu offers something for everyone. You can make a meal from the appetizers or choose a pasta and match it up with one of Mama’s sauces. There are a couple seafood dishes in addition to the chicken and veal selections; or the House Specialties that include baked pasta and parmigiana dishes. Every dish is individually prepared with Mama’s special touch.

All the desserts are made in-house from scratch. We passed around four yummy desserts—cannoli, tiramisu, peanut butter pie and limoncello sorbet. Because of its lightness, the limoncello sorbet was voted the best. I think we were all simply too full to truly appreciate the rest. Perhaps the next time we go, we should eat dessert first!

We had a great time at deLorenzo’s. This is a family-oriented neighborhood restaurant with friendly patrons, lively, attentive service and an attractive, clean environment. The food was great and the music that night was an added plus. Go, eat…enjoy! Let Mama treat you like family. You’ll be glad you did.

deLorenzo’s Italian Restaurant is conveniently located at 1210 Knox Avenue in Easton (Forks Township.) It’s open Sunday thru Thursday 4:00 to 9:00 p.m. Friday and Saturday 4:00 to 10:00 p.m.; and Sunday Brunch from 11:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. They recommend and gladly accept reservations. Visit: for menu and other information.

Cathy Kiley has enjoyed fine cuisine from around the world and written restaurant reviews for the last 20 years both in the Lehigh Valley and on Long Beach Island, NJ.

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