As March arrives,
I wonder if it will roar in like a lion.
It has certainly been a long cold winter, but Spring will arrive, and our region will become green and blue, once again. This 2014 Season will be filled with outdoor and indoor activities, too numerous for any individual to accomplish in one season.
This March Newsletter is filled with upcoming events and things to do, a restaurant review of a great gastropub in Erie, and a visit with our feline friends. Be sure to look at the pictures of the renovated ensuite in our Chancellor Suite...and the story.
At the end of the newsletter you
will find the recipe for a
sublime apple crumb cake....better
than apple pie...
AND at Grape Arbor,
we eat it for breakfast.
Grape Arbor B&B is always a great getaway
for either romance, or for friends.
We look forward to seeing you soon.
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FEATURED LOCAL EVENTS
Annual Winery Event - Always a Sell Out
Wine & Cheese Weekend - May 16th - May 18th
Now is a great time to make plans for a visit during the Annual Wine & Cheese Weekend Event with 23 area wineries participating. Tickets are
$35 per person and include:
- A food & wine sample pairing at each winery
- Wine tasting
- A great gift
- A booklet containing all of the recipes of the foods you'll be tasting
- A Lake Erie Wine Country
- wine glass
- A $5 voucher to use at any winery or at certain restaurants designated on the back of the voucher
Ticket holders provide their own transportation and choose their own itinerary, visiting the wineries in any order. One winery is designated as the pick-up point for your event ticket and gifts. For details and purchasing information, visit Lake Erie Wine Country Wine & Cheese Event Page.
To select a Grape Arbor room or suite for this not to be missed weekend, visit Grape Arbor Guest Rooms
for selection and availability.
Tickets are selling fast, don't wait.
On Saturday, March 22, from 5-8 pm, join fellow wine enthusiasts drink wine, search for clues, and drink more wine. For more information and to purchase tickets, visit North East Uncorked.
In conjunction with Alice in Wineland, North East Uncorked, all Grape Arbor guests are invited to the Mad Hatter Tea Party. Make your reservation and bring your favorite hat (hats will also be available to borrow) and join in on the fun. This private party will be held during and after the annual Uncorked Event.
Upcoming Events to Kick-Start Your Getaway!
Spring Fest at Peek'n Peak - March 15, 2014
Peek'n Peak is having one last blowout for the winter season. Spring Fest boasts live music, drink specials, giveaways, pondskimming and a Cardboard Box Derby. Go to the Spring Fest Spring Fest event page for details.
AT THE WARNER THEATRE...
, one of America's finest living composers, wrote a new double-concerto in honor of the Erie Philharmonic's 100th Anniversary. The orchestra will perform the piece on Saturday, March 8 at the Warner Theatre. For details and tickets,
go to Pictures at an Exhibition.
The Erie Philharmonic presents Pixar in Concert, on March 22, 2014 at the Warner Theatre. Tickets and details available by clicking on the link.
And for a righteous night of laughter, book a room and see Menopause the Musical
, also at Erie's Warner Theatre. One night only on Tuesday, April 29th
...a great girls mid-week getaway!
Art, Art and more Art!
The annual Wine & Art Event has changed it's name to Grapes and Galleries - Art Uncorked. On Saturday, April 26, 2014, participating North East, PA wineries will be turned into art galleries for the day. The event is free to attend, but nominal tasting fees at the wineries will be charged.
Image: Tajana Roehl Photography (participating at Lakeview Winery)
First Friday @ Five Art Walks Resume in May
Resuming in May, on the first First Friday of the Month you will find downtown North East turned into an outdoor (and indoor) artist market. Art, Music, and more! Visit The North East Chamber
or The First Friday @ Five FB page
for information and updates.
Culinary Explorers Club Adventure
Jekyl and Hyde: 46 Beer Heaven
Sometimes we get to leave the Inn and find great places for our guests to go. Last week we went to Jekyl and Hyde's Bar and Gastropub. Here is our experience.
We arrived to a nearly full, yet unassuming bar and restaurant. People were engaged with each other (noticeably not on their "smart" phones) and seemed happy.
It took a few minutes to look over the extensive beer menu of 46 varieties on draft. I could not help but notice the beer menu was not filled with the typical choices, but with some names I had not heard of before…and I find this very pleasing, making me want that first new beer adventure even more.
Our choices arrived and the glasses went around the table for a taste test. We discussed our impressions, like explorers in an undiscovered land. I personally would have enjoyed drinking any of the beers I tasted that night. I then sat back and got to know my choice, a very flavorful yet light, New Holland Icabod Pumpkin Ale. I ordered it because one, I'd never had it before and two, it seemed a fitting beverage for such a cold February night.
We shared two appetizers. We left a few crumbs.
Hummus platter - A fresh and warm, sliced baguette with a generous serving of very creamy hummus with roasted garlicky goodness. This hummus was even enjoyed by a member of our party that is normally not a fan of hummus. We ran out of bread and our server was kind enough to bring us another baguette (as warm and toasty as the first, and I appreciate that).
Chicken Lettuce Wraps - Chicken, garlic, ginger, cashews, bibb lettuce, radicchio and gently spicy thai dipping sauce. Served open face on the Bib Lettuce leaves, the filling had a wonderful fine and crunchy texture. The seemingly plain filling exploded with flavor after you took a bite, with all of the ingredients hiding in the fine yet flavorful texture….quite delicious!
Orders on the table were:
The Herb Brined Turkey Club - Freshly roasted turkey breast with bacon, fontina, tomato, greens and mayo with side of Jekyll & Hyde's Mac'n Cheese. The sandwich was reminiscent of deli sandwiches in NYC…big and full of flavor. The mac' n cheese made from cavatappi pasta, smoked gouda, mascarpone, bacon and peas, was EXTREMELY delicious and came in a generous serving.
Pico De Gallo Chicken - Fully developed flavor with fresh greens were perfectly complimented with the creamy goodness of Jekyl and Hyde's dreamy Mac'n Cheese.
Grilled Cheese of the Day - Fresh baked pumpernickel, spinach, tomato, cheddar, fontina, with a side of ramen slaw. The pumpernickel, supplied by a local bakery, was impressive, and fillings very tasty and fresh. The side Raman salad was tossed with cabbage and all kinds of slightly sweet and sour flavors, soft and crunchy and it really complimented the flavors of the sandwich.
Dr. Jekyll Steak Burger - Fresh ground brisket and sirloin burger made as ordered. The burger was big and flavorful. This was also served with the Raman Slaw.
For dessert, we shared the
Table Top S'mores, mostly because we were longing for summer. We were brought a small fire with graham crackers, chocolate bar pieces and marshmallows, plus sticks to "sit around the campfire"
of gelatinized heat. A nice treat in the middle of a long cold winter…it was summer,
for a little bit.
The fare of sandwiches should not fool you into thinking this is a typical sandwich stop. Each of our meals reflected well thought out recipes made with fresh ingredients.
Jekyll & Hyde's Gastropub is a feather in the cap of Erie and a great stop for Culinary Explorers.
Get to Know Grape Arbor B&B Resident Felines
Pirelli and Sweeney are preparing to guard the Grape Arbor gardens
If you haven't already met them, may I introduce Sweeney Fellini (the black and white tuxedo) and Leonardo Pirelli (the handsome tabby).
These furry bundles of love take every opportunity to let us know how happy they are to be a part of the Grape Arbor family.
These furry bundles of love take every opportunity to let us know how happy they are to be a part of the Grape Arbor family. Sweeney is the older and wiser of the two, but still full of love and the desire to play. Pirelli lives for a belly rub and a lap if he can have it.
When the weather is warm you will certainly see them guarding the gardens that surround the inn and welcoming guests as they arrive.
What is it they say about making lemonade out of lemons? Thanks to some really really cold temperatures and a few broken pipes, the Chancellor Suite has been rennovated and is ready for visitors.
We've updated the ensuite with a new shower that is two times larger than the previous one.
The walls now match the color of the chancellor or Seibel grape that makes a fruity red wine. New window treatments and new brushed nickel fixtures complete the redecorated room.
This Month's Recipe: Apple Crumb Cake
2 lb green or yellow apples,
peeled, cored and thinly sliced
¼ C water
1/3 C sugar
½ tsp cinnamon
1/3 C raisins (optional)
1 ½ C flour
3/8 tsp salt
4 oz butter
1 large egg
2 tsp vanilla
½ C sugar
1 ½ tsp baking powder
Mix all of the filling ingredients together in a wide shallow saucepan, or in a skillet. Cook over medium low heat, stirring occasionally, until the apples are soft and the mixture has thickened, about 20 – 30 minutes.
Pastry: In a medium sized mixing bowl, whisk together the flour and salt, then cut in the butter, suing a pastry fork or blender, you fingers or a mixer. In a separate bowl, stir together the egg, vanilla, sugar, and baking powder. Combine the wet and dry ingredients, stirring to form a soft dough.
Lightly butter an 8 inch springform pan. Press a little bit over half of the pastry into the bottoms of the pan. Prick it all over with a docker, or with tines of a fork. Spoon the thickened filling onto the crust. Crumble the rest of the pastry over the filling; it won’t cover it all, just break off small pieces and arrange them over the filling evenly.
Bake the cake in a preheated 350 oven for about 40 minutes, until it is golden brown. Remove it from the oven, allow it to rest for 5 minutes, the run a knife around the edge.
GRAPE ARBOR BED AND BREAKFAST
51 East Main Street
North East, Pennsylvania (PA) 16428
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