Culinary Options Abound At Luxurious Pocono Resorts

The Pocono Mountains of northeast Pennsylvania encompass 2,400 square miles of rolling mountain terrain, breathtakingly beautiful waterfalls, thriving woodlands, and 170 miles of winding rivers. Winters offer guests the opportunity to ski, snowboard, snow tube, and even snowshoe their way through snowy wonderlands on 163 ski trails, while summers also cater to the active traveler allowing exploration of 261 miles of hiking and biking trails, over 35 golf courses, whitewater rafting, boating, fishing, and open access to nine state and two national parks.

Often overlooked amongst the honeymoons and array of outdoor activities throughout the region is the sheer magnitude of culinary options available for tourists; the region's evolving restaurant scene goes well beyond delis or pubs. Pocono restaurants run the gamut from ethnic favorites like Thai and Italian to more adventurous selections including authentic Peruvian food. Gourmet cuisine and down-home Southern cooking are also popular choices.

The region is also home to various restaurants that have adopted the farm-to-table culinary trend, utilizing locally sourced and organic ingredients to handcraft their menu items.

Lodge at Woodloch

Since opening its doors in 2006, The Lodge at Woodloch has become one of the country's most luxurious destination spas. Featuring 58 opulent guest rooms, each with its own private veranda and swivel rockers, everything here is first-class. From the plush treatment rooms for customized face and body services to the Whisper Lounge with a crackling fireplace and outdoor porch, guests are pampered from the moment they arrive.

Chefs at the Lodge at Woodloch have developed a personal relationship with many of the area's farmers and base their menus on the freshest foods available. They also grow an herb garden on the grounds from which they can pick and choose the freshest ingredients, and they purchase meats and poultry from the Lancaster area, the Amish region renowned for its farm products. Weekly cooking demonstrations are available for guests who desire to learn from the expert chefs at the Lodge.

Dinner is a sensual awakening. Chilean sea bass is prepared with a cauliflower purée and served with grilled asparagus and roasted beet jus. Seafood bouillabaisse features shrimp, mussels, clams, potatoes, and a saffron tomato broth, and herb-roasted chicken is accented to perfection by potatoes, baby spinach, and a port wine reduction. The decadent flourless chocolate cake with a savory strawberry sauce is so rich it deserves its own tax bracket!

Shawnee Inn

With over 100 years of history from which to draw, the Shawnee Inn continues to captivate guests with its idyllic location by the Delaware River and resplendent environment. Throughout its venerable history, scores of celebrities from New York City — only 90 minutes away — thought of the Shawnee Inn as their personal Pocono playground and frequented the resort for a round of golf or to enjoy fine dining in a splendid setting.

At the Shawnee Inn, expert chefs pride themselves on sustainability and being in harmony with the seasons. Their philosophy is to utilize locally sourced products at the peak of their freshness whenever possible, some of which are grown at the Shawnee Island farm. This allows chefs to offer savory interpretations of nature's bounty.

A must-try appetizer that is sure to satisfy is the sweet corn, bacon, and red grilled onion farotto. This unique appetizer features tender sweet corn removed from the cob and sautéed with Bespoke Bacon, grilled red onions, and garlic, tossed with farro and Arborio rice and finished with fresh herbs, Parmigiano-Reggiano, and butter garnished with a stewed tomato coulis. Those who prefer the delicacies of either the ocean or sea will rave about the grilled southwestern black grouper filet seasoned with housemade southwestern spice, topped with black bean-sweet corn salsa and cilantro sour cream, served with your choice of two sides.

Skytop Lodge

Skytop Lodge, a stately resort with a history that dates back to 1928, personifies the concept of Pocono grandeur. As its name implies, Skytop sits high on a scenic plateau and in some respects is reminiscent of the iconic hotel in Stephen King's The Shining. From the elegant lobby's glistening hardwood floors to meticulously maintained grounds — surrounded by sweeping lawns, gardens, and deep forests — Skytop transports visitors back to a bygone era.

Skytop's Windsor Dining Room is where guests and locals alike gather for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. With a focus on the seasons, and the support of local farmers and ranchers, the Windsor Dining Room serves imaginative cuisine in a classic setting. Housed within the magnificent Main Lodge, the Windsor Dining room has been a perennial favorite of Wine Spectator, winning Awards of Excellence for 10 consecutive years. To maintain a level of classic elegance, men are required to wear jackets while enjoying dinner in the dining room. Ties are optional. Ladies and children are required to wear appropriate attire as well.

Guests can choose from such sumptuous appetizers as succulent seared diver Maine sea scallop with crab smashed Yukon gold potato, citrus beurre blanc, and micro sprouts; Angus beef carpaccio with extra virgin olive oil, truffle, shaved red onion, lemon zest, micro greens, and shaved Asiago cheese; baby rack of New Zealand lamb, smashed fingerling potato salad, gremolata, and sauce périgueux. Delectable entrées include Premium dry-aged Black Angus New York strip steak with wild mushroom & Vidalia onion ragu; grilled Colorado lamb chops with pomegranate demi-glace, pistachio nuts, and steamed fingerling and chervil potatoes; and pistachio-encrusted halibut with black current compote, wild rice blini, and Swiss chard.