Fun Dining with Dennis and Michelle

Photos by Will Marks

A dining experience that pairs Fun 101.3 radio show hosts, Michelle Cruz and Dennis Mitchell, with local restaurants.

Fun Dining at The Waterfront

As the end of summer approaches, our Fun 101.3 morning radio friends, Dennis and Michelle, are headed to The Waterfront Restaurant in the Village of Eden for their 37th dinner with FLL. An impending thunderstorm is approaching and they know they won’t be able to grab a table on The Waterfront patio with its gorgeous setting along the Conestoga River. Their host gives them the next best thing, a table by the window overlooking the river. Settling in, Michelle orders her first well-deserved (and well-made) martini.

The Waterfront staff chooses the appetizers to jump start the evening. Dennis gets his engine revving with the spicy, creamy, and cheesy Waterfront Crab Dip, baked in ciabatta bread. Ciabatta literally means slipper in Italian and that’s what the dish looks like when it comes to the table… crab dip presented in the form of a bread slipper.

“This dip has some heat, but it doesn’t overpower the taste of the crab,” remarks Dennis. When Michelle finds out that the ciabatta comes from a bakery in Philadelphia, she immediately questions, “Is it from LeBus [Bakery]?” Their server confirms her notion and Dennis asks Michelle, “How did you know that? Is it because you spent time in Philly, or are you just an over-achieving foodie?” They laugh hysterically because the two of them know it is a little of both.

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The Waterfront’s Mozzarella Tower, the first of three towers that the duo dines on this night, is a heightened rendition of a caprese salad. Sliced disks of panko-coated fresh mozzarella are interspersed with local Snake River Farms tomato slices to form the tower. It is capped with basil pesto and has balsamic honey artistically swirled around the plate. Of the popular summer salad reaching great heights, Michelle exclaims, “This is beautiful!” Dennis comments on how fresh the tower tastes with tomatoes in their peak season.

“Look at that giant bowl of mussels coming our way!” exclaims Dennis. There are no fewer than five pounds of Steamed Mussels swimming in a white wine and herb broth. Dennis keeps diving into the vessel of mussels and requests extra bread. Just in case that briny, lustrous sauce is not enough for the bread, sweet and creamy homemade honey-butter accompanies it. As our server clears the appetizer remnants from the table, Dennis is unable to let go of the dozen or so mussels remaining in the bowl.

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After their dinner salads, a second tower arrives at the table: the Beef Tower. A perfectly grilled medium-rare temperature petite filet mignon tops a panko-crusted potato cake on the foundation of a thick and meaty roasted portabella, giving the dish a woodsy character. Sharp and salty Danish bleu cheese crumbles dot the dish, surrounded by crisp, flash-fried spinach.

After Michelle’s second martini, she exclaims, “I think a martini is my spirit animal!” Dennis just roars, pointing to the remaining mussels and adding, “That’s my spirit… in these mussels.”

For access to the full article, reference page 141 of Issue 40 pdf.