Taste: The Shelby

The Scoop:
If a martini was a restaurant, it would be The Shelby — crisp, clean, airy, but with a mature vibe and flavor. Opening this past summer, the restaurant has all the polish and expanse of a chain like Cheesecake Factory or Grand Lux, without the pre-fab shortcuts. The brunch, lunch and full dinner menus are designed for those who crave variety. Want a traditional meat and potatoes (Shelby Spare Ribs with fries $22) one night but a daring dish the next (Porchetta Rice Bowl with Kimchi fried rice, crispy pork belly, cilantro and a sunny side up egg, $17)? The Shelby has you covered with a range of Asian, Italian and American classics.

What to Try:
For starters, let’s talk starters. There’s some good ones here, including the fiery Malanga chips served with tzatziki sauce ($6.5), tuna tostada with guac ($14.5) and steamed short rib buns ($13)  that are too addictive to just have a single serving. It’s a toss up between those and the goat cheese and potato pierogies ($11.5) with bacon, onion and mushrooms drizzled on top for best appetizer in Allentown.

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