Distinctive Palate: The Café – An American Bistro

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PLAINS TOWNSHIP – Whether you’re looking for a fabulous cocktail, something light such as a simple appetizer, or a full meal with all the dressings, there’s a place on Route 315 in Plains Township fit for any foodie’s desire.

The Café – An American Bistro sits in a familiar spot at 1120 Highway 315 amongst many other businesses and restaurants, near Trion Industries.

At the Café, diners can choose from one of several options: to sit inside in the dining room with its vibrant white-and-black lacquer photos and dangling pendant lighting; at the bar or one of the high-top tables close by; or at one of a dozen or so tables outdoors. The latter was our seating spot for an early Saturday night dinner last week.

The main entrees for our duo were chicken boursin that was breaded, baked and stuffed with an herb cheese filling and the pork filet mignon chargrilled and topped with jumbo lump crab and a mustard cream sauce.

The two dishes were plentiful picks, but were hard to decide upon due to the large menu consisting of fi sh and seafood, pastas, vegetarian favorites, beef, veal and salads.

The idea of dining outdoors tickled our fancy as well, since it was charming to sit outside with other tables of diners and sip a martini or two.

I chose a signature martini, the lemon drop, made of Grey Goose Lemon, fresh lemon juice and a splash of Cointreau. My dining companion chose the margarita martini. Consisting of Patron and Absolut Citron with a splash of lime juice and fresh orange juice, you can’t fi nd a better summertime patio drink.

Unless, of course, you look at the specialty cocktails menu, which includes fun names like Honey Lemonade, Whiskey Vanilla Latte, Apple Crisp and Fire on Ice Martini – all of which would have been fine picks as well.

The outdoor patio is idyllic with its hanging ferns, dangling lights and speedy service. For instance, we ordered appetizers

– calamari with marina, Thai chili and roasted ginger with green onion, along with lamb lollipops drizzled in mint demi glaze – which came out quickly and were beyond satisfying.

That may be why the business, operating for more than 25 years under the direction of owner Jeff Woytowich, is so popular.

Besides the dinnertime favorites, lunch is a huge part of what regular diners love – and they can devour that outdoors, too, if they wish.

With soups, salads, paninis, special sandwiches and more, it’s no surprise to see a bustling crowd coming in and out of the eatery regularly during normal lunch hours.

And, besides lunches and dinners, the restaurant also offers on-site or off-site catering and space for corporate or more intimate private functions with seating for 18 or 80 people.

With all the offerings The Café has, items as simple as dessert don’t get passed by. The Café consistently has homemade deliciousness from coffee cake and chocolate bundt cake to apple pies and cupcakes on hand.

Add a cup of coffee, and it’s truly the perfect way to end an experience at The Café.

That is, unless you’re one of the lucky patrons sometime who happens to be dining when Jr.’s Ice Cream truck, another

Woytowich business venture, arrives honking. The old-school, ice-cream truck is already attracting attention and being booked for birthdays, celebrations and the like.

For more information, visit cafe315.com.

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