There are two priorities I look for when travelling-local agriculture, and dog-friendly attractions. And luckily, Sorrenti’s Cherry Valley Vineyards located in the heart of the Poconos offers just that!
When the weather cooperates, their Mamma Lucia’s Brick Oven Pizzeria & Restaurant” invites you to leash up your pup and enjoy a seat on their deck. After a quick walk around their pond and an exploration of their trails, our big Bernese Mountain Dog, Holden, was welcomed to our table with a giant bowl of ice water which he (sloppily) lapped up.
We picked seats near the live music-a local artist strumming his guitar and filling the air with folk tunes. As you stare across the balcony you can see the tasting room and the rustic wine barrels that adorn the landscape.
We began with a wine and sangria flight, to sample their new fruity and sparkling varieties. My fiancé chose a cheese plate appetizer that was perfectly balanced between soft and hard cheeses as well as fruits and crackers. Of course our dog had to get in on the crackers by this point as he was already eyeing up the waitresses as they carried out pizzas from the brick oven inside. It quickly caught our attention too, so we decided to each get a salad and a whole pizza, realizing we would be walking out with leftovers--even after Holden had a slice!
To keep with the cheese theme, I chose the Harvest salad, with raspberry vinaigrette. The lush greens were topped with candied pecans, fruit, and of course cheese. By this time we each decided on our favorite drink, and Holden had an ice cube refill and a few “treats” from the table beside us.
Just as the music started up again, we started on the pizza menu. Holy choices. How could we possible pick just two from the list? Authentic Italian meats and cheeses, fresh vegetables and herbs, I wanted it all. Perhaps the most impressive aspect of the menu, however, was the comment that each of their pizzas came on gluten free crust. How can this be? Well in Italy it is custom to use semolina versus traditional flour. When flour is used, it is a Tipo 00 or Durham mix. Semolina on the other hand is responsible for the golden yellow, flaky goodness. Pair this with brick oven firing and I was in heaven.
After reading the menu over three times, we settled on a red Michelangelo topped with a balsamic glaze drizzle and a white Quattro Formaggio (four cheese).
When they finally came out, I don’t know who was more excited, Anthony or Holden. By this point I was prepared to really regret the amount of food I was about to eat, but was already thinking of how great lunch would be the next day with leftovers. And it so was.
So, whether you are looking for local wine, gluten free treats to share with a loved one, or a dog friendly retreat in the Poconos, Sorrenti’s Cherry Valley Vineyards and Mama Lucia’s Pizzeria is the place to be.
Article by Amber Stahl, Travel Writer and Photographer.
Photos by Amber Stahl