Dinner With Dan: Patsel’s

Daniel Davis


Routes 6 & 11

Glenburn, PA

(570) 563 – 2000

The multi-colored neon sign illuminates the empty black night sky during an Arctic winter night. In several different “flavors,” the cursive sign reads: “Patsel’s.”

I stand outside, admiring the radiance like a boy astonished by a possible Santa Claus sighting. Inside, I witness well-structured architecture painted numerous shades of green and yellow. The pretty, flower-covered wall was accompanied by some light, classical music that mixed quite well.

As I enter one of the premier restaurants in the Clarks Summit/Scranton area, I’m greeted by the owner, Patsie, who is ecstatic to see a customer entering her establishment.

Aiming to please, Patsie personally seats us and is very affable throughout the entire evening, accommodating our every need because she truly is a people person.

Patsel’s offers an eclectic range of entrees and appetizers, with your basics soups and salads, and the simplicity of its categories compliments the complexity and the exotic nature of its tantalizing dishes. Mixing strawberry, asparagus, onions and flank steaks (note: not a real dish served at Patsel’s) is not my idea of a “nice mix” of ingredients.

If nothing else, something on the menu at Patsel’s is going to intrigue you enough to taste it. For example, the Wild Mushroom Napoleon is accompanied by toasted pine nuts, grilled scallions and roasted garlic form. Intriguing? Definitely.

Looking away from the descriptive and creative menu, I went to the soups and salads. Soups cost around $7 and are basic, but the salads are concoctions from another world. Approximately $8, they include spinach, strawberries, vinaigrettes, mushrooms and more enticing mixes that only an artist could design.

The appetizers, all $12 or less, revolve around uncommon seafood dishes, such as a baby octopus and a sea scallop ceviche. Entrees are priced at $22 Р$33 and cover the basic entr̩e options including steaks, seafood and poultry. Finally, the desserts will cost you $10 and again, offer some unique dishes you will want to experience.

The ambience at Patsel’s is absolutely beautiful; mild lighting floods the entire room and the moonlit sky is visible from the seats within the restaurant.

An overall very fashionable restaurant, the colors and paintings seem to mix and match as adroitly as the polos and white-and-yellow shorts worn around the Villanova campus.

So many items on one menu to choose from in one sitting, what to do? Well, choose one, to say the least. After much contemplation, I decided on a stellar soup, the lobster bisque, and what better to accompany it than grilled Thai style baby octopus (with spicy peanut sauce). My entrée would have to be some sort of seafood, which happened to be the cajun grilled ahi tuna. Such enticing names established sensational cravings for me to handle for the next 45 minutes.

As I patiently awaited the food, the waterboy refilled our glasses at every opportunity. When he was not pouring water, he was offering samples of sourdough bread to the table.

Finally, in between all the water and bread, our appetizer came: fresh shrimp accompanied by guacamole. Not traditional, to say the least, but quite tasty.

Soon thereafter, my creamy lobster bisque arrived. The bisque proved mediocre – nothing sensational. My taste buds weren’t left yearning for more and I looked forward to my baby octopus.

It arrived, oh-so-beautifully arranged. Mixed greens and vinaigrette were topped by these grilled babies, which tasted spectacular when dipped in the spicy peanut sauce provided in a margarita-type glass.

One after another I popped them into my mouth, savoring the dancing tentacles on my tongue. Oh, but how could another dish surpass the exquisite tastes my mouth had just experienced?

What a platter had been laid before my very eyes: cajun grilled ahi tuna with crawfish beurre blanc. Mmm, and with it? Roasted red pepper mashed potatoes and sautéed spinach. What a fabulous juxtaposition of eclectic foods. The ahi was done to perfection, and the spinach and mashed potatoes could not have complimented the dish any better. The crawfish beurre blanc blanketing the meal added another tasty component that could not be forgotten. Overall, Patsel’s is an excellent dining experience that I would recommend if you find yourself in need of an upscale restaurant in the Scranton area.