Yes, the rumors you’ve heard for six months are all true. Local favorite dining spot, The Pineville Tavern (PVT), will be appearing on the popular Food Network show Diners, Drive-ins and Dives Monday evening, March 7 at 9 pm. [See the DDD website for a listing of when the show will be repeated – next showings are May 9 at 9:30 pm, May 10 at 12:30 am, and May 20 at 9:30 pm.)
The episode was taped last August and I was lucky to be one of the chosen few there for the big event. Since the taping requires an “audience,” about two dozen family and friends were invited to sit and eat (!) in the dining room, and be interviewed by the famous Guy Fieri on how much we like the PVT.
This has been an interesting, exciting and stressful year for the Pineville. Renovation, which included demolishing the old kitchen and building a new one three times the size – started last spring (see our previous post). As these things tend to go, the renovation was not finished until the fall. While the new kitchen and dining space was being built, the restaurant’s kitchen was moved to the second floor into a space much smaller than the original kitchen (which was pretty small). Ask the staff sometime how much they enjoyed running up and down the old stairs to pick up orders for four plus months. Not a happy memory.
But when a major food TV show calls, you answer and say, “Sure. No problem!” So when Diners, Drive-ins and Dives (DDD) came to tape in August, the cooking all happened in the tiny second floor kitchen. Cameras, producers, gaff boys and who knows who else, crammed into the space with Drew Abruzzese doing the cooking and Guy Fieri firing questions at him. Standing by with a proud grin on his face was Andrew Abruzzese, owner of the Pineville Tavern for over twenty years.
Meanwhile we all waited downstairs. I got a chance to speak with some longtime friends and customers of the Abruzzeses, like Jim Hamilton and his assistant, Judy Detrano. Jim and Andrew became friends in 1983 through their shared love of food and cooking. Jim, with a successful career in Broadway set design, opened his Lambertville restaurant, Hamilton’s Grill Room, just a little before Andrew bought the Pineville. Jim helped design and decorate the first iteration of the PVT, and was a designing partner in the new addition this past year. He is as much a part of PVT history as the buffalo chicken eggroll and homemade ravioli.
So what will you see cooking on DDD tonight? The Pineville’s famous homemade ravioli and snapper soup. After filming in the kitchen, Guy came downstairs to the dining room and interviewed folks as they dug in to their ravioli or soup. Hopefully you will see some familiar faces being interviewed (maybe even me!). Twenty hours of film is edited down to six minutes on the actual show, so I’m not getting my hopes up!
Kudos to the Pineville Tavern for all their hard work over the years, and thanks for the very nice exposure for Bucks County. You can also pick up the recipe for the PVT’s delicious Bawlmer Crabcake on the Food Network’s website. Me? I’ll be sitting (hopefully) at the PVT’s bar tonight, drinking my bourbon and munching on a Buffalo Chicken eggroll.