ZEST bar+grille, a new restaurant from the creators of the Grille 3501 of West End Allentown, opened in January 2019 on the rooftop floor of 306 South New Street, in the heart of Bethlehem’s South Side Arts District.
ZEST, defined by 'great enthusiasm and energy,' is the vision of the culinary and social experience that Owners John Trapani and John “JP” Pukanecz strive to deliver to the Valley using South Side Bethlehem as their stage. A new and unique dining experience, ZEST offers three-season terrace seating where guests enjoy spectacular views of the Steel Stacks, Hill-to-Hill and Fahy bridges, as well as the Bethlehem Library, City Hall, and beyond.
ZEST is a place where guests can dive deep into the newest culinary creations offered through a progressive menu that highlights the best of New American cuisine. Tapping into techniques used successfully at Grille 3501, Chef Justin Cogan's culinary creativity continues to shine, but in an all new setting.
A native of New York, John began his career with ten years in the production side of the food industry.
After moving to the Lehigh Valley in 1992, he opened the former Trapper’s Pub on Allentown’s South Side. He was soon inspired to open a “casual, yet upscale” restaurant, Grille 3501,
in Allentown’s West End in 2001. Grille 3501 remains at the top of the award-winning list of restaurants in the Lehigh Valley. In 2018, John decided to venture into Bethlehem's South Side Arts District and within a year, he opened ZEST bar+grille.
J.P.’s resume boasts 25+ years of outstanding culinary experience in the Lehigh Valley. Among the awards he earned while serving as Executive Chef at the Campagna, Glasbern and former Ballietsville Inns are the “Top Country Inn” designation presented by the James Beard Foundation, Mobil’s Four Star Award, the Best of the Best Five-Star Diamond Award and the DIRoNa Award. His award-winning talents continue to shine at our sister location, Grille 3501.
A native of the Lehigh Valley,
Justin graduated from the the culinary arts program at Northampton Community College. After gaining valuable experience at several Philadelphia eateries, as well Allentown's Cosmopolitan restaurant, Justin joined Grille 3501 as the Sous Chef in 2016. But it didn't take long to recognize that Justin's extraordinary talent was the perfect fit to lead the culinary team here at ZEST bar+grille.
With 10+ years of industry experience at Grille 3501, Anthony is excited to take on the role of general manager at ZEST. Anthony is a lifetime native of Bethlehem and recent Lehigh University graduate.
ZEST - defined as great energy and enthusiasm - is his fire for being involved in this restaurant and the resurgence of South Side Bethlehem.
Alyssa comes to ZEST with extensive experience in the restaurant and hospitality industry. She began her career at the Texas Roadhouse in 2011, where she also met her now husband, Nick, whom she married in 2017.
After some time at Shula's Steak House and Grille 3501, she didn't hesitate to embrace the opportunity to join the team at ZEST.
After graduating from Bloomsburg University and then touring with various theater groups, Tonia entered the restaurant world.
She landed at Saucon Valley Country Club and ultimately at Lehigh Country Club, where she stayed for nine years. Venturing out of private clubs, she opened Centro in downtown Allentown and then enjoyed some time in wine sales before joining the ZEST management team.