Elizabeth Long-Furia Proprietor
Proprietor Elizabeth Long-Furia is a baker turned chef, innovator and restaurant designer whose heart belongs to the very restaurant she built 16 years ago—Elizabeth’s an American Bistro.
In 1995 Long-Furia followed her husband to a small college town in central Pennsylvania. In 1997, she purchased an old, dilapidated building located in historic Lewisburg, PA and transformed it into a vibrant, neighborhood bistro. Her idea was to bring fine dining to a small college town, both in terms of cuisine and style. Long-Furia wanted to create a restaurant that utilized local ingredients for the creation of diverse dishes that emulated the standards of the bistros and restaurants she trained in both in France and Philadelphia. At Elizabeth’s, Long-Furia developed a seasonal menu with an American sensibility: relaxed elegance, bold flavors and ethnic twists.
Long-Furia’s dedication to sourcing quality, seasonal ingredients from local farms and producing many of the menu items in house, such as sausages, breads, pasta & desserts identified her as a leader in farm to table cuisine in central Pennsylvania. Her style, now emulated across the Susquehanna Valley, marked a return to the simple pleasures of using quality ingredients fused with classic technique and international influence.
Recognition came quickly. Reviews were overwhelmingly favorable. Within a year of opening, Elizabeth’s was regarded as the top restaurant in Lewisburg and was routinely listed among the best in central Pennsylvania. Long-Furia’s reputation as a chef-innovator was established. For 16 years now, Long-Furia has continued to transform haute cuisine, making it vibrant, contemporary and relaxed. Today, her restaurant has earned a total of twelve years of Wine Spectator awards, received the 2007 and 2008 Santé Restaurant award for Innovative Cuisine Mid-Atlantic, Honoring Excellence in Culinary Hospitality, and received first place in Central PA’s Magazine’s hotlist 2008 and 2010, a reader’s poll on the best restaurants in the area.
Long-Furia’s dedication to Elizabeth’s and its impact on central Pennsylvania dining is revealed in the restaurant’s kitchen, which has seen its share of chefs move on and take advantage of their Elizabeth’s experience. Her trainees have gone on to work in top restaurants across the state, while others have branched out and pursued their own ventures.
Long-Furia’s professional activities have not been limited to the kitchen. Liz continues to teach classes, participate in charity events, make guest appearances on radio, and somehow find the time to get up early each morning and bake the artisanal breads and desserts for which she is known.
Ron Ott, Jr. Manager of Elizabeth’s
Ron Ott has worked in the restaurant, fine dining and hospitality industries for the past three decades. Ron brings his expertise to all facets of Elizabeth’s from the daily operations of the restaurant and dining room, to private catered events, and off-site ventures. Ron is passionate about details, such as, knowing customers by name, what they like to drink and which table they prefer. He makes their dining experience as memorable as possible.
While attending Bloomsburg University, Ron began working in the hospitality business, progressing quickly from busboy, to bartender, to dining room waiter, all within less than a year. Ron applies his college degree in Elementary Education, along with his studies of wine at the Greystone CIA in California to engage and provide support to the bistro team, while passing along his knowledge of wine and fresh “Farm to Table” drinks, using the freshest ingredients and many local products.
In 1997 when Elizabeth’s opened its doors, he joined the team as a waiter and became the manager within a year. Ron brought his knowledge of fine dining to the bistro team and continues to develop each staff member’s skills with his highly motivated and adaptive on-the-job training. He finds the restaurant business an “exciting and rewarding career” and maintains the highest level of expertise with continued self development. As the manager of Elizabeth’s, Ron has helped the bistro receive numerous awards: Two time first place winner for “Central PA’s Hot List” as the Best Restaurant in Central PA and the “Wine Spectator Award” for twelve consecutive years.