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SWoodyWhite

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Everything posted by SWoodyWhite

  1. I did some checking here in Rehoboth Beach, DE, on this topic. At the Blue Moon, there is a $10 corkage fee if the wine is on their wine list, a $5 fee if it is not. As for taking a bottle with you when you leave, it must be corked, wrapped and bagged. Other places that I asked had much the same response.
  2. I've been wanting to head over to La Tolteca for some time now, but der Brucer has been hesitant. His previous experience with Mexican cuisine here in Rehoboth was less than stellar, and he really didn't want to get burned again. Still, while he's a Philly boy, born and bred, his living in SoCal left a mark on his appetites, so Saturday, after touring the town, he suggested we head on up Highway One and give the place a try. What we found was a very friendly place, and a popular one. The main dining room and the patio were both filled with people, both with families and groups of friends. The blended margaritas we were served tasted of good, fresh lime juice; they can also be ordered on the rocks. The obligatory bowl of chips were crisp but not greasy, with a definate corn flavor; the salsa served with them came in a small caraffe to be poured in a shallow bowl, with lots of tomato, onion, and chiles, plus some cilantro mixed in. Der Brucer ordered a combination plate of chile relleno and beef enchiladas. I've a heartier appetite, and went for a grande combo that was large enough to require two plates. The chile relleno was very good, filled with cheese and fried until it was liquid, but with the chile itself retaining some of it's fresh crunch. The enchilada filling was ground beef that had been simmering so that the chile powder had blended with the other ingredients, packing some heat but not harsh at all. The guacamole and lettuce on top of a crisp tortilla provided a cool contrast to the other items on the plate. The only part of the plate that fell short was the taco, more my fault than the restaurant's because I left it 'til last, and the shell on the bottom had gotten a bit soggy. As for the rice and beans that came with both dinners, der B. was very happy. He loves good Mexican rice and beans, and there weren't any left on his plate this time. I was too full to finish mine. There can be a bit of a show, if a table is large enough: the server comes in wearing an oven glove that covers most of his arm, with as many as seven or eight plates stacked along that outstretched arm. I didn't want to know what would happen if someone made a wrong move the server passed by, but it never happened. It wasn't until we were leaving that der Brucer realized that mariachi music had been playing in the background the entire time, although I had heard it all through dinner. Busy as the place was, the noise level was fairly low; if the music had been any louder, things could have become unpleasant, but that never happened, either. There are lunch specials, as well, smaller plates at smaller prices. La Tolteca, 4578 Highway One, in the Midway Shopping Center, Rehoboth Beach.
  3. Another weekend, and business is picking up all over the place. Saturday, the boardwalk was filled with people strolling and enjoying the sun, gift shops were doing a lively business, and more restaurants had their doors open. The next two weekends will be particularly busy. Running Thursday, April 22nd through Sunday, April 25th, is the Lewes Blues Festival. http://www.diningdebeaches.com/preview.php...uesfestival.htm At the same time, from Friday, April 23rd through Sunday, April 25th, is the Rehoboth Beach Food and Wine Festival. http://www.diningdebeaches.com/preview.php...foodandwine.htm Following closely behind, the following weekend, is the Rehoboth Beach Cabaret Festival, from Friday, April 30th, through Sunday, May 2nd. http://www.diningdebeaches.com/preview.php...cabaretfest.htm And I've been told that things aren't supposed to be really busy until July 4th!
  4. My other half, der Brucer, has long had a solution for getting his steak cooked the way he likes at restaurants. The server will ask "And how would you like that cooked, sir?" Der B replies "What would you call bright pink in the center?" The server stumbles for a second, recovers and gives a name, then takes the order to the kitchen and tells them "Bright pink in the center." Works like a charm every time. The chefs know what he's referring to, because they've been told exactly what the customer wants without the mumbo-jumbo of the vagaries of what medium-rare or medium can mean. But then, he's also the sort of cutomer who would rather tell the staff to take their time and get things right. By being supportive of the staff, rather than antagonistic, we've rarely been disappointed with a meal. The food ends up tasting better, the service is better, and everyone ends up much happier.
  5. A reopening that I missed was on Thursday, at Catchers (249 Rehoboth Ave., (302) 227-1808). I didn't mean to miss it, I just happened to be walking down the street in the other direction. We made up for that lapse on Saturday. I had originally intended just to have der Brucer look at the menu posted by the window, but when he gets enthused over what he reads, I've learned not to interfere. I really didn't want to cook that night, anyway. Catchers is definately geared for family dining. Der B's comment was that it reminded him of homestyle cooking that had turned enough of a profit to redecorate. I'm inclined to agree; the dining room is bright and cheery, with fun posters on the wall and a staff easily identified by their colorful shirts over beige shorts or slacks. The menu specializes in seafood, of course, although there are things like BBQ and Prime Rib for those disinclined. Der Brucer started with their cream of crab soup, a sherry-based bisque; I had the Maryland crab soup, lightly spicy and filled with veggies. Both soups had generous amounts of backfin crabmeat. We followed with a shared appetizer, a stuffed portobello mushroom, filled with their Lobster and Crab Imperial, and topped with red and yellow tomatoes. Again, the crab and lobster included was generous; the balance between the seafood, the portobello, and the tomatoes was interesting and delicious. His entree was the grilled Flounder Almondine, served on a pool of lobster cream sauce. I tried one of the specials, a pecan-crusted red snapper, again grilled. Both fish were done just right, flavorful and moist. Two sides come with each entree; we both had the creamed spinach, and while I opted for the garlic mashed potatoes, he had the stewed tomatoes. "These have been done right," he commented, noting how the tomatoes were still meaty without having turned to mush. Did we have a quibble? No, not a real one. Our waitress was nervous opening the bottle of wine, but that's a skill that takes practice, and der Brucer is an old hand at coaching those new to the task. By the end of the evening, our server was joking with him like an old pro. This is a restaurant I can recommend, easily. Most entrees run from $15-22, appetizers are in the $8 range. They do have a children's menu; as I said at the start, this place is geared for families. Rehoboth being what it is, that means it's a place for everybody.
  6. Spring, and the reopening of Rehoboth Beach, continues. A stroll down Rehoboth Blvd. revealed the following: Summerhouse will be opening it's doors again on May 6th. Abstractions, the sushi bar and restaurant at 203 Rehoboth, returns tomorrow, April 9th. http://www.diningdebeaches.com/show_restau...&submenu=&town= Same night marks the return of the Rehoboth branch Hooters. Already open on a limited basis are Sydney's, the jazz club next to Cloud 9(Thursday through Saturday) and Taste (122 Rehoboth, Friday-Sunday for dinner, Saturday and Sunday for lunch). And, coming this month, the Rehoboth Beach Wine and Food Festival, running Friday, April 23rd, to Sunday, April 25th. When I get more information, I'll be posting.
  7. Installing an ATM that dispenses fives won't solve a problem when people are only buying a couple of doughnuts. The bill would still require ones for change, and that is what the bakery cannot keep in supply. Frankly, the lowest denomination I've ever seen in an ATM is a ten; most dispense twenties, and nothing but. This is clearly a case of the customer not always being right. Ann A. has the right to conduct business as she sees fit, and I congratulate her for doing so.
  8. Café Zeus has reopened, after a winter’s closure. My partner (der Brucer) and I dropped by for their “Three-Way Thursdays,” which proved to be an excellent bargain. We started with $3 martinis (Absolut or Skyy), followed by a pair of offerings from their $3 appetizer menu. I tried the fried ravioli, with a marinara dipping sauce, while he had the Middle Eastern appetizer platter, where a selection of hummus, falafel, dolmas and pita bread played with a yogurt/cucumber dipping sauce. Der B is normally the sort of fellow that insists that the food he eats have spent part of its existence walking on it’s own; not so this time, as he was very pleased. The Middle Eastern influence continued for der Brucer with the same cucumber sauce complimenting a spice-crusted rack of lamb. This came with couscous, and a chef’s variant on the listed vegetable. It turned out that Chef Charles Davidson hadn’t been pleased with the zucchini he had found in the markets, so he substituted a halved and grilled orange bell pepper, filled with roasted cherry tomatoes. The presentation looked good, and tasted even better, according to der B. For myself, I had the salmon steak topped with pistachio butter and herbs, which with served with orzo and a slice of grilled pineapple glazed with soy. The salty and the sweet was a good foil for the rest of the plate. Dessert? A martini glass filled with chocolate truffles for me, which sent me into a happy if groggy heaven. Der B had an uncompromisingly thick slice of cinnamon cheesecake, served with a generous supply of squeeze-bottle caramel and chocolate. The cheesecake itself was baked in a biscuit/shortbread crust, a surprising choice that paid off very well. Chef Davidson talked with us later about how he works using with French technique balanced with his own Southwestern upbringing. This dual background serves as an interesting base for a highly eclectic menu. While it wasn’t intentional, there are several choices on the menu that would satisfy most any vegetarian, making Café Zeus a good destination for a wide range of diners. Der Brucer wants to return, and soon. So do I; that Middle Eastern appetizer platter he had looked tasty. Cafe Zeus, 37 Wilmington Ave, 302-226-0400 Currently open Thursdays through Sundays from 5pm
  9. Spring is here, and with it comes the reopening of the summer resorts. Rehoboth Beach is no exception; restaurants that have been closed for the winter are unlatching their doors, and those that have been operating on limited hours are getting back to full service. That being the case, I’m starting a new thread on what is happening in Rehoboth Beach, the better to reflect the changes with the seasons. If you can’t find what you want to know in this thread, check the older one at http://forums.egullet.org/index.php?showtopic=31336&st=0 . And by all means ask questions, and either I or someone else will try to find an answer.
  10. Dang, I knew there'd be a catch to all this! Dish is at 26 Baltimore, in Rehoboth Beach, not too far from the Boardwalk.
  11. I know where Dish is located, I've been by there, I've got going there to dine on the "to do" list...I know, excuses, excuses. Here's a link to their website: http://www.dishrehoboth.com/
  12. Bob L and I had a good time tonight, meeting by accident at Celsius at a wine tasting dinner. He's the one who recognized der Brucer and myself, by name, by coincidence he and his lovely wife being our dinner companions. The world of eGullet continues to grow! But it's time to start a new Rehoboth thread, in celebration of the Spring season, and I'll be a better writer in the morning. Yours truly - your Rehoboth Beach correspondent - S. Woody White
  13. Thanks for the link! I'd forgotten all about John Ash, and his favorite cooking technique: to "smoosh."
  14. Cooking Monday through Friday, hosted by Michelle Urvater (sp?). She wrote at least a couple of books to tie in with the series. It could have been called "Hi? I'm the Left-Over Lady!" The news show was called In Food Today, hosted by David Rosengarten and Mrs. Rudy Gulianni. He was very good, as always; she was a pain. One of the dueling "experts" was Barbara Kafka, who took over David's Taste for a while when he needed to recharge his batteries. She always seemed to me to have been Robin Leach's guest one too many times, without ever recovering. edit for spelling
  15. Three Dog Bakery. Dang, I forgot that one. They've since written a book about one of the dogs, who is no longer with them. I liked that show; the hosts were honest, and clearly loved their companions.
  16. Three stellar examples from FoodTV's past: A talk show, hosted by Robin Leech, purportedly live. While there have been comments here about some current hosts getting drunk on camera, this is generally limited to specific episodes. The Leech talk-fest was filled with the effects of the bottle on a nightly basis. A show reviewing restaurants, I believe Alan Richman was co-host for a time. A camera crew would visit the restaurant, to give viewers an idea about the ambiance. Alan and Nina (?) would then sit in their NYC studio "restaurant booth" and sample the dishes...that had been FedExed to them and reheated! They were, in effect, reviewing doggie bags! And there was Debbie Fields' baking show, all about desserts. I never did figure out how she managed to get her hands in the dough while wearing those talon-shaped fingernails. Does anyone else remember the wonders of the past the way I do?
  17. Quoting from the article reffed at the beginning: “Our DJ is black, we have Mexican people in the kitchen," he told Diaz. Just how many restaurants in NYC (or any major city, for that matter) don't employ Hispanics in the kitchen? Who does he think he's bluffing here? More to the point, once hired, do the "Mexican people" have any chance of being promoted within the ranks?
  18. A couple of updates: I called Ristorante Zebra (32 Lake Ave., 320-226-1160), and learned from their taped message that they will be reopening on March 26th. Reservations are being accepted, first seatings at 6 pm. On the same night, Sir Guy's (243 Rehoboth Ave., 320-227-7616) will be holding a happy hour party from 5 to 8 pm. This is the first winter since 1992 that they've closed, updating their interiors and menu. The sprucing up looks pretty good. The new menu features more salads (with dressings made in-house) and entrees. Right now they're closed on Wednesdays and Thursdays; Tuesdays is Wing Night, at $3.50 a dozen. And yes, der Brucer and I have discovered Beautiful Foods, which has a great cheese shop along with all sorts of spices and ingredients I haven't been able to find elsewhere. We picked up a good-sized slab of Gruyere, the perfect test for der B's new electric fondue pot, and I found some dried chilis, something the supermarkets don't seem to have in stock...at all! (I'm in serious Mexican food withdrawal!) Nice fellows running the place, interested in what people want and ready with suggestions.
  19. I'll certainly be interested in your comments on Assassins, Rozrapp. And there are lots of food references in the show's book, mostly about fast food. Der Brucer and I took a test run up to NYC this Saturday, a one-day trip that almost lasted a full 24 hours. It was a good idea to make the trip, so that we would know for sure what our options were for routes. It also gave us a chance to meet with a young woman he's been tutoring on-line on her chemistry lessons, and for her parents to meet us in person. The high-schooler is also a theater buff, and was thrilled to join us for the matinee of I Am My Own Wife, a fascinating one-man show about deceptions, both of the public and private kind. Dinner between shows was at Joe Allen's. Yes, I know, not very adventurous of us, but she had never been there before. Joe Allen's is a great place to meet people, hold lively conversations, and have a good time. It's also convenient, has a fun atmosphere, and I've always found the waitstaff attentive and personable. The bar staff can be a little swamped, however. As for the food, it's not what I'd call memorable, but that's not a pan since memorable can be for the worse. Der Brucer's escargots, which Jenny tried for the first time, would have been better if not served on puff pastry. Both the black bean soup and the jambalaya that I had were on the bland side. But he truly enjoyed the steak tartare, something I would never dare at home because I could never guarantee the quality ingredients. Saying good-night to Jenny and her parents, we were off to Wonderful Town, a revival that places Bernstein's music where it belongs, front and center, with the orchestra out of the pit and right there on-stage. After that, it was a long drive home. I wouldn't mind changing the date for Assassins to some time mid-week. The drive would be the same, but finding someplace special for just the two of us might be easier. We'll see what happens. (Admin: several small threads on pre-theater dining merged above)
  20. Everything is fine here; there just hasn't been much to post about. The winter break is almost over, with restaurants that have been open through the off-season on a limited basis getting back to a full schedule, and places that have been closed finishing with their remodeling (such as Catchers and Sir Guy's). It might be time soon to start a new "Springtime" thread. There was a Chinese restaurant on Rehoboth Blvd., located just a few doors down from the bookstore, which will not be reopening. The site has been bought by new owners, who are working on redesigning the interior. Der Brucer decided last week that we should try the Crab Barn's Thursday special, a steamed lobster for just $14, which was good but not great. I liked their clam chowder, and there was plenty of melted butter for the lobster (a one-pounder), but there simply wasn't that much to get excited about. We'll see what the Spring brings.
  21. All right, Mark, you've got my curiosity going. How much flexibility should a diner expect to put in to get a decent table at a top restaurant? What times are best to aim for, for say a four-top, at say Citronelle (just as an example; if you want to change the example, by all means do)? Is it easier to get in prior to prime dining hours, or later? And what could I expect from the kitchen and staff that might be different at those hours? (And be honest here! I've given you an out; use it!)
  22. I want to thank everyone again for their suggestions. I forwarded them to an on-line friend who is hosting a theater party at about the same time, and she was also very appreciative. That's the good news. The bad news is that the Roundabout has had to cancel the first week of previews, and is rescheduling everyone's tix for later in the now-extended run. So I will not be able to give a preview-review of the show for those who so kindly asked for one. (Fortunately, our rescheduled tix are for early June, which should make for wonderful weather for our visit!)
  23. The website for Red Ginger is at http://www.redgingerbistro.com/ Maybe Mark drove by on a Monday. They're closed on Mondays.
  24. Going over the link, the public vote is limited to four catagories, the ones that do require "popularity" as part of the equation. And they were generous enough to point out that the ballots will be available in the Washington Post Magazine's May 16th edition, as well as on-line at www.ramw.org. So anyone here who wishes to contribute to the pick-esque portion of the awards can pick up their pick axe and have at 'em.
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