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We seem to be missing the Del


NulloModo
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Hi All,

There seems to be a huge lack of discussion about the Delaware dining scene in this forum. I have seen the recurring thread about Rehoboth, alas that is it.

Now, I am a Delaware native, and would love to contribute, but I don't even know where to begin reviewing as I am unaware of which establishments are fine dining around here and which are just a waste of time. So, let's break into the apparently unexplored non-Rehoboth/beach Delaware dining scene and see what lies out there. Anyone have ideas about great places to go that would result in great reviews? Anyone want to hear about any particular places?

He don't mix meat and dairy,

He don't eat humble pie,

So sing a miserere

And hang the bastard high!

- Richard Wilbur and John LaTouche from Candide

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Hi! And, as the Rehoboth Beach correspondent, welcome!

I started writing about Rehoboth Beach because I noticed that no one else was putting anything in, and simply decided to fill in the void. Basically, I've been trusting my own instincts, reporting about what fits in the "fine dining" area, but also talking about "good grub" and where the rip-offs are located. I've had the advantage/disadvantage of being a newcomer to Delaware (all the way from Long Beach, CA, as of last November), so my reporting has been skewed towards the newcomer's point of view, but hearing from a native sounds like a good idea to me. (For example, I may know what a good crabcake tastes like, but I still have no idea why it tastes so good, or what I should be looking for. It's kind of like art, subjective as all get out and a learning process, but the learning is part of the fun.)

Write to us about what you know! If you hear about specials in your area, which are worth pursuing, tell us about them. Festivals and fairs haven't been getting any coverage; as a newbie, I wouldn't even know where to start. I've hardly scratched the surface on finding good places to buy foods, specialty items and such. Believe me, once people start learning you're available, they'll start asking questions.

In what part of Delaware do you live? Delaware is a much larger state than many people realize, taking a couple of hours driving time from one end to the other.

I'm looking forward to what you have to say. To paraphrase Rick in Casablanca, I think this could be the beginning of a beautiful relationship!

We'll not discriminate great from small.

No, we'll serve anyone - meaning anyone -

And to anyone at all!

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I live in Newark currently, and over the past school year worked in Dover on the AFB. I have been living in the state for about 12 years now, but only developed an interest in dining beyond the mega-chains very recently, so I am still exploring quite a bit myself.

I will have to just start some posts about special places up here then, who knows, maybe some will catch on.

He don't mix meat and dairy,

He don't eat humble pie,

So sing a miserere

And hang the bastard high!

- Richard Wilbur and John LaTouche from Candide

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As most of you -- the ones I have "talked" with -- know, I am from Delaware and lived there the first 49 years of my life. Our most recent trip back up there was in April when we sold our Delaware house. Not much had changed from when I lived there. What used to be Ashby's and now claims to be a brew pub was terrible except for one thing. They had Victory Hop Devil (bottled). However, the nachos we ordered were an extremely small portion, expensive, and tasteless. We could not bring ourselves to eat dinner there, so we went to Rehoboth. Our dinner and beers at Dogfish Head were real good.

A lunch at the Buttery in Lewes was very fine. A dinner at Lewes with relatives was great... across the street, Striper Bites had excellent food after a Happy Hour at the Rose and Crown.

In Rehoboth, we had a special night to celebrate and checked out a few places, but it was pre-season and most of our old favorites were not open. We went to Fusion or Celsius, I think... I get them mixed up. On Wilmington Avenue, we walked in and got a table, squeezed in with other customers so closely that we were touching each other. It was terribly awkward. After we were seated, they ignored us for about 10 minutes, so we left, and went to Blue Moon, where we had a awesome good meal, delicious food and wine and great service.

We had a nice lunch in Dover at W T Smithers Restaurant, which was slightly more upscale than the lunch my old friend and I had in Millsboro, Georgia House. It's a local favorite, with good food at reasonable prices, but too "down home" style for me. However, I enjoyed it and especially enjoyed the antiqueing afterwards.

Life is short; eat the cheese course first.

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Hi

I'll be spending one day in Dover this month, as Liam has a meeting there (I think we're staying at Dover Downs?). So, recommendations on good places to eat, to hangout (places with wifi? good coffee), any used bookstores or good wine shops, etc, would be much appreciated. Thanks

Food is a convenient way for ordinary people to experience extraordinary pleasure, to live it up a bit.

-- William Grimes

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I grew up in Newark, so go back to visit my folks every month or two. A favorite lunch spot is the Iron Hill Brewpub on Main Street. This is sort of a mini-chain, I believe they also have outposts in Wilmington and Manyunk PA. The beer is nice and the food is tasty -- classic american. Atmosphere (at least in Newark) is hip/casual, usually the crowd is predominantly University of DE folks.

I have no idea about Dover, sorry!

"What, after all, is more seductive than the prospect of sinning in libraries?"

Michael Dirda, An Open Book

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Forgot to add to the above -- after lunch/dinner at Iron Hill, go across the street to Cafe Gelato for dessert! I spent 10 wonderful days in Italy, eating gelato about 3 times a day :raz: , and the stuff in Newark is a pretty good version of the stuff. Eat it at the cute little outdoor seating area on the sidewalk & watch the people go by...

Word of warning, I would skip the regular food there tho'. It's pretty overpriced for the mediocre Italian you get. Disclaimer - haven't eaten the regular menu in about a year so may have improved since then.

"What, after all, is more seductive than the prospect of sinning in libraries?"

Michael Dirda, An Open Book

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  • 10 months later...

Bump.

I thought I'd revive this thread because I live in Wilmington and have had several meals recently at some of our finer dining establishments. Living so close to Philadelphia I spend most of my egullet time on that board, but here's some Wilmington dining info for anyone who happens up this way or is just interested in whats going on in the First State's largest city.

Dinner last night at Moro: Moro opened a couple of years ago and quickly became the spot to eat in Wilmington. It received three bells out of four from Philly Inquirer critic Craig Laban.Dinner last night was not up to that standard.

My friend and I ordered the four course tasting menu and were told later that the kitchen was too backed up to do it correctly.Hmmmm, okay back to the menu.Ended up ordering white bean soup with ham, scallops over corn with an artichoke/onion tart for the main. Friend ordered rib eye steak.The soup was inedible.The beans were far from cooked and were actually hard.The broth was kind of oily too.The manager removed this form our bill and offered to buy us dessert or a drink.He never did.The scallop entree was just okay.The tart was too dry and not a good accompianment to scallops.My friend's rib eye was very good however.All their beef is dry aged and sourced from a good butcher in Philadelphia.The amuse was their homemade mozzerella, which was delicious. The wine list, while long and fairly extensive, is kind of exhausting to go through and ,imo, overpriced.The page titled "Interesting Reds" is anything but interesting.

I also ate at Moro in January and had a slightly better meal, but I'm not sure I can really reccomend this place.Maybe the thing to do is order their steaks or veal chops.However, they are very expensive.

Other places I can reccommend are: Eclipse, Toscana, and Deep Blue.

A recent dinner at Eclipse was good, if a bit simple.This is a casual palce that you can feel comfortable dining at wether your dressed up or just in jeans and decent shirt.Decent wine list goes well with the food they offer.

Deep Blue and Toscana are two successful retaurants that are owned by the same person.Toscana is Italian and Deep Blue is mainly a seafood place.Both of these are very good and have excellent wine lists.Both also have a happening bar scene.

Anyway, just a quick update on what's going on in Wilmington. There is lots more to write about, so if people are interested I can post more info.

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My wife had dinner at the italian place across from deep blue called mezza notte(hope i spelled it right) and both her and her girlfriend were thrilled. They were supposed to eat at restaurant 821, but it was very crowded and they decided to go to deep blue instead but on the way they decided to give mezza notte a try. They were glad they did.

I am also reopening the DiFonzos Bakery on Union St. Opening is set for July. The Union St. area used to have several good bakeries, now there are but a few. This was the last of the old world style "bread" bakeries.

Incidentally, is anyone from the Del. part of this board attending the "Meals from the Masters" event tonite? It benefits "Meals on Wheels" and its at the Bank One Center on the waterfront. Tickets are $70.00 ea. at the door....which is a little expensive but it will be a fun night for a good cause.

...and if you take cranberries and stew them like applesauce it tastes alot more like prunes than rhubarb does. groucho

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I am at the Delaware beaches quite regularly, as I have had a year-round home there for many many years. During the summer, I (and my friends)have a tendency to never eat out on the weekends(or even go to the store for that matter!), only weekdays, due to the enormous population swell and just general traffic congestion and gridlock. (You'll instead find me Lord of my backyard grill on Fridays & Saturdays!) -- Unfortunately, more and more, I've been known to stay home in Annapolis on the weekends, and only go to the beach during the week.

I don't always read it, but I get a e-newsletter every week, (maybe it's every 2 wks during the deep winter months)about dining on the Delaware shore. It announces everything from charity dinners, wine tastings, to even just special happy hours and menu changes. It also announces whenever a new restaurant opens, with a link to the menu, etc. Here's the link to the homepage, which I am sure you can follow somewhere to sign up for the newsletter if you like.

Delaware Dining

I like to cook with wine. Sometimes I even add it to the food.

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In Wilmington, Restaurant 821 has a new chef and wines and food are excellent.

Recent meal there was braised beef cheek appetizer for me, delicious , mozzarela salad with figs for hubby. Mains -- duck confit with goat cheese risotto and a great "Forever Braised Shortiribs" classic favorite at 821. Desserts are great too.

Many other good restaurants in Wilmington (mentioned in other posts, including Deep Blue, Moro and Harry's Seafood) but for my money 821 is the winner.

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I would add Lamberti's Cucina to the list of decent spots in Wilmington. There are two. Great lunch spot. They seem to be able to deliver good service, unrushed, but will get you out quickly if you need as well as pretty decent food that appeals to almost everyone.

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speaking of delaware, did anyone visit the meals of the masters event last sunday in wilmington. i didnt hear much about it, my maestro counterparts said they ended up making almost two thousand lobster raviolis a la minute, so they didnt get to see much else.

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