Beer Week is Here




A Cheer for Beer

Wilmington Beer Week, July 14-21, starts Saturday, which means special dinners featuring primo brews at great restaurants all across town. Evolution Craft Brewing, Dogfish Head, Harpoon, Victory Brewing, Samuel Adams—the list of craft breweries represented goes on and on. Your venues (and the organizers have been good enough to count the taps for you):

Chelsea Tavern, 821 N. Market St., 482-3333, chelseatavern.com Taps: 31

Columbus Inn, 2216 Pennsylvania Ave., 571-1492, columbusinn.com Taps: 8
Dead President's Pub & Restaurant, 618 N. Union St., 652-7737, deadpresidentspub.com Taps: 10 (59 bottled beers)
Deep Blue Bar & Grill, 111 W. 11th St., 777-2040, deepbluebarandgrill.com Taps: 6

Domaine Hudson Wine Bar & Eatery, 1314 N. Washington St., 655-WINE, domainehudson.com Taps: 0 (60 in bottles)

Ernest & Scott Taproom, 902 N. Market St., 384-8113, ernestandscott.com Taps: 21
Green Room at the Hotel du Pont, 11th and Market streets, 594-3100,  hoteldupont.com Taps: 4
Harry’s Seafood Grill, 101 S. Market St., 777-1500, harrys-savoy.com/seafood.asp Taps: 12

Iron Hill Brewery, 710 Justison St., 472-2739, ironhillbrewery.com/wilmington/ Taps: 6-14
Kid Shelleen’s, 1 S. Scott St., 658-4600, kidshelleens.com Taps: 8
Piccolina Toscana, 1412 N. Dupont St, 654-8001, piccolinatoscana.com Taps: 6
Union City Grille. Eighth and Union streets, 654-9780, unioncitygrille.com  Taps: None

Walter’s Steak House, 802 N. Union St., 652-6780, walters-steakhouse.com Taps: 7
Washington Street Ale House. 1206 N. Washington St., 658-2537, wsalehouse.com 

As part of the festivities, don’t miss Iron Hill's Brewed in Delaware Beer Dinner on July 19. All beer served was, of course, brewed in the First State. Here’s the lineup:

Course one:
Gazpacho-shrimp cocktail with Saison from Iron Hill Brewery
Second course:'
Colossal crab tostadas with salsa of peaches and smoked poblanos, micro greens and cilantro oil, all served with a cool Maibock from Stewart's Brewing Company

Course three:
Watermelon salad with jicama, chayote, nopales and mango in lime vinaigrette, served with Midas Touch from Dogfish Head Brewery


Fourth course:
Barbecued babyback ribs in ancho-honey sauce and cheddar with jalapeño macaroni and cheese, served with Old Court Ale from Sixteen Mile Brewing Company

Course five:
Mesquite-smoked prime rib with bourbon-smashed sweet potatoes and roasted garlic jus
served with a Doppelbock from Fordham Brewing Company

Course six: 
Bananas brûlée with chili-pepper glaze, vanilla ice cream and chocolate sauce served with the Tweeds Tavern Stout from Twin Lakes Brewing Company
All that for $75 at the Iron Hill Brewery and Restaurant on Justison Street, Wilmington (472-2739, ironhillbrewery.com/wilmington/).

For more on Wilmington Beer Week, hit wilmingtonbeerweek.com

A Dream View with Food to Match

If you haven’t been to the Atlantic Seafood Grille at Atlantic Sands Hotel lately, it may be time to drop. Your Insider recently had the pleasure of dining there with Rehoboth Foodie (rehobothfoodie.com) and Deb Griffin, author of The Local Buzz, two people who know food and beach restaurants like few others. The Sands, long known for its breakfast on the beach, is pouring it on with a re-do to increase dinner patrons in a dining room that offers a view of the Rehoboth Beach Boardwalk and ocean that’s every bit as good as that at Victoria’s in Boardwalk Plaza. The room has been re-done in butter-yellow walls with large-format prints of historic photos of Rehoboth, tiled and carpeted floors, and contemporary lighting. The menu has been remade with favorite seafood and beef dishes. Deb, a vegetarian for the past 47 years, pronounced the eggplant stack the best she’s ever had. The Foodie enjoyed the house salad of mixed greens with roasted pears, candied walnuts and feta. Your Insider found the crab bisque to be unusually light. As for the mains, the honey-seared scallops with lobster risotto were a smash, the spinach-gorgonzola ravioli good, even if the dough was a bit heavy, and the seafood papillote was full of rockfish, shrimp and bay scallops. Seafood lovers will not be disappointed. That brings us to dessert: lemon rum cake, Key lime pie with Myer’s rum, a Gran Marnier trifle and melons with Cointreau—all house-made, all delicious, and all sure to do you in if you’ve fallen off the wagon. The Grille also serves prime rib and steaks, chicken, ribs and a children’s menu. If you need to feel the breeze while you dine, the open-air Boardwalk Café, also recently re-done, serves a menu of good pub grub. All in all, one more place to put on your list of beach restaurants. We’ll be back. 227-2093, atlanticseafoodgrille.com

Aegean Dreams

And you thought the only belly dancing to be had with your dinner happened at Casablanca in Wilmington. As it turns out, the new Turquoise in Bethany Beach presents the stunning Viviana Matthews for two 25-minute shows every Wednesday night. What better complement to the restaurant’s excellent Greek cuisine? With 9,000 miles of coastline, the Greeks know seafood, so you’ll find American faves like fish broiled with lemon and butter and good crab cakes. But you’ll also find souvlaki of lamb, chicken, pork or shrimp, as well as mousakka and pastichio. So if you missed Trinity Church’s annual Greek festival in Wilmington, point the car toward 33544 Marketplace, just off Highway 1. 616-1039, turquoiserestaurantbb.com

Price-Busting Pastabiities

We’re thrilled with the new menu at Luigi Vitrone’s Pastabilities in Wilmington’s Little Italy. Prices look like those we paid when the place opened in 1988. Ten smackers buys you a dish of Luigi’s meaty lasgaga, rigatoni wirth sausage and peppers, manicotti, fettuccine alfredo and more. Generous portions of shrimp marinara, veal Parmagiana, and veal Francese can be had for $12. Nothing tops $14. You can’t find a better bargain for Italian fare, at least not Italian fare as only the good Luigi can make it. Can it really be 25 years already? See ya there. 656-9822, ljv-pastabilities.com

The ABCs of Best, Continued…

The Insider is aghast that you still haven’t seen The Best of Delaware, DT’s annual survey of readers and critics that tells you, dear reader, where to eat and gives cause for the best party in the state. No one else can tell you how to find the best ceviche or coolest cocktails, so, herein, the ABCs of BOD continued (that’s D, E and F), just to tickle your tastebuds. For the full rundown, you’ll need to click here:

Best Delicatessen

Readers, upstate: Bachetti Brothers Gourmet Meats & Market 4723 Kirkwood Hwy., Wilmington, 994-4467, bachettis.com

Readers, downstate: Touch of Italy 101 Second St., Lewes, 827-2730; 33A Baltimore Ave., Rehoboth Beach, 227-1500, touchofitaly.com

Editors, upstate: Papa’s Food Market is always stocked with fresh-baked bread, crisp Kosher dills and olives galore, but it’s the capicolla that wins it. It’s the best around. 1910 W. Sixth St., Wilmington, 656-8886

Best Desserts

Readers, upstate: Berri Yummi 3100 Naamans Road, Wilmington, 478-0200; 5329A Limestone Road, Wilmington, 239-1200, berriyummi.com

Readers, downstate: Cake Bar 115 Second St., Lewes, 645-2253, cakebar-de.com

Editors, upstate: Capers & Lemons 301 Little Falls Drive, Wilmington, 256-0524, platinumdininggroup.com/capers_and_lemons/

Best Dining Events

Editors, upstate: The Hotel du Pont may not host them as often as others, but special dinners there are truly special. We give you A Night to Remember in The Green Room in April, when the culinary team re-created the meal served on the Titanic the night it sank. Truly wonderful. 42 W. 11th St., Wilmington, 594-3100, hoteldupont.com

Editors, downstate: With regular Men and Beer evenings and its Women and Wine series, as well as a full slate of cooking demos, SoDel Concepts gives local foodies several good reasons to dine out at its fine restaurants, such as Northeast Seafood Kitchen and Lupo di Mare. 7 Leeds Way, Rehoboth Beach, 228-3786, sodelconcepts.com

Editors, over the line: Longwood Gardens rules with evenings like Culinature, when house chefs turn local ingredients into fabulous foods. The Sip and Savor dinners bring out the best in local brewers and winemakers. Of course, the setting is unique and fabulous. 1001 Longwood Road, Kennett, (610) 388-1000, longwoodgardens.org

Best Dinner and a Show

Editors, upstate: After dining on some of Luigi’s famous homemade pasta at Luigi Vitrone’s Pastabilities Restaurant, ask your host to escort you to Old Skool Antiques and Collectibles next door to view the collection of furniture and accessories he has amassed over the years. The house is full of treasures, including an original Tiffany lamp. 415 N. Lincoln St., Wilmington, 656-9822, ljv-pastabilities.com

Best Family Place

Readers, upstate: The Melting Pot 1601 Concord Pike, Wilmington, 652-6358, meltingpot.com

Readers, downstate: Grotto Pizza various locations, grottopizza.com

Editors, upstate: Grotto Pizza is bright and cheerful, with ports on TV for the adults and, in some locations, arcade games for the kids. From pizza to spaghetti to chicken fingers, the menu satisfies all. various locations, grottopizza.com

Editors, downstate: We enjoyed the cozy booths and overhead model train at the original First Street location of Nicola Pizza. We love the big, new restaurant on the avenue. 8 N. First St., Rehoboth Beach, 227-6211; 71 Rehoboth Ave.,

Rehoboth Beach, 227-6211; nicolapizza.com

Best Farm-to-Table Dining

Editors, downstate: Special farm-to-table dinners are a big events at Nage, which sources the best in Sussex produce and seafood as a matter of course. 19730 Coastal Hwy., Rehoboth Beach, 226-2037, nage.bz

Editors, over the line: It’s no fad at The Fair Hill Inn. Chefs Philip Pyle and Brian Shaw  spend as much time tending their on-site garden as preparing beautiful dishes. 3370 Singerly Road, Elkton, 410-398-4187, fairhillinn.com

Best Fine Dining

Readers, upstate: The Melting Pot 1601 Concord Pike, Wilmington, 652-6358, meltingpot.com

Readers, downstate: The Buttery 102 Second St., Lewes , 645-7755, butteryrestaurant.com

Editors, upstate: Black uniforms, white-glove service, the elegant decor—there is no place like The Green Room of the Hotel du Pont. 42 W. 11th St., Wilmington, 594-3100, hoteldupont.com

Best Fish and Chips

Editors, upstate: At Stoney’s British Pub expect them the way a real Brit would do it. Thank owner Mike Stone for his authentic recipe. It’s a secret, natch. 3007 Concord Pike, Wilmington, 477-9740, stoneyspub.com

Editors, downstate: At Go Fish! and its new sister restaurant, Go Brit! the fish is fried according to owner Alison Blyth’s mum’s secret recipe, and they are peerless—light and crispy outside, moist and meaty inside. 24 Rehoboth Ave., Rehoboth Beach, 226-1044, gofishdelaware.com; 18388 Coastal Hwy., Lewes, 644-2250, gobrit.com

Best French Fries

Editors, upstate (tie): There’s an upcharge when you substitute the white truffle-Parmesan fries for the batter-dipped fries that usually come with your sandwich at the World Café Live, but they’re worth every penny. The subtle flavor of truffle blends magically with the hint of cheese to create a flavor that is just made for potatoes. Two Stones Pub is hip to the truffle treatment, too, and we couldn’t be happier. Two Stones Pub 2 Chesmar Plaza, Newark, 294-1890, twostonespub.com; World Cafe Live, 500 N. Market St., Wilmington, 994-1400, queen.worldcafelive.com/restaurant

Best French Restaurant

Readers, upstate: The Green Room 42 W. 11th St., Wilmington, 594-3100, hoteldupont.com

Readers, downstate: Bon Appetit 312 High St., Seaford, 629-3700, bonappetitseaford.com

Oh Cherry, Oh Baby

Don’t forget that, to celebrate National Rainier Cherry Day on July 11, a top-notch chef from an iconic restaurant in each of the 50 states will receive 40 pounds of ultra-sweet Rainier cherries. In Delaware, that’s Harry’s Savoy Grill in North Wilmington, where chef David Leo Banks’ talented kitchen crew will use them in a mind-blowing dish. Why mind-blowing? Because it’s the peak of the season, so the cherries will be at their best. The cherries come from Washington state, which produces 12 varieties of that make up 60 percent of the cherries in the country. Not only are they delicious, but their phyto nutrients and other properties are believed to help prevent or control hypertension, diabetes, heart disease and other common health problems. Of course, you’re headed to Harry’s because they taste great. See what Banks has cooking. 475-3000, harrys-savoy.com

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STAFF WRITER MARK NARDONE DISHES ON THIS WEEK’S
BEST WINE EVENTS AND MORE

About This Blog

Mark Nardone
Wilmington, DE

From chocolate festivals to wine tastings to new restaurant openings, Dining Insider has the Delaware dining scene covered. Delaware Today's Mark Nardone shares the scoop each week on the food and wine events you simply can’t miss. Contact Mark at mnardone@delawaretoday.com.

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