Café Scalessa is Back




Café Scalessa, from its comfy pocket along Greenhill Avenue in Wilmington, offers sheer Italian-American escapism. Owner Don Scalessa furnishes his restaurant with a wiseguy motif. Then there are the notations on the menu: “Our pastas are cooked to order, capish?” and my favorite: “Leave the gun, take the butter cake.” Dean Martin is heard on the house speakers. There are chianti-colored walls. There are mobster movies playing on three TV screens on endless loops. Since its inception in 2002, the tiny café had built an impressive following on the back of its old-school Italian charm. Bada-bing, bada-boom. Chef Don’s food—predictable but reliable—was culled from family recipes. But in 2011, Scalessa suddenly sold his restaurant. A year later, he reclaimed his spot. So the New Scalessa’s is ostensibly the Old Scalessa’s, which is as good as neighborhood Italian gets in this part of Delaware, so its mild case of kitsch can be blocked out by great food prepared slowly and meticulously by Don himself. Read more here.

Wine Chat

What do you do if you own a store devoted to enjoyment of boutique wines and craft brews? If you’re Venu Gaddamidi, you open a bar in that store so those wines and beers can be enjoyed as quickly as possible. Having built a loyal clientele at his Veritas Wine and Craft Beer on the Riverfront in Wilmington, he opened the Craft@Veritas bar in January. You should check it out. Read more here. 543-6071, sipveritas.com

Patriot Names

Bob Ashby owns a historic hotel, Cantwell’s Tavern in Odessa, and a historic family name, Taylor, shared by George Taylor, an ancestor who signed the Declaration of Independence. Hence the name of Taylor’s Grog, the house brew at Cantwell’s and his other taverns. You will like it. Find out why here.

Man. That is One Big Burger

Your Insider loves burgers, and he knows there are others who love burgers, too—some a whole lot more than he does. If you have more burger love than you can stand, get to your local Jake’s Wayback Burgers for this beauty: The Triple Triple. As the name says, that’s three of Jake’s signature Triples stacked on top of each other, a total of nine patties on a bun. It started as a limited time novelty last year. Response was so huge, it will become a menu staple on March 1. Price: $12.99—and a bargain at that. Good for your arteries? We’re guessing not. Good for your soul? We burger lovers can’t think of much more that is. And if it’s too much for you, you can always hit Jake’s for your regulars. Current burger of the month: The Philly, with American cheeses, grilled onions and sautéed mushrooms. Always delish.

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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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