Good Grub in Sussex County
Bethany Beach-Ocean View
Everyone at family-owned DiFebo’s (789 Garfield Pkwy., 539-4550) treats the guests like family, which means serving modern Italian fare such as pan-seared veal medallions topped with lump crab and exotic mushrooms in a light Marsala cream.
The excellent Bluecoast Seafood Grill (1111 Del. 1, 539-7111) offers off-season specials.
Sister restaurants Northeast Seafood Kitchen in Ocean View (29 Atlantic Ave., 537-1785) and Matt’s Fish Camp (28635 Coastal Hwy., 539-2267) offer equally good specials and food.
Off the Hook (769 Garfield Pkwy., 829-1424) serves familiar and forward- looking fare at reasonable prices in a comfortable, contemporary atmosphere.
In this still mostly summer-only town, evening concerts on the deck of The Rusty Rudder (113 Dickinson St., 227-3888) are preceded by a trip to the buffet. You’ll find fried chicken, barbecued ribs and steamed shellfish.
Saturday-night revelers hit Sunday brunch at The Starboard (2009 Coastal Hwy., 227-4600) for omelets and some hair of the dog from the famous Bloody Mary bar.
David Twining’s Nantuckets Restaurant (Coastal Highway at Atlantic Avenue, 539-2607) is a cozy place famous for its comfortable lounge and quahog and scallop chowdah, crab cakes and lobster shepherd’s pie. You’ll find similar food at his Lobster Shanty (37310 Lighthouse Road, 436-2305), along with a terrific view of the bay.
Mancini’s Brick Oven Pizzeria and Restaurant (907 Coastal Hwy., 537-4224) is a classic trattoria that serves all your Italian favorites, as well as seafood.
Just Hooked (1500 Coastal Hwy., 581-0098) pleases in the same way its sister, Off the Hook, does: good food, good prices, convivial atmosphere.
In a town that appreciates its history, The Brick Hotel (18 The Circle, 855-5800) stayed true to its past, with a period renovation and classic American fare. It appeals to local tastes with cream of crab soup, oyster stew, steamed clams, fried oysters, burgers and hearty meat and seafood entrées.
Photo by Kevin Fleming
Striper Bites, Lewes
Quaint, cozy Half Full (113 Market St., 645-8877) is where locals head for delicious artisanal pizzas and a glass of wine off the list of offerings by boutique producers.
Striper Bites (107 Savannah Road, 645-4657) is famous for its signature sandwich of grilled rockfish and applewood-smoked bacon.
Happy hour at The Buttery (102 Second St., 645-7755) is observed with religious devotion by some. Others appreciate a menu of creative dishes.
Notting Hill Coffee Roastery (124 Second St., 645-0733) serves the best Joe in town—and the best sticky buns.
The contemporary Mexican fare and extensive selection of tequilas draws big crowds to Agave (137 Second St., Lewes, 645-1232).
The resurrected Rose & Crown (142 Second St, Lewes, 827-4475) redefines the gastropub.
In Abbott’s Grill (249 NE Front St., 491-6736), local restaurant vet Kevin Reading, who has created some of the best places in the state, won friends right away with distinctive, yet approachable upscale food prepared with farm-fresh ingredients from local growers. (There’s also an Abbott’s on Broad Creek in Laurel.)
Milford Diner remains a local gathering place (1042 N. Walnut St., 422-6111), thanks to friendly service and good home cookin’.
It’s about more than coffee at Dolce Bakery and Coffee Shop (26 N. Walnut St., Milford, 422-5760). It’s about delicious Old World Breads, the Grape-Nuts-almond breakfast cookie, the award-winning chocolate cookie, the ice cream and the friendly vibes.
Photo by Kevin Fleming
Semra’s Grill, Rehoboth Beach
The Georgia House (119 Main St., 934-6737) won its friends with good Southern cooking such as buttermilk-battered fried chicken. Its location in the heart of town makes it an easy destination.
Neighboring Blue Water Grill (226 Main St., 934-5160) offers quintessential local fare such as grilled chicken topped with crab imperial.
La Quetzalteca (26007 Pugs Crossing, 934-8077) wins a thumbs-up from Hispanic newspaper Hoy en Delaware.
The name says it all at Kick N Chicken (26098 John J. Williams Hwy., Millsboro, 947-1110). This is your fried-chicken fix.
Gather ’round the stone fireplace at The Kitchen (The Shoppes at Paynter’s Mill, Cave Neck Road, 827-4050), where local fans followed chef Ray Richardson when he closed his popular Second Street Grill in Lewes. The Kitchen offers fine dining at bargain prices in a casual atmosphere.
Irish Eyes (105 Union St., 684-8889) rates for its casual-pub atmosphere, Irish fare and traditional favorites.
Miltonian Pizzeria and Wing House (618 Mulberry St., Milton, 684-1805) is the first place people call on game day.
Modern Mixture, Too (102 Federal St., Milton, 664-1228) may be new, but it became a favorite quickly. The food is eclectic, with influences from around the world. Big hits include the chopped salad with nopalitos, all drizzled with a refreshing lime dressing, and the Cuban sandwich. Try a smoothie.
Dogfish Head Brewings & Eats, Rehoboth Beach
At the beaches, there are summer locals and local locals. They find common ground at several good, casual places. Big Fish Grill (20298 Coastal Hwy., 227-3474) has packed ’em in year-round for 15 years now. Devotees go for the fun, casual atmosphere and the calling-card meal—fish—whether grilled, broiled, sautéed, stewed or served on pasta.
Dogfish Head Brewings & Eats (320 Rehoboth Ave., 226-2739) is famous for its “off-centered” brews, wood-grilled pizzas and fish and chips battered in its own 60 Minute IPA. The original
Arena’s Deli (149 Rehoboth Ave., 227-1272) is the place for hearty sandwiches, a craft brew and the day’s big games.
Still crazy after all these years, Summer House (218 Rehoboth Ave., 227-3895) is famous for its burgers.
Fins Fish House (243 Rehoboth Ave., 226-3467) is the place to go for one of the most extensive raw bars in the state.
Summer belongs to The Back Porch Café (59 Rehoboth Ave., 227-3674), where everyone kicks back in a casual beach-house atmosphere to enjoy a flaming coffee drink after oohing and aahing over the outstanding cuisine. New to the scene:
The Bramble & Brine (315 Rehoboth Ave., 227-7702). The casual, homey atmosphere belies outstanding uptown food made with lots of love.
Great Mediterranean cuisine is found at bargain prices at the cozy Semra’s Mediterranean Grill (19 Rehoboth Ave., 226-4976), adding to a growing list of good ethnic restaurants in the resort area.
Chef Lion Gardner’s The Blue Moon (35 Baltimore Ave., 227-6515) remains a local trendsetter.
Old World decor and outstanding food have made Chino and Karen Pedemonte’s Bon Appetit (312 High St., 629-3700) the local gourmet secret. You don’t often find pickled herring in sour cream or escargot on today’s menus. That’s not to mention classic entrées like Wiener Schnitzel and chicken cordon bleu.