Every time we do a big dining issue or The Best of Delaware, I’m astonished by how many great restaurants we have. In a small state full of big treasures, they’re among the most valuable.
So how do you tackle them all in one story? You don’t. But we’ve wrestled 100 of them into this month’s dining guide.
And though we can assure you all the restaurants mentioned are great, not all the great restaurants are mentioned. Our apologies to those that didn’t fit. I’m no dining critic, but I enjoy good food as much as anyone, so I can’t resist mentioning a few places I’d recommend to anyone.
Café Napoli is a favorite for the warmth of its hospitality as much as its great food. Add to Napoli anyplace in Little Italy, Café Palermo in Wilmington, Roma in Dover and DiFebo’s in Bethany.
Mikimotos rules the sushi world for one simple reason: the Hairy Mexican roll. Jasmine and Nirvana lead my list of ethnic faves. King Tex-Mex in Elsmere is as delicious as it is inexpensive. Downstate, I satisfy the Mexican Jones at Cactus Café 54. And who knew a chicken quesadilla could be truly novel? Check out 33 West in Dover.
Kelly’s in Port Penn is my No. 1 choice for local flavor. If you’re in the mood to pick crabs, Sambo’s Tavern in Leipsic and The Old Mill in Delmar are the places for the most authentic experience.
Second Street Grille and Striper Bites in Lewes are always on top of their games. The Blue Moon in Rehoboth Beach under the Gardners continues to innovate. And Hank’s Place in Chadds Ford is just plain good.
Just a little food for thought. For more, turn to page 46. Enjoy.
Mark’s Day Book
- With all the Biden hoopla last month, Day Book had to give. My apologies for the long version here, but there were too many great happenings and people that should have a shout out…
- The Kent County Tourism dinner at the Dover Sheraton was another special night. Hats off to Cindy Small and her staff for a fine program and to CEO Denis McGlynn for reviewing 40 years of Dover International Speedway. And a warm thanks to Ellen Sayers for mailing me a copy of “Meandering Around Delaware Bay.” I can now say I know someone who is actually from Port Mahon.
- A special thanks to Jack Riddle for inviting me to the Nanticoke Memorial Tributes dinner at Heritage Shores. If you see his mother, Louise, thank her for 25 years of volunteering—after retiring from the nursing staff. She, and all the honorees, certainly deserve their awards. Great job on the seating arrangement, Jack. We couldn’t have asked to break bread with a better group of folks.
- Delaware vs. Villanova was a heartbreaker, but Coach Keeler and the Hens will always get their props from this fan.
- The Delaware Today client appreciation party at Dogfish Head Brewings and Eats is always one to look forward to. Thanks to Sam and Mariah Calagione for the great food. Keith Mack, I’m sorry about your amplifier.
- Norman Oliver knows how to organize a press event. When I dropped off birds for his 25th annual turkey drive, I expected to make the deposit, then leave. I did not expect to see two-thirds of our Congressional delegation, incoming officials like Jack Markell, my friend Pastor Christopher Bullock, or all the reporters. But enough about the press and celebrities. The most impressive element was the outpouring of goodwill. Nicely done, Norm. You earned a special Thanksgiving.
- Gallucio’s rocked the surprise 40th birthday gig for my brother. Nothing is better than partying with the family. If only Andy had been surprised…
- I was never so excited to walk into a polling place as I was this past Election Day. I vote at the senior center on North Market Street in Wilmington. When I tell you the air was filled with joy that morning, I can’t make the case strongly enough. No one knew for sure that history would be made that day, but everyone felt the possibility was real. That was a morning to remember.
- I couldn’t resist dropping into the Democratic Election Night Rally at the Downtown Doubletree. I’m no staunch partisan, but knowing something big would happen, it seemed the best place to be. I was happy to run into Sam and Sandy Waltz there, among others. Sam, we’re overdue.
- What can I say about coffee with Jayla Boire at Lucky’s the next morning? We could only marvel at events. Never since my first vote in a presidential election, back in 1984, have I truly felt like part of the process. All these weeks later, I am still beaming with pride for all Americans. We have elected our first black president. The world is a better place.