The Pickled Pig’s short ribs//Photo by Ian Mangin
After a brisk walk on the beach, warm up with a hearty dish at one of the many coastal Delaware restaurants that are open all year.
Short ribs are a perpetual cool-weather favorite, and you’ll find a robust take at The Pickled Pig, located between Lewes and Rehoboth Beach on Route 1. The slow-braised meat is splashed with a barbecue sauce-pan jus reduction and served with macaroni and cheese.
The restaurant is known for its craft beer selection, which means dishes must stand up to full-bodied brews. The meatloaf (served with sautéed green beans and celeriac hash) and grilled sausages (served with a warm bacon-potato salad and pickled mustard greens) are two other entrees that are up to the task.
Rosenfeld’s Jewish Deli, which opened this year on Route 1 in Rehoboth, serves “chicken in the pot” matzo balls and egg noodles, and “brisket in the pot” with mushroom-barley soup. And Bubbe’s meatloaf lolls in mushroom gravy with mashed potatoes and seasonal veggies.
Just down Coastal Highway, Michy’s Relaxed Dining also has a short rib entree that is popular all year long. The fork-tender braised meat, served in a thyme-scented reduction, comes with roasted fingerling potatoes and root vegetables. Get your dining partner to order the rigatoni Bolognese—a blend of pork, veal and beef—and share. (And make sure you get a forkful of the basil-whipped ricotta that tops the dish.)
Since Jimmy’s Grille was born in the heart of Sussex County, you’d expect the Rehoboth location to have some southern Delaware favorites. You won’t be disappointed. Consider chicken, beef or turkey with dumplings. Jimmy’s also serves up chicken pot pie with a golden, flaky crust, as well as pot roast cooked with carrots, potatoes and onions. Made-from-scratch gravy is the finishing touch.
Must-try sides include a sweet potato soufflé, a string bean casserole, and lima beans with dumplings.
Both grandpa(MAC) locations can cure your cold-weather blues. Co-owner Hari Cameron recommends the ragu made with ground Berkshire pork, bacon and sweet Italian sausage. “It’s stewed for hours in our steam kettle,” he says. “It is hearty and filled with love.” Vegans in the group can go for the restaurant’s vegan walnut chili, which has a heady cinnamon scent.
Shorebreak Lodge’s duck “two ways” (left) and gnocchi ragu.//Photos via Shane Kellagher
In downtown Rehoboth Beach, Shorebreak Lodge’s new owners are keeping the restaurant open in the off-season, and Chef Shane Kellagher has been devising seasonal specials. He says the duck “two ways” (pan-seared duck breast and duck thigh confit) has been a hit. It’s served with a sauté of farro and seasonal vegetables, butternut squash puree and a blueberry demi.
A ragu with gnocchi, foraged mushrooms and pork cheek—drizzled with pepito pesto—has also been well received. (Note that the menu changes regularly, but also that there will undoubtedly be more fall favorites to come.)
In Bethany Beach, Cottage Café is known for comfort food, and that’s demonstrated by the dishes that grandma used to make. Take, for instance, Mary Lou’s meatloaf, which has a tomato glaze and brown gravy. Or pot roast—the top seller even in the summer.