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A Glimpse at 2014 Best of Delaware Winners

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In case you missed it—and we can’t believe you did—The Best of Delaware Party is coming. Celebrate everything that makes this a great place to be—especially food—July 17 at the Chase Center on the Riverfront in Wilmington. It’s the fete of the year. Just to whet your appetite, here are a few of the winners, as chosen by Delaware Today’s food critics. We continue with a bit of drinky drinky.

Bar

Critics, upstate: Enjoy the spaciousness of At The Rail Wine Bar and Grill, which offers a great view of the golf course at White Clay Creek Country Club. Enjoy the full dining room menu. Most of all, enjoy the drink prices. 777 Delaware Park Blvd., Newark, 994-6700, whiteclaycreekgolfcourse.com

Critics, downstate: Since the long-gone days of Long Island Iced Tea Nights to the trendy martinis of today, Summer House has remained a classic, a place to enjoy a libation and good food. 228 Rehoboth Ave., Rehoboth Beach, 227-3895, summerhousesaloon.com

Bloody Mary Bar

Critics, upstate: Still new, Donny Merrill’s Skipjack made a lot of friends with its Sunday brunch and Bloody Mary bar. You won’t find anything too extravagant, but you get to make them your way in the company of others who appreciate the restaurant’s great efforts. 401 Louviers Drive, Newark, 456-1800, skipjacknewark.com

Cocktail Selection

Critics, upstate: The signature cocktails at Columbus Inn all have a little twist (and we don’t mean lemon peel). The olive in the Tavern Martini is stuffed with blue cheese, for example, and the mojito is raspberry flavored. We’re fans of the lemonade, made with lemon-thyme simple syrup and vodka, as well as a clementine-honey Gimlet (also vodka—not gin). But ur favorite—and it seems most other patrons’ too—is the American Mule, which is a Moscow Mule re-imagined: fresh lime blended with ginger beer mixed with American Harvest organic vodka, all served in an insulated steel myg to ensure maximal chill. Nice. 2216 Pennsylvania Ave., Wilmington, 571-1492, columbusinn.net

Critics, downstate: At JAM Bistro, Gosling’s dark rum appears in classics like the rich Hot-Buttered Rum and fun blends like the Dark & Stormy, made with ginger beer. The vodka in the strawberry lemonade is infused with fruit from Wyoming’s Fifer Orchards. Housemade infusions of fruit, herbs and spices raise the bar on drinks like a Manhattan. The gauntlet has been thrown. 21 Baltimore Ave., Rehoboth Beach, 226-5266, jambistro.com

Gastropub

Readers, upstate: Two Stones Pub 2 Chesmar Plaza, Newark, 294-1890; 2502 Foulk Road, Wilmington, 439-3231, twostonespub.com

Critics, downstate: A gastropub requires two things: great food and interesting beer. The Pig + Fish Restaurant Company has both: a burger of pulled short rib, a selection of artisanal cheeses, Asian mussels and more to go with a frosty microberw. 236 Rehoboth Ave., Rehoboth Beach, 227-7770, thepigandfish.com

Pub-Tavern

Critics, upstate: Crowds of friendly regulars at the bar and a roadside location make 150-year-old Buckley’s Tavern the very definition of a pub. It’s hard to drive past without thought of a cold craft beer and the signature Buckley’s Burger. 812 Kennett Pike, Wilmington, 656-9776, buckleystavern.com

Critics, downstate: Great food + great drinks + The Pig + Fish Restaurant Company. It’s that simple. The fireplace by the bar makes it as comfortable as any worthy tavern should be. 236 Rehoboth Ave., Rehoboth Beach, 227-7770, thepigandfish.com

Sports Bar

Critics, upstate: Instant cred: There’s a Donovan McNabb Eagles jersy and other memorabilia on the wall of the saloon at Stanley’s Tavern, but what does it for us is the collegial atmosphere. Eating with the kids? There are plenty of TV screens in the dining room, too. 2038 Foulk Road, Wilmington, 475-1887, stanleys-tavern.com

Critics, downstate: At Nicola Pizza on the Avenue, you’ll find the same great food served at the original Nicola’s on First Street, but with a cozy bar and plenty of TVs. 71 Rehoboth Ave., Rehoboth Beach, 226-1393, www.nicolapizza.com

Wine List

Critics, upstate: The approach to wine at Harry’s Savoy Grill is serious but not stuffy. On the White section of the list, you’ll find the category A.B.C., which stands for Anything But Chardonnay. That’s a kind of fun we like a lot. So does Wine Spectator. It has given Harry’s its Award of Excellence 20 years straight. 2020 Naamans Road, Wilmington, 745-3000, harryshospitalitygroup.com

Critics, downstate: Michele’s is without a doubt the most beautiful restaurant in Dover. It’s wine list reflects a commitment to excellence, with bottles from around the world. 1131 N. Dupont Hwy., Dover, 674-4600, doverdowns.com/dining/restaurants/Micheles

Wine Store

Critics, upstate: At Frank’s Wine, we like the selection, but what we really like is the wine dinners at local restaurants, the growler program for craft beer lovers and Club Vino, which gets you choice wines at special prices all year long. 1206 N. Union St., Wilmington, (800) 283-7265, frankswine.com

Critics, downstate: One of the first retailers to brings serious wine culture to the beach, Teller Wines features an inventory of bottles hand-selected by Kevin and Catherine themselves. The emphasis is on quality at bargain prices. 1201A Savannah Road, Lewes, 644-7400, tellerwines.com

 

For more winners, click here.

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