Big Things for Soffritto

Soffritto Italian Grill in Newark has been voted the most popular Italian restaurant in North America that bears the Ospitalità Italiana seal—the very seal that officially recognizes Soffritto as an authentic Italian restaurant away from Italy by the Italy-America Chamber of Commerce—and it may be the best in the world. Soffritto beat finalists La Ciccia in San Francisco and Zambri’s of Victoria in Vancouver for top honors in North America, and will now travel to Rome June 12 to find out how it fares against other restaurants from around the world. The competition: Ristorante Riviera in Quito, Ecuador; Italian Pantry in North Hobart, near Melbourne, Australia; Il Piccolo of Pontevedra, near Madrid, Spain; and Certo of Dubai. In early May, a panel of experts assembled by the Italy-America Chamber of Commerce selected a winner for each geographic area, based on the authenticity of the cuisine, customer satisfaction and other factors. Executive chef Stefania and Giovanni Panza of Soffritto hope to bring back gold. Stay tuned. In the meantime, eat there. How often do you get to eat at one of the best places in the world without leaving home?

Farmer Girls

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Celebrate the Female Farmers of Delaware at a special farm-to-table dinner in the Nassau Valley Vineyards in Lewes on June 7. The dinner will focus on local wines, fruits, vegetables—and bison. Thank Kathy Macdonald of Nage in Rehoboth. “I just marvel at these strong, amazing women. They do what they love, and they do it well. I wanted to showcase them within the community and give them a night of love, laughter, great food, and fun.” You’ll meet Nassau Valley Vineyards Peggy Raley; Bobby Jo Colvine, owner of Colvine Buffalo Farm in Greenwood; Sue Ryan, owner of Good Earth Market in Clarksville; Barbara Russell, owner of Bob Russell Farms in Milford; and Karen Reid, owner of Reid Family Farms in Lewes Their produce will be turned into magical dishes by Nage chef Ted Deptula, “What a great event to be a part of,” he says. “It is always the highlight of my day when farmers come through my kitchen with fresh local produce.” His menu includes peanut-crusted bison satay, minted pea soup shooters and curried crab cornets, followed by a first course of tuna carpaccio 
with spring carrots, baby mushrooms, snow peas and radish. The second course consists of a Firefly Farms goat cheese tart
 salad with Karen Reid leafy greens, herbs and flowers, followed by a Bobby Jo Colvine buffalo flat iron steak with mothered greens and corn bread panzanella. Wrap it up with Nassau Blueberry Wine sorbet with white chocolate custard and almond cake. For tickets and more, visit First State Female Farmers Dinner ###.

Oh, Bordeaux 

BYOB has a different meaning at the Hotel du Pont this week: Build Your Own Bordeaux. On June 7, BYOB in The Green Room, diners will be given the five base wines Bordeaux is made from (Cabernet, Merlot, Malbec, Petit Verdot and Cabernet Franc) to create their own stunning blends. Wines will hail from single-vineyard Franciscan winery sites. Christopher Bachman from Franciscan Magnificat will judge the results. Chef Keith Miller’s menu includes plenty of wine in the food. The first course of marinated grapefruit and arugula salad includes compressed tomato with Sauvignon Blanc. The second course is a lightly smoked scallop with shaved fennel and black currant with Cabernet Sauvignon, followed by pan-seared antelope tenderloin with black pepper grits, rosemary and hazelnut brittle and blackberry purée. 
Magnificat. Finish your meal with triple crème brie with vanilla and raspberry-boysenberry-dried cherry compote and plum gastrique. 
Magnificat. All that for $85. Sounds like great fun to us.

Here at Last

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A Week of Heaven

Rehoboth Restaurant Week is happening now through June 8. Hit your favorite participating place for a delicious prix fixe dinner of $20 or $30 for three courses. From Italian to Irish to Asian, Latin and something in between—not to mention vegetarian and cutting-edge fare—there’s something for everyone. Participating restaurants include  a(MUSE.)Blue MoonCabo Modern Mexican Tequila BarCafé Azafran,Cultured PearlDogfish Head Brewings & EatsDos Locos Fajita & Stonegrill RestaurantEden RestaurantEspumaHobo’s Restaurant & BarIrish Eyes Pub & RestaurantJake’s Seafood HouseJam BistroLupo di MareMariachi RestaurantPig & Fish RestaurantPlanet X CaféRistorante ZebraRigby’s Bar & GrillSalt AirStingray Sushi Bar & Latin Fusion GrillStoney LonenSummer House and Victoria’s Restaurant. Then keep your eyes on the website for more as the event nears. For more, call 227-2772, or hit

Best of the Brandywine Wines

The Brandywine Food & Wine Festival happens June 8 at the beautiful Myrick Conservation Center in West Chester, Pa. The wineries of the Brandywine Valley Wine Trail join with local restaurants and other food purveyors to celebrate the best of the area. Stroll the grounds of Myrick Conservation Center—a heavenly slice of the fabled Chester County—while enjoying the food and drink, craft vendors and live music. Participating wineries include: Black Walnut WineryBorderland VineyardChaddsford Winery, Grace WineryKreutz Creek VineyardsParadocx VineyardsPatone CellarsPenns Woods Winery and Twin Brook Winery. It’s a fabulous day. (610) 444-3842,

Our Best of Delaware Elimination Ballot is open through February 22!

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