Doing Well

We love this—Chef Matthew Curtis of Union City Grille in Wilmington believes the best way to be successful is to be an active participant in city life. In addition to participating in neighborhood and charity events, Union City Grille has also wooed charities through its doors to generate unique, fun events that help the organizations reach their financial goals and generate awareness of their missions. In September 2010, in honor of its second anniversary, UCG rolled out its 52 Charities in 52 Weeks initiative. Its signature program, Dine In for Charity, raised more than $8,000 for charities last year. The initiative is now in year two. You can be a part of it. Pick any free Wednesday, contact UCG, then start promoting. The restaurant has worked with everyone from AIDS Delaware and the American Lung Association to Delaware Breast Cancer Coalition and Delaware Center for Horticulture to OperaDelaware and Temple Beth Shalom. Your group could be next. Check it out at 654-9780

Wines of the Times

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Just a few minutes from U.S. 13, on the quaintly named Peach Basket Road, rests a rural oasis with rolling lawns, trees, a rose trellis and fire engine-red buildings. Ducks and geese paddle across a pond punctuated with a fountain, and guests watch the lazy action from the gazebo. They head back to the main building for a glass of wine—or two or three. And that’s part of the plan. This is Pizzadili Vineyard and Winery in Felton. The dream of brothers Pete and Tony Pizzadili, the operation opened in 2004, making it Delaware’s second winery. A new winery was a long time coming for the First State. Nassau Valley Vineyards, Delaware’s first winery, opened in 1993. “Wineries have been popular in other states for years—you needn’t look much farther than Virginia,” says Cindy Small, executive director of the Kent County & Greater Dover Delaware Convention & Visitors Bureau. “But Delaware has been behind the curve.” That’s changing. See why here.

The Raw Truth

We’re a fan of raw bars, so we took a random peek at the offerings for the week at Deep Blue Bar and Grill in Wilmington. What a nice surprise:

Oysters on the half-shell served with cucumber mignonette, cocktail sauce and lemon wedge:

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Malpeque-Prince Edward Island ~ medium; nice salt with a clean finish $2.25 ea.

Salutation-Prince Edward Island ~ medium; slightly salty with a crisp finish $2.25 ea.

Blue Point-Long Island ~ medium-large; mineral qualities with a mild, briny finish $2.25 ea.

Beau Soleil-Nova Scotia ~ medium; juicy, firm and briny $2.25 ea.

Cherry Stone Creek, Virginia~ Little Neck Clams- tender and sweet $1.25 ea.

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Don’t forget the samplers:

“The Deep Blue” $37 (Recommended for two or more): Eight oysters on the half-shell, four little neck clams, hajiki salad, four shrimp cocktail, wontons and Japanese tobikko

“Grand Sampler” $75 (Recommended for four or more): 12 oysters on the half-shell, eight little neck clams, tuna tartare, hajiki salad, a sampling of American paddlefish caviar and Japanese tobikkos, eight chilled shrimp cocktail and crispy won-tons; served with cucumber mignonette, cocktail sauce and lemon wedges

We’re so there. 777-2040,

Beautiful Brew

Why do we love Dogfish Head Craft Brewery so much? There’s so much more to it than beer. The gang of music geeks there has produced brews to celebrate some of the greatest artists and recordings of our day, such as Johnny Cask and Bitches Brew. (Brewery owner Sam Calagione was listening to the Miles Davis classic while making his first batch of homebrew.) Now comes American Beauty, named after the seminal album by the Grateful Dead. The band is looking for a strong pale ale made with all-American hops and barley. Now it needs fans to suggest a special ingredient. “Did you trade a bushel of clementines for tickets to a two-night stand at Long Beach Arena?” Dogfish asks. “Or maybe your dad first laid eyes on your mom in the parking lot of the legendary Cornell ’77 show?” Any great story and any interesting ingredient is fair game.” The person who suggests the winning ingredient will be invited to the brewery to help with the test batch. It’s some place to see, so put your thinking cap on. For more information, contact Dogfish marketing manager Maria Grieshaber at

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

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