Garden in the Shade

TheDCH and others remind us: Oh yeah, food comes from plants.

Tuesday, May 10: Matt Haley’s Plate Catering and Good Earth Market in Clarksville are teaming up for another sure-to-be radical farm dinner, the first in a series of three planned for this year.

(Loyal readers and stalkers may remember my recap of last year’s open-field event, here.)

Beginning at 6 p.m. Tuesday, Haley and his team (which includes Sue Ryan and guest SoDel chefs) will present a farm and pier-fresh menu of food and cocktails. Tickets to the event run $95 per person. Call Good Earth Market at 537-7100 for more.

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All Week: Busy week ahead for the intrepid Delaware Center for Horticulture, as it kicks off Discover TheDCH Week with some great foodie-friendly events.

On Monday night at 5:30 TheDCH welcomes you with open arms (and pizza and wine) to a free garden party and open house at DCH headquarters (1810 N. Dupont St., Wilmington, 658-6262), featuring food from FireStone Roasting House and wine tasting from Moore Brothers Wine Company.

Then on Wednesday, tag along with the Green Streetscapes Tour, a stroll across town from 5 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. that traverses gardens and green streetscapes maintained by TheDCH. The tour starts at TheDCH, then heads toward appetizers at Kelly’s Logan House, Piccolina Toscana and Kid Shelleen’s. The cost for the tour is $10 for DCH members, $15 for non-members.

Friday night brings Perennially Edible Landscaping, an evening of edible plants at TheDCH. Join public landscapes manager Andrew Olson at 5:30 p.m. to learn about fruits and perennial vegetables that look and taste great, including persimmons, paw paws, blueberries, Asian pears, horseradish, cackleberries and more. Again, $10 for DCH members, $15 for non-members. Call TheDCH at 658-6262 for info on any and all events.

Friday, May 13-Sunday, May 15: Pile into the RV and double-check the fluids: It’s time for NASCAR weekend at Dover International Speedway. Dover Downs Hotel & Casino will introduce to race fans this weekend a new Tuscan-style café inspired by Frankie’s Wine Bar and Italian Restaurant. Frankie’s Monster Mile Café will have its grand opening Friday night at 7 p.m., featuring the Sugar Daddy himself, chef Dana Herbert.

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Herbert, he of Desserts by Dana, and TLC’s “Cake Boss: Next Great Baker,” will craft custom replica cakes of Miles the Monster, one to remain on display and one to be sliced and served on Friday evening.

A VIP reception will be held Friday night at 6 p.m. On Saturday, a media event and VIP reception starts at 7 p.m. Both are open to the public and highlighted by celebrity and NASCAR driver appearances, to be named.

Frankie’s Monster Mile Café sits near the Monster Monument at Victory Plaza, outside of Turn 4 at Dover International Speedway. The concept of Frankie’s chef Giovanni Cardillo, the 8,000-square-foot café will feature authentic Italian specialties like pork sandwiches, meatball parmesan and lasagna. An enclosed wine garden will be stocked with Bonterra and Sonoma-Cutrer Vineyards wines, among many others. Breakfast items, Sweet Perks coffee, cannolis and gelato will all be prepared on site.

New: The freshness-obsessed culinary minds behind Lamberti’s Italian Grill & Bar (514 Philadelphia Pike, Wilmington, 762-9094) have launched a spanking new spring menu featuring some delicious light dishes that highlight the season. Here’s a gander:

San Marzano Gazpacho Soup – A chilled soup with fresh red bell peppers, cucumbers, red onions, garlic, San Marzano tomatoes and a mix of fresh herbs.

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Mushroom Balsamico – Oyster, shiitake, crimini and portobello mushrooms sauteed with shallots, finished in a sun-dried tomato, balsamic sauce.

Portobello Mushroom Salad – Romaine lettuce tossed with grilled portobello mushrooms, mixed herbs and homemade Caesar dressing.

Grilled Zucchini Flat Bread – Zucchini, shallots, olive oil and fresh parmesan, served on a thin pizza crust.

Rosemary Roasted Chicken – Seasoned chicken, roasted and served with prosciutto & pea risotto.

Salmon Puff Pastry – Layered with sliced almonds, tomatoes and pesto sauce, served with roasted rosemary potatoes and sauteed spinach.

Spiced Lamb Chops – Topped with peppers, roasted garlic and caramelized onions, served with linguine tossed with olive oil, capers and olives.

Spaghetti with Shrimp & Arugula Pesto – Seared jumbo shrimp and spaghetti tossed in a delicious arugula pesto sauce with garlic, parmesan, and parsley.

Baked Rigatoni with Bechamel Sauce- Jith julienned prosciutto, fontina cheese, and nutmeg.

Head to Lamberti’s (514 Philadelphia Pike, Wilmington) ASAP, or call 762-9094 for more info.

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