Le Cavalier: A Refreshing Summer Menu Wows in Wilmington

Chef-Partner Tyler Akin gave the Le Cavalier menu a summer refresh. Highlights include fresh watermelon salad, hamachi crudo and lamb chops.

For many Wilmington natives, Le Cavalier—the French-inspired neo-brasserie inside Hotel Dupont’s Green Room—is a go-to for a nice evening out. Even for those who have frequented the restaurant in the past few years, the refreshed menu makes this eatery a must-visit this season in Wilmington.

From light and refreshing appetizers to fresh salads and aesthetically stunning French-inspired fare, this menu certainly has a “wow” factor—and packs a flavorful punch to back it up.

The formal dining room of the 1913 Italian Renaissance hotel has a classy and upscale feel, but remains approachable. The menu options follow suit, from appetizers and entrees to  desserts and cocktails.

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Approachability was part of Chef-Partner Tyler Akin’s plan for the new concept when Le Cavalier first opened a few years ago.

Taking inspiration from French cuisine while adding a touch of American nostalgia is a major strength of Akin. Le Cavalier dishes clearly reflect this strength. Watermelon is a classic American summer ingredient, and Akin elevates the fruit with flavors like fresh goat cheese, Niçoise olive caramel, pistachios and mâche, a small and tender French green.

Le Cavalier’s upscale take on an ice cream sandwich plays on the same nostalgia with an elevated flare. Indulgent pistachio ice cream, light and creamy blood orange sorbet and delicate vanilla-flavored wafers on a bed of pistachios is a far cry from the packaged sandwiches you can find at convenience stores. Still, the nostalgia of childhood flavors comes through with every bite.

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While the nostalgia is strong, there are also plenty of refined options to act as an ideal gateway into the world of high-end cuisine. The hamachi crudo, for example, is a must-try for lovers of sushi and all things light and citrusy. For dessert, French profiteroles—croissant-like pastries filled with vanilla ice cream drizzled with chocolate ganache and sprinkled with Sicilian pistachio, is the perfect way to top off the Le Cavalier dining experience.

Entrees range from hearty options like lamb chops on a bed of flageolet beans and bone-in ribeye to vegetarian options like eggplant with sweet and sour ratatouille and spaghetti alla chitarra with heirloom tomato, corn, peach and basil. Akin also keeps things approachable with a chicken cutlet with herb salad, steak frites and even a burger with Cooper Sharp cheddar cheese, lettuce, pickles and fries.

Upcoming Events at Le Cavalier

For those seeking out a great upscale dining experience at the end of the summer, Le Cavalier has two major events in the works for August. The first, a summer wine dinner, is in partnership with Swigg, SIW Vegetable Farm and Ouro Wines to highlight the Brandywine River Valley’s end-of-season bounty alongside thoughtful wine pairings.

The Summer Wine Dinner will be on Wednesday, August 23. The five-course prix-fixe menu will feature dishes like stracciatella with grilled peach, confit tomato and Bigorra ham and Gnudi with blue crab, corn consommé and fresh chickpeas. Plus, enjoy the profiteroles for dessert with sweet corn gelato and blueberry compote. Reservations are $175 and include beverage pairings and gratuity. Reserve your seat online.

On Thursday, August 31, enjoy the Provenance Dinner at Le Cav. Chef Nich Bazik will offer a showcase of Provenance, his highly anticipated forthcoming restaurant in Philadelphia. The five-course menu from Chef Nich features Scallop Chaud Froid with brown butter, grapefruit and tangerine lace; Summer Corn Royale with littleneck clam, dashima, black truffle and sorrel; and “Surf and Turf” Marinated Prime Beef Strip Loin with Maine lobster, eggplant and burrata. Reservations for the Provenance Dinner are $125 and are available online with optional wine pairings for an additional $50 or non-alcoholic cocktail pairings for $30.
Le Cavalier | 42 West 11th Street, Wilmington | 594-3154

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