Lovin' Taverna

Who are you going after, the students or the teachers? For anyone planning a restaurant on Newark’s Main Street, the downtown pulse of the University of Delaware, it’s a question that needs answering. Beer and nachos or wine and cheese? Suits and ties or sweatpants and Uggs? You can’t usually have both. Unless of course you happen to be Carl Georigi and the Platinum Dining Group. “Our mission was to create an environment that’s warm and comfortable,” he says, “with food that’s well-prepared and approachable. Whoever that appeals to that’s who we’re going after.” Sixteen years after forming his company, the charismatic CEO is like a veteran card-counter at a blackjack table, drawing on proven methods, trusting a philosophy that works and avoiding unnecessary risks to beat an inherently unfair game. With his latest hand, the rustic Italian-influenced Taverna in Newark, Georigi doubled down and bet high, building on the success of his wildly popular Capers & Lemons in Wilmington. With another whip-smart waitstaff, another enchanting atmosphere, and another arsenal of homemade pastas at Taverna, Georigi and his team are beginning to make this all look too easy. Taverna is a great place. Find out why here.

Mackin’ on the Macaroons

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In her 30-year career of preparing pastries at fine hotels, Michele Mitchell has never seen anything like our devotion to macaroons at the Hotel du Pont. Once made only for special occasions, they are now part of everyday life, and they are known far and wide. Find out why here.

Dems Da Berries

Tis strawberry season! Watch your local farmers markets for festivals such as the one Fifer Orchards in Camden-Wyoming is holding on May 18. To kick off the season, Get Healthy, Delaware! newsletter writer Shari Short turned to another Delaware favorite, Willey Farms in Townsend, for the recipe of strawberry freezer jam. Keep the strawberry season going with this jam you can eat all year long. Catch the recipe here.

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Throwin’ Down Again

The concept, based on Food Network television shows, is simple: Gather some local chefs, hand them a basket of mystery ingredients, then give them 30 minutes to create a delicious gourmet plate to be tasted by Delebrity judges. Join 16 Mile Brewery, Standard Distributing Out & About Magazine and Premier Wine & Spirits at World Cafe Live at the Queen on May 20 for the latest in the Celebrity Chef Throwdown series to benefit Meals on Wheels Delaware. Series winners will compete in a final showdown to determine who is the Top Chef of northern Delaware, who will then go head to head with the southern champion for the title of Throw-Down King or Queen of the First State. See the contestants work at World Cafe Live with live music, a variety of 16 Mile beers and Premier wines (plus the Queen’s full bar). Current restaurant partners include: Two Stones Pub, Chelsea Tavern, Cantwell’s Tavern, Ulysses, Walter’s, Toscana, Ernest & Scott, Kildare’s, Stone Balloon Winehouse, Cafe Gelato, 2 FatGuys American Grill, Home Grown Cafe, Ubon and of course, World Cafe Live at the Queen. That’s a whole lot of talent, which means there will be a whole lot of great food. premierwinespirits.com

A Slice of Heaven

Heads up for June 8, which is when the Brandywine Food & Wine Festival happens at The 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. To see who’s coming with food, check the website as the event draws near. It’s a fabulous day. (610) 444-3842, bvwinetrail.com

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Why did it take so long for The Insider to stumble onto this treasure: The Made with Care in Delaware resource for locally produced foods? From Kirby & Holloway scrapple to our favorite local breweries to Fierro ricotta to jams, jellies and more. If you’re looking for local, click here.

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

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