All New Dining Info and Eventss

Another month, another mag. And with September comes another beach guide, which adds even more dining news to the already full slate of dining news and reviews. Here’s a sneak peak at what you can read right now (and some great events below):

Dining Deals at the Beach

Dining out at the beach needn’t consume your bank account. You can find a good deal just about any day of the week, even in the shoulder seasons. Start the savings early with brunch at the Purple Parrott Grill in Rehoboth Beach. From 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., sip a $2 Blood Mary or mimosa. (226-1139, Sunday supper has become a tradition at Fish On in Lewes and its sister restaurants, part of the SoDel Concepts group. For $19, you get an appetizer, a choice of at least two entrées and dessert. (645-9790,, At Just in Thyme, those in the know order off the bistro menu from 5 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. in the dining room every day. (It’s available in the lounge from 5 p.m. to 10 p.m.) Selections might include sirloin steak for $13.95 and a 4-ounce stuffed lobster tail for $16.95. (227-3100, And that’s just the start. For more great dining bargains, click here.

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Why all the Pubbub?

The whispers and echoes resonated from Chalfonte to Bellefonte, from Talleybrook to Talleyville, up Marsh, down Silverside, through Foulk and past Naamans. North Wilmington—well-populated, well-compensated—seemed to come to the same collective realization: There’s nothing like this around here. Last winter, when brothers Steve and Michael Lucey wedged Ulysses American Gastropub into a strip mall on Marsh Road, it felt like an exotic new species had been dropped into the suburban ecosystem. Striking and urbane, Ulysses’ walls popped with Scotch-tape plaid and black-and-white Beetlejuice stripes. Brilliant white porcelain animal heads dotted the walls, creating instant conversation pieces, while youthful and tattooed staffers pulled taps on the latest craft brews. Elvis Costello crooned on the speakers, and the Flyers skated on the dozens of TV screens. Sure, the area offers plenty of places to eat, but nothing quite like this… For the full review, click here. 691-3456

Grape Beginnings

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When Peggy Raley-Ward first planted grapevines on her father’s farm outside of Lewes in 1987, it still wasn’t possible to have a winery in Delaware that sold directly to consumers. But Raley-Ward successfully lobbied the state legislature to correct that oversight and launched her Nassau Valley Vineyards in 1993 with the ’91 vintage, using the mature grapes she had planted four years earlier. For a decade Nassau Valley was the only Delaware winery to take root. Two new Delaware wineries have joined Nassau Valley—Fenwick Wine Cellars in Selbyville and Pizzadili Vineyard and Winery in Felton—but neither has yet achieved the status of premium wine producer that Nassau Valley has enjoyed for almost 20 years. For more, click here. 645-9463,

May the Best Burger Win

Your judges for the Wilmington Burger Battle? No less than Elena Delle Donne and Henry “Hammerin’ Hank” Milligan. And you, of course. As top area restaurants compete for titles such as Best Burger and Best Alternative Burger, you’ll be judging People’s Choice Burger. The day draws nigh. The fun happens at Twin Lakes Brewing Company in Greenville on Aug. 25. The full slate of participating restaurants includes:

BBC Tavern and Grill
BellaVista Trattoria
Brandywine Prime
Catherine Rooney’s
Chelsea Tavern
Connections Community Support Programs Inc.
Ernest & Scott Taproom
Harry’s Savoy Grill
Hotel du Pont
James Street Tavern
Kid Shelleen’s
Matilda’s/Mad Mac’s
Piccolina Toscana
Pizza by Elizabeths
Redfire Grill Steakhouse
Stone Balloon Winehouse
Sullivan’s Steakhouse
Ulysses American Gastropub
Union City Grille
World Cafe Live at the Queen

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“We’re thrilled that so many chefs signed on early,” says organizer Matthew Curtis, owner of Union City Grille in Wilmington. “There are lots of the usual suspects, but plenty of other chefs I haven’t seen at other big charity events. Just goes to show that between a love for burgers, and the need to fight hunger, this competition really struck a chord with people.” (Proceeds will support the Ministry of Caring’s Emmanuel Dining Room.) All are welcome. Tickets—$45 for adults and $10 for children—include food, a tour of the Twin Lakes Brewery and beer tastings. Keep checking the Web site for ticket availability—and start workin’ up an appetite.

Think Globally, Drink Locally

Here’s a wine dinner with real local ties: Gerret van S. Copeland, owner of Bouchaine Winery in the Napa Valley, will talk about his award-winning wines at Piccolina Toscana’s Bouchaine wine dinner on Aug. 22. “Bouchaine’s winemaker, Mike Richmond, has developed some incredible Chardonnays and Pinot Noirs in his lifetime,” says Toscana owner-chef Dan Butler. (That’s Dan above, on the mike, at Bouchaine a few weeks ago.) “Our chef, Robbie Jester, has put together a terrific farm-fresh menu to go with the Bouchaine wines—including a Riesling, a rosé and a dessert wine—and we’re thrilled to have Mr. Copeland on hand to talk about how these five vintages came to be.” The menu includes a faux gras mousse of speck with ricotta and lemon served with rosé of Syrah; local melon with prosciutto and honey-lavender vinaigrette served with Riesling; an agnolottini of chard, pancetta, ricotta and summer squash in tomato shallot butter sauce served with the 2009 Estate Chardonnay; flank steak from Crow Farm with late summer succotash, rosemary and cippoline relish served with the 2008 Carneros Pinot Noir; and a tart of fig and frangipane with gelato made of local buttermilk from Kilby Farms Creamery. It’s served with the Bouchaine Bouche d’Or 2010. Bouchaine Vineyards inhabits the oldest continually operated winery in the Carneros wine region. Gerret and Tatiana Copeland of Wilmington bought the facility in 1981 and established Bouchaine Vineyards. Here’s your chance to meet him. The cost is $60 and seating is limited, so reserve now at 654-8001,

Hey, Mon

And while we’re talking about events that benefit Ministry of Caring’s Emmanuel Dining Room, look for Caribbean Night on Aug. 26. Special guest chefs Nancy Powell and Bruce and Deb Woodruff have planned a delicious island meal that includes watermelon-wine spritzers, beer and soda; tortilla chips with dip; Caribbean chicken with pineapple, mango salsa, rice and beans; jerk cole slaw; and piña colada bread pudding. That sounds like perfect summer fare to us. Tickets are $25. Irie, mon. 652-3228,

A Perfect Combination

Also on Aug. 25:  the Hogs & Hops Charity BBQ Competition and Craft Beer Festival at Fordham Brewery in Dover. Taste delicious beers such as Copperhead Ale and Wisteria Wheat while sampling pork barbecue from amateur chefs who think they can do it best. Tour the brewery. Watch the keg toss. Check out crafts and games for the kids, as well as a rock climbing wall and a reptile show with a real alligator. A portion of proceeds benefits the Dover Fraternal Order of Police Emergency Fund, so, again, it is possible to do good while eating and drinking. Never forget. 678-4810,

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

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