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Best of Delaware Party Coming Soon


In case you missed it—and we can’t believe you did—the Best of Delaware Party is here. Celebrate everything that makes this a great place to be—especially food—July 17 at the Chase Center on the Riverfront in Wilmington. It’s the fête of the year. Just to whet your appetite, here are a few of the winners, as chosen by Delaware Today’s food critics. We continue with the editors’ pick for best in town.

In Dewey Beach

Editors: We like the cozy, laidback Whiskey Beach Barbecue, which is perfect for a cold drink and some steamed shrimp or clams. But what we really love is the pulled pork and brisket. Like the other delicious meats, they can be ordered as sandwiches or burritos. Either way, you can’t go wrong. 1306 Coastal Hwy., Dewey Beach, 227-3119, whiskeybeachbbq.com

In Fenwick Island

Editors: When it opened a few years ago, Just Hooked was just what the town needed: delicious, creative seafood dishes at reasonable prices. You’ll be just as pleased by farm fare such as pan-roasted chicken with truffle orzo and cheese. Del. 1, Fenwick Island, 581-0098, justhookedfi.com

In Greenville-Centreville

Editors: Buckley’s Tavern is the same friendly place you’ve known it to be forever. You’ll find everything from nachos to foie gras. The crab cake sandwiches, mushroom soup and burgers are classic. The wine list is very good, and the taps are loaded with good domestic beers and craft brews. Other places have come and gone. Buckley’s remains. 812 Kennett Pike, Wilmington, 656-9776, buckleystavern.com

In Harrrington

Editors: There is no dining experience in the region that is as upscale as that at Bonz Restaurant & Lounge. A steakhouse-style menu includes pasta dishes and more. 18500 S. DuPont Hwy., Harrington, 398-5348, harringtonraceway.com

In Lewes

Editors: The Buttery Restaurant is many things—elegant, romantic and casual—which means it mixes classic fare and contemporary fare effortlessly. The wine list is exquisite. 102 Second St., Lewes, 645-7755, butteryrestaurant.com

In Middletown

Editors: Hooray for 1861 Restaurant, a casual gastropub-ish place with something for everyone—lamb burgers, grilled pizzas, steaks, chops, duck tacos, even chicken and waffles (with a twist, of course). The signature cocktails get fresh-squeezed juices. The wine list is well rounded. The beer list is small, but interesting. It’s just what Middletown needed. 423 N. Broad St., Middletown, 376-7956, 1861restaurant.com

In Milton

Editors: At The Kitchen, Ray and Lisa Richardson offer great food at great prices. The menu ranges from Southern (shrimp and grits) to Southwestern (fun quesadillas), from classic (osso bucco) to comfort (chicken pot pie). The ever-changing array of local art on the walls is reason enough to visit often. 16388 Samuel Paynter Blvd., Milton, 827-4050, thekitchen-atpayntersmill.com

In Newark

Editors: Romantic La Casa Pasta exists in a place beyond time, where Giuseppe Martuscelli perfected Old World dishes that include outstanding seafood. The tagliolini piled high with shellfish is divine. 120 Four Seasons Pkwy., Newark, 738-9935, martuscelliandsons.com/lp/

In North Wilmington

Editors: We couldn’t agree more. Harry’s Savoy Grill just gets better with the years. It redefined dining in North Wilmington when it opened in 1993. The relentless emphasis on great food, an ever-improving wine list and deep involvement in the community have sealed its status as the restaurant that set the standard. 2020 Naamans Road, Wilmington, 745-3000, harryshospitalitygroup.com

In Rehoboth Beach

Editors: Forty years ago, The Back Porch Café set the standard for every restaurant that would follow in Rehoboth Beach. Everything on its menu is made from scratch. You’ll find foods you expect, like local rockfish, to foods you don’t, like sweetbreads. It’s re-opening each spring is, in our opinion, the true official start of summer. 59 Rehoboth Ave., Rehoboth Beach, 227-3674, backporchcafe.com

In Smyrna

Editors: Charming Odd Fellows Café is exactly what a main-street place should be: cozy, friendly and really, really good, from giant pancakes served at breakfast through hearty sandwiches during lunch to no-filler crab cakes at dinner. 34 S. Main St., Smyrna, 535-5275, theoddfellowscafe.com

In Wilmington

Editors: For almost 20 years, intimate Eclipse Bistro has been a favorite, and every iteration is a good one. We hope the silky ribbons of pappardelle with a rich Bolognese made with pulled short rib never leave the menu. 1020 N. Union St., Wilmington, 658-1588, eclipsebistro.com