It’s City Restaurant Week in Wilmington, which “puts spirit in our community, encouraging people to get out, connect with friends and try new restaurants,” says Xavier Teixido, owner of Harry’s Seafood Grill on the Riverfront. This year, the week includes restaurants in the west end, making for a more diverse lineup of participants than ever. You know the drill: three-course meals for $35 (with lunch deals, too). The 17 restaurants range from Deep Blue and Domaine Hudson to Walter’s Steakhouse and Washington Street Ale House, with food from fine beef to fresh seafood to sushi. See you around town. The deals last through April 27. cityrestaurantweek.com
Abbott’s Grill is kicking off spring with Farm-Fresh Spring Fest on its patio April 25. Described as “part social mixer, part dinner party, with a trip to the local farmers market thrown in,” it allows guests to enjoy small plates featuring spring produce paired with local beers, specialty cocktails and wine while meeting and mingling with local farmers. Fresh produce from the farms will also be available for purchase. Abbott’s Grill paired with Local on the Menu, a Southern Delaware Tourism initiative, to highlight the produce that’s becoming available now. “It’s an amazing opportunity to show our community where their food comes from,” says Paul Gallo, executive chef at Abbott’s Grill. “We are lucky enough to be surrounded by so many amazing farms that give us the freshest possible produce for restaurants in this region. Late April is so exciting because it means we start to see asparagus, fresh peas, strawberries, rhubarb and all the other great things that signify the start of spring. Educating people about these farms and how essential they are to our community, for both health and economic reasons, is something that Abbott’s Grill is passionate about.” Bob Russell Farms, Evans Farms, T.S. Smith & Sons and Fifer Orchards will attend, along with representatives from Local on the Menu. Tickets are $35 each. The fun begins at 6:30 p.m. Be there. 491-6736, abbottsgrill.com
Wine, Women and Fun
Ladies, hurry. There are still seats for tonight’s (Tuesday, April 23) Women and Wine at Lupo di Mare in Rehoboth. A sample of the menu: Start with a poached peach-prosciutto salad with rainbow herbs paired with Ferrari Carano Bella Luce. Continue with seared diver scallop with cauliflower purée in a bath of golden raisins, almonds, chicory and anchovies. It’s teamed with Ferrari Carano Pinot Grigio. And the hits just keep coming. Want in? Call 226-2240. Proceeds benefit Big Brothers Big Sisters Delaware.
Help the Fight
Your next opportunity to help fight AIDS and HIV is as simple as dining out with your friends and family. Join AIDS Delaware at one of 15 participating restaurants in New Castle County for Dining Out for Life on April 25. The restaurants below will donate 33 percent of their total bills (not including alcohol) to AIDS Delaware. And you’ll have an opportunity to win a trip to Punta Cana. Check out BBC Tavern and Grill, Bellefonte Cafe, Blue Parrot, Cromwell’s Tavern, Domaine Hudson, Extreme Pizza, Melting Pot Restaurant, Santa Fe Mexican Grill and Bar (Wilmington only), Soffritto Italian Grill, Stoney’s British Pub, Timothy’s of Newark, Trader’s Cove Coffee Shoppe at Penn’s Place, Tutto Fresco, Ulysses American Gastropub, Union City Grille. Reservations are strongly encouraged, so pick a restaurant and invite everyone you know.
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 Winery, Borderland Vineyard, Chaddsford Winery, Grace Winery, Kreutz Creek Vineyards, Paradocx Vineyards, Patone Cellars, Penns 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
Big, Big Burgers
Jake’s has always been DT dining critic Matt Amis’ favorite burger place. He writes: “In March, Jake’s HQ (now Jake’s Wayback, appearing in 14 states) rolled out a colossal hamburger consisting of nine burger patties between two buns—with cheese—stacked to the ceiling. I ran through a gauntlet of reactions. Shock. Anger. Disgust. Curiosity. Finally came wide-eyed wonder. I had to try the Triple Triple. There was no way around it. It was my Mount Everest. I had to eat it because it was there. But by the time I walked up to the register of my local Jake’s, my courage had melted, replaced by pure, stomach-flipping fear.” Could Matt tame the beast? Find out here.
Speaking of Burgers
It’s back. The second annual Wilmington Burger Battle will take place Aug. 24 at Twin Lakes Brewing Company in Greenville. Area restaurants—including last year critic’s choice Kildare’s Irish Pub and people’s choice Union City Grille—are expected to throw down again for an outdoor, rain-or-shine charity event. Proceeds support the Ministry of Caring’s Emmanuel Dining Room. Admission prices will include food, beer tastings, soft drinks, and music; tickets to this limited-capacity tasting event will be available in early summer through wilmingtonburgerbattle.com. Event co-founder Matthew Curtis, chef-owner of Union City Grille, says, “I consider the burger to be the perfect food, and a restaurant’s burger can really tell you a lot about its quality. We were thrilled that 16 of Delaware’s best restaurants came together last year to compete, and are hoping for more this year. I bet some of last year’s chefs want a rematch with me!” More than 400 people attended the 2012 event to place their votes for People’s Choice Burger, and the event raised over $4,000 to fight hunger. Three Delaware sports legends served as Delebrity judges, tasting18 burgers like champs, ultimately declaring Kildare’s burger their favorite. “We are hoping for a rich field of entries in the Alternative Burger category this year,” says Battle co-founder JulieAnne Cross says. “Many of our vegetarian friends supported the event last year, and we want them to enjoy the food as much as they enjoy the Delaware-brewed Twin Lakes beer.” The Twin Lakes farm in Greenville has again agreed to be the host, and event proceeds will again support the Emmanuel Dining Room, which helps alleviate the immediate needs of Delaware’s hungry by serving more than 180,000 nutritious meals at no cost and with no questions asked. Restaurants are encouraged to contact email@example.com for more information. Look for more as the event draws near.