We’re sorry that Elena DelleDonne and the rest of the Lady Hens are out of the running, but it’s still Firkin March Madness at Iron Hill Brewery & Restaurant. Head to the Wilmington location March 31 to watch hoops while sampling special ales brewed at each Iron Hill location. The most popular wins the national title—at least as national as it gets in the PA-DE-NJ region. The contenders:
Vanilla Coffee Porter from Newark
Cinnamon Vanilla Porter from West Chester
Cinderella Ale from Media
Chocolate Leprechaun from Wilmington
Pineapple WOW from North Whales
Anvil Ale from Phoenixville
Contender IPA from Lancaster
Coconut Rising Sun from Maple Shade
Rye IPA from Chestnut Hill
During competitive drinking hours, enjoy foods from the regions of the NCAA basketball tournament, including crab cake sliders with remoulade and Deli Dogs with sauerkraut, chopped onions and spicy brown mustard (East), and smoked pork sliders with sweet mustard sauce and coleslaw, and Slaw Dogs with creamy coleslaw, sautéed Vidalia onions and chopped bacon (South). ironhillbrewery.com
Looking Way, Way Ahead…
Two-course lunches for $15, three-course dinners for $35—when it comes to dining bargains, few are as good as City Restaurant Week in Wilmington. This year it happens April 23-28, with 14 restaurants participating so far. They are:
Big Fish Grill, Firestone Roasting House, Harry’s Seafood Grill and Ubon Thai Cuisine on the riverfront
Chelsea Tavern, Ernest & Scott Taproom, Orillas Tapas Bar Restaurant and World Cafe Live on Market Street
Café Mezzanotte, Deep Blue Bar and Grill, Domaine Hudson Wine Bar & Eatery, The Green Room at the Hotel du Pont, Mikimotos Asian Grill & Sushi Bar, Washington Street Ale House in the cluster from 11th to 13th streets, Market to Washington
What are you in for? Your Insider snuck a peek at one menu, chosen at random. Here are your options at Café Mezzanotte. Assemble one from each category below for dinner:
Course one: spring fruit salad, grilled prosciutto eggplant, or broccoli and cheese
Course two: lobster ravioli in saffron cream sauce, grilled veal chop with local mushrooms in Marsala sauce, or 8-oz. sirloin petite with asparagus and with mashed potato or pan-seared tuna loin over sautéed spinach with Vialone rice in saffron sauce
Dessert: tiramisu, mixed fruit or ice cream
That’s just a taste. To see all restaurants and all menus, hit cityrestaurantweek.com.
More Big Events
Here’s another we’re looking forward to: Meals From the Masters April 20 and April 22, which benefits Meals on Wheels of Delaware. The weekend includes Evening with the Masters on Friday and the Celebrity Chefs’ Brunch on Sunday. Oenophiles will enjoy the Cellar Masters’ Wine Auction. Evening with the Masters—hosted by “MasterChef” Season 2 winner Jennifer Behm of Wilmington—happens at the Doubletree Downtown this year. You’ll enjoy meals from some of the state’s best restaurants. The brunch—now in its 15th year—happens at Bank of America, 1100 N. King St. You’ll sample foods from chefs who have traveled from the West Coast, Hawaii, and the rest of the country to join local luminaries like Jay Caputo of Rehoboth Beach. Tickets are available now. Hit mealsfromthemasters.com. There is more to come as the event draws near. Stay tuned.
The Rest is History
To reawaken the glory days of Odessa, local historians needed their old tavern back. After a grueling, six-year overhaul, Cantwell’s Tavern finally opened. A refined country menu makes it worth the visit. See dining critic Matt Amis’s review here.
Bring Your Own
BYOB has a slightly different meaning in Pennsylvania, and that’s good: You don’t pay outrageously inflated restaurant prices for a bottle of wine when you bring your own. Drink guru Roger Morris offers some tips for doing it right. Check it out here.