At Blume, light filters through the vintage single-pane windows that front North Market Street. Tendrils of silk flowers drift down from suspended glass orbs.
Designing the new 35-seat brunch spot, which opened in February, was “part of the fun,” says owner Nery Burgos, a Wilmington native who said the restaurant concept was her dream.
“This is my retirement plan,” she says. “I want to be the old lady coming out of the kitchen and talking to customers.”
She was looking for the perfect spot when she discovered the location, which had previously been a breakfast place.
“Brunch is a great fit for this location because there is nothing like this around,” Burgos says, adding that there is space to potentially expand with a patio.
The menu takes breakfast favorites and punches them up a notch. Take the exquisitely plated Bananas Foster French Toast, which highlights the best of both the popular breakfast item and flaming dessert with bubbling dark brown sugar, butter and cinnamon.
Another culinary delight is Caramel Chicken & Biscuits with gooey caramel sauce drizzled over fried chicken and homemade biscuits.
Other indulgences include a salad topped with fresh peaches, grilled salmon with corn relish, and Blue Bay mussels served with white butter, cilantro, scallions and a grilled baguette.
“I want to serve things you can’t get anywhere else,” Burgos says. “I put new items on the menu each week and take feedback from the customers to decide what we do again.”
Blume also specializes in the mocktail, using Seedlip nonalcoholic spirits and a variety of innovative mixers.
The Blume Signature adds ginger beer with hibiscus, giving it a botanical flavor and pop of pink. A second favorite is the Emerald Sunrise with rosemary, thyme, mint and lemon. Blume infuses the Seedlip base for 24 hours, allowing the green color to come through and creating a deeply herbal flavor.
Blume is already the belle of social media, with customers posting photos of the atmosphere and their meals, along with rave reviews. (The restrooms, with their bright blooms against black wallpaper, gold-framed mirrors and touches of greenery, are also Instagram-worthy.)
Burgos wanted the place to have character, she says, achieving the goal with eclectic art prints and photographs highlighting female role models. The front entryway, for example, features black-and-white images of strong Latina women, including Celia Cruz, considered the queen of salsa music.
“It’s all about love—I want to show pictures of women being loved and cherished,” Burgos explains.
When COVID-19 derailed the delivery of chairs, Burgos decided to paint the ones she already had, giving them a sleek, modern look with a pastel blue seat cover against black vintage metal. “I kept putting the opening off because I wanted everything to be perfect, but I finally decided to just make do with what I had and open.”
A spot of unfinished wallpaper reminds her that not everything has to be perfect. “I look at that spot and remember that it’s just day by day,” she says with a bright smile, noting that she is already planning to open a second location in Atlanta.
“I wanted to decorate in a way that spoke to my personality but that also looked fresh and vibrant,” she says.
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4304 N. Market Street, Wilmington | 601-0033
9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Wednesday through Sunday
Reservations are available through OpenTable.