“Harry’s was never meant to be the hottest restaurant on the planet,” says owner Xavier Teixido. “We wanted to be the center of the community.” And so it is. Kids who once dined at Harry’s Savoy Grill in North Wilmington with their parents are now booking their weddings at Harry’s Savoy Ballroom. It’s a testament to the place’s consistency and broad appeal. When it opened, Harry’s gave north Wilmington something wholly new—a big city-feeling place that served classic food such as clams Casino and prime rib with classic drinks like martinis, as well as dishes that were on the cutting edge. And though the cutting edge is continuously redefined, that is what Harry’s offers still. Which means it’s one place that truly offers something for everyone. All this month, Harry’s Savoy Grill in North Wilmington is celebrating 25 years in business with a special meal: Caesar salad, 10-ounce prime rib and creme brulée for $25.25. More for the party: a list of 25 bottles of wine for $25. To name two: Murphy-Goode Chardonnay and Veramonte “El Caballero” Cabernet Sauvignon. 475-3000, harrys-savoy.com
Get Healthy, Delaware! scribe Shari Short had never heard about Swiss chard until she was into her 20s. “And you would never guess where I heard about it,” she says. “Sesame Street.” While she was interning with Children’s Television Workshop, Big Bird was asked to improvise lists of vegetables with first lady Hillary Rodham Clinton. Big Bird mentioned Swiss chard. “And I laughed because I thought he was making it up,” Short says. “The joke was on me.” Her current newsletter offers the following for your Thanksgiving table.
1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar
1 teaspoon soy sauce
1/2 teaspoon dark brown sugar
12 ounces Bright Lights Swiss chard (do not trim)â€¨
1 tablespoon peanut oilâ€¨
3 tablespoons pine nutsâ€¨kosher saltâ€¨
2 teaspoons finely chopped garlicâ€¨
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
1. In a small bowl, combine balsamic vinegar, soy sauce and dark brown sugar.
2. Pull or cut the stems from the chard leaves. Cut or rip the leaves into 2- to 3-inch pieces, then wash and dry them well. Rinse the stems and slice them crosswise into 1/4-inch pieces.
3. Heat the peanut oil in a large nonstick stir-fry pan over medium heat.
When the oil is hot, add the pine nuts and cook, stirring almost constantly, until they’re all lightly browned, 1 to 2 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat and use a slotted spoon or spatula to transfer the pine nuts to a heatproof plate or pan, leaving behind as much fat as possible.
4. Return the pan to the heat, add the chard stems and a pinch of salt, then cook, stirring occasionally, until shrunken and beginning to brown lightly, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and stir-fry until fragrant, a few seconds. Add all of the chard leaves and 1/4 teaspoon of salt and, using tongs, toss the chard leaves in the pan just until wilted (30 to 45 seconds).
5. Scrape the balsamic mixture into the pan, stir, then remove the pan from the heat. Add the butter and toss and stir until it’s melted. Fold in half of the pine nuts. Transfer the chard (including all the stems and liquid) to a small serving bowl. Garnish with the remaining pine nuts.
If you’re looking for some great seasonal recipes, check out this piece about pumpkins and winter squash. We asked foodies around Delaware to share their recipes. (more) Here’s one for pumpkin-mushroom soup from Robin Hayes, founder/dietitian, Nutritionally Speaking in Dover. It â€¨makes 10 1-cup servings.
1 tablespoon margarineâ€¨
½ pound sliced mushrooms
½ cup chopped raw onionâ€¨
1 tablespoon all-purpose flour, unbleachedâ€¨
1 cup fat-free chicken brothâ€¨
1 cup canned pumpkinâ€¨
8 ounces plain, nonfat yogurtâ€¨
1 tablespoon honeyâ€¨
2 teaspoons curry powder
In a large sauce pan, sauté mushrooms in fat. Remove and set aside. Add onion and sauté until transparent. Stir in flour and cook gently for several minutes. Add broth and pumpkin. Bring to a boil, stirring constantly. Return mushrooms to soup and simmer for 20 minutes. Add yogurt, honey and curry powder to taste. Simmer 10 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Serve with a dollop of yogurt or sour cream.
There are quite a few more. Just click here.
Nov. 30 brings the eighth annual Chocolate and Holiday Festival to the Rollins Center of Dover Downs Hotel & Casino. Visit several chocolate and candy exhibitors, watch an amazing ice-carving contest, view a one-of-a-kind candy and gingerbread village created by Dover Downs chefs, and shop the arts and crafts marketplace for gifts and specialty foods. While you’re there, see the Delaware Hospice Festival of Trees. Instrumentals and choral performances will be featured, in addition to dance presentations by Delaware Ballet Company. Who loves chocolate more than Santa? He’ll be there, too. 800-711-5882, doverdowns.com
Do you have a favorite ethnic restaurant in Delaware? We’d love to hear more about it. Just take a minute to fill out our survey. One lucky winner will win a gift card to a local restaurant! Vote through Dec. 6. Click here.
And check out our last ethnic dining special here. Here’s another taste:
Passage to India
With at least five Indian restaurants on or near its busy lanes, Kirkwood Highway could be considered a passage to India. When traveling along this east-west thoroughfare, one can find Indian cuisine predominantly of North Indian approach, though the cooking styles of all four regions are present. You’ll also find tandoori cuisine, roasted in a special clay oven, and Mughalai, from the Moguls. The key to authentic Indian cuisine is fresh ingredients and the proper masala—blending of spices such as curry, ginger, garlic and cumin seeds. Turmeric powder, a deep yellowish-orange, helps give dishes their color. Spices are added to oil and cooked until a reddish or copper color. Then the meat or vegetable is added. It is mixed and left to cook, spreading the flavor throughout. Each dish contains a minimum of eight spices. Meats are marinated and cooked either curry style (in gravy) or in the tandoor. Some faves:
Himalaya Indian Restaurant •â€¨2671 Kirkwood Hwy., Meadowood Shopping Center, Newark, 369-3993 • Owner Krish Obillaneni favors the South Indian style of cooking, which he refers to as homestyle. Himalaya’s focus on the southern cuisine is meant to distinguish it from the many Indian restaurants along Kirkwood Highway, most of which lean toward Punjabi cuisine. Obillaneni keeps a number of northern dishes on the menu for customers who prefer that style. The Chicken 65, an appetizer from Hyderabadi in southern India, is cooked with fried curry leaves, yogurt and spices. The masala dosa—a crispy rice crêpe layered with a special paste, potatoes and onions—could be addictive. Biryani of vegetable, chicken, lamb or shrimp is marinated in exotic spices, stirred with onion, ginger and green peppers, then steamed with basmati rice to spread the flavors throughout.
India Grille • 3456 Naamans Road, Tally-Ho Shopping Center, Wilmington, 478-2428 • If variety is the spice of life, India Grille’s got kick. The menu of more than 100 dishes, including soups and salads, welcomes you “to the land of one thousand and one spices of Indian cuisine.” The non-vegetable appetizer is a combination of meats: meat samosa, chi-tikka, shish kabab and shrimp pakora (or shrimp fritters). A selection of five soups includes the standard offering of tomato with spices and curry seasoning, lentil, coconut cooked with pistachios and cardamom, chicken and mulligatawny—an East Indian soup with a lentil base and vegetable and curry seasoning. For dessert, try the coconut kulfi—frozen milk and cream flavored with coconut.
India Palace Indian Restaurant • 101 N. Maryland Ave., Wilmington, 655-8772 • Sushil and Anjna Sharma welcome you into their corner restaurant as if it were their home. The couple, from Punjab, India, has brought locals Mughalai and tandoori cuisine since 1991. The Mughalai style originates from the Kashmir region along the northern Indian border and features nuts and dried fruits. A classic Mughalai entrée is chicken shahi korma: marinated chicken simmered in cream with spices and cashews. Other popular dishes at India Palace include the chicken saag: boneless chicken pieces cooked with creamed spinach and enhanced with mild Indian spices; and lamb korma, cooked in mild cream sauce with cashews. Breads such as tandoori roti, made from whole wheat rather than flour, and the garlic naan are baked fresh in the tandoor each day. Some regulars visit often for the kheer—cardamom flavored rice pudding garnished with nuts.
Maharaja Indian Cuisine • 1450 Kirkwood Hwy., Shoppes of Red Mill, Suite 121, Newark, 369-1202 • Maharaja offers fine Indian dining in an elegant but casual setting. Leaving the strip mall facade behind, as is required in most Indian restaurants in this area, you are welcomed in the foyer by ornately framed paintings of jeweled elephants. The light yellow faux bricks that form the walls in the dining room are complemented by the deep burgundy of the curtains, booth cushions and tablecloths. Classical music completes the feel. The extravagant dinner buffet offers favorites such as gobhi Mancurian, mutter pamner, sambar, aloo gobhi, yellow dal, malaikofia, green beans and lamb vindaloo, to name a few. From the menu, the spicy shrimp pakora is made with jumbo shrimp marinated with chick peas, flour and aromatic spices. Vindaloo dishes—spiced cubes of your choice of meat—are cooked with potatoes in a tangy goan sauce made from coconut and mangosteen, a sweet, juicy tropical fruit. Warning to those who avoid spicy heat—this dish is a hotty.