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The Best is Back in Delaware Dining

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DT’s editors have scoured the state to find you the best in food, drink, shopping and more. Read all in the July issue now, or browse this small sample. Then prepare to party at the best bash in the state, July 30 at Chase Center on the Riverfront in Wilmington.
 

Crab Cakes, Upstate

This is the fifth straight year for Courtyard at Marriott and chef Mark Chopko—and he still won’t tell us the secret to his recipe. Suffice it to say, those all-lump cakes have become the restaurant’s signature dish. (400 David Hollowell Drive, Newark, 737-0900, www.marriott.com)
Downstate
Those served at Nantuckets Restaurant are peerless. The seasoning is a secret, but they start with the essential basic: lumps of real Maryland blue crab. The caper rémoulade is a delicious alternative to the cocktail and tartar sauce served elsewhere. And they don’t cost a fortune—rare for crab cakes of this caliber. (601 Coastal Hwy., Fenwick Island, 539-2607, www.nantucketsrestaurant.com)
 

Crab House, Downstate

The giant red crab over the front door of Old Mill Crab House announces that it is serious about fun—and serious about our favorite crustacean. Old Mill promises Maryland crabs—not North Carolina, not Gulf Coast crabs, but the best-tasting crabs on earth. Let the pickin’ and grinnin’ begin. (8829 Waller Road, Delmar, 846-9000, www.oldmillcrabhouse.com)
 

Creative Sandwiches, Upstate

The salmon burger banh mi typifies the kind of fun food at Iron Hill Brewery & Restaurant—familiar enough to be comfortable, cosmopolitan enough to keep your interest after many visits. The Santa Fe turkey burger with guacamole, tomato, bacon, pepper jack and ancho-honey mayonnaise has been a favorite for longer than we can recall. (147 E. Main St., Newark, 266-9000; 620 Justison St., Wilmington, 472-2739; www.ironhillbrewery.com)
 

Date Night, Downstate

Cozy Kindle, with its rich brown walls, low incandescent light and plush banquet, is all earth and warmth, perfect for an intimate chat over good wine and simple, delicious bistro fare. (111 Bank St., Lewes, 645-7887, www.kindlerestaurant.com)
 

Desserts, Upstate

Items such as Poppop’s baked apple charm and sticky toffee pretzel bread pudding delight at Stone Balloon Ale House, but dessert really begins and ends right here: the house-crafted candy bar, which offers layers of peanut butter, toffee and chocolate mousse covered in a chocolate shell. Don’t wake us up. (115 E. Main St., Newark, 266-8111, www.stoneballoon.com)
 

Dinner and a Show, Upstate

You’ll enjoy specially themed fare before you rock out to the surf music of Los Straightjackets on the big stage downstairs at World Cafe Live or, upstairs in the intimate dining room, order off the menu (lots of vegetarian options) before another reunion of local faves Montana Wildaxe. (500 N. Market St., Wilmington, 994-1400, www.queen.worldcafelive.com)
 

Italian, Upstate

We’re happy to welcome Vincenza & Margherita Italian-American Bistro to the scene. The urbane dining room and personable service are perfect for contemporary Italian food such as cod with caramelized onions, sautéed spinach and sliced fingerling potatoes baked in parchment, and for timeless favorites such as cioppino. (1717 Marsh Road, Wilmington, 479-7999, www.vmbistro.com)
 

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