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The Dining Insider: A blog about Ernest & Scott Taproom, holiday gifts, The Chicken House's Peruvian food and Just Hooked in Fenwick Island


Earnest and New

Here’s one to get stoked about: Ernest & Scott Taproom, which owner Scott Morrison of neighboring Chelsea Tavern says is scheduled to open Dec. 19. E&S will be among the first restaurants in the country to adopt The Brewers Association’s guidelines for the craft brews that make it onto the beer list. And make no mistake—Ernest & Scott is all about the beer. “The depth and breadth of offerings and phenomenal growth of American craft beer propelled me to consider doing a restaurant that puts these beers at the forefront, without any mass market beers diluting the integrity of the beer list,” Morrison says. That means you’ll find popular craft brews like Sierra Nevada Pale Ale and Samuel Adams Lager, plus exotics like the Spruce Ale from Yards of Philly and our own Dogfish Head’s cask-conditioned 75 Minute IPA. (Dogfish’s Sam Calagione was a consultant on the project.) These are all “living” beers, aged in the barrel or the bottle with live yeast to create something that is unrivaled in freshness and flavor. The emphasis on “craft” doesn’t end with beer, so you can look forward to small-batch spirits and boutique wines. Chef Kevin Torpey, lately of Harvest in Glen Mills, has created an approachable menu that goes with all, especially beer: hot roast beef sandwiches, lobster rolls, warm hummus and other favorites. As for the name, it derives from Ernest Hemmingway and F. Scott Fitzgerald, who has a tie to Wilmington from about the same time as E&S’s home, the old Delaware Trust Bank, was built. We’re looking forward to it. Stay tuned for more.

Feel the Presents?

If you’re looking for a perfect gift but are fresh out of ideas, DT wine and spirits guru Roger Morris can help. He knows where and when to buy gems from small-batch distilleries, grower champagnes and exceptional wines, and he spills all this month. So forget buying yet another fancy wine key for your favorite oenophile. She has more than you know, from people just like you. Get to the store for something truly special. Check out delawaretoday.com.

Things We Love

There are two this month: Peruvian fare at The Chicken House Charcoal Grill and the restaurant at World Cafe Live at The Queen. Why? Because the grill at The Chicken House is a magic thing that sizzles some of the best meats you’ve ever tasted, and because World Cafe Live has something for every taste, musical and gastronomical. Read more about the forces behind them, Nancy Pacheco and chef John Jones, at delawaretoday.com.

I Wish a Fish

If you do, too, you need to find out why Just Hooked is your place. DT dining critic Matt Amis explains how chef Steve Hagen followed up his popular Off the Hook in Bethany with a new place in Fenwick that is just as delicious and just as hot. Check delawaretoday.com.