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The Dining Insider: It's Not Too Late for Romance at The Green Room or Dover Downs, plus Chocolate Beer at Iron Hill, and Oysters at Deep Blue and Harry's Seafood


It’s Never Too Late for Love

Let’s say, for the sake of argument, you flubbed it. You’d forgotten to make reservations at that special restaurant for Valentine’s Day. (Sadly, these things do happen.) Well, we can think of few places as romantic as The Green Room of the Hotel du Pont and, lucky for you, it’s still offering a special prix fixe menu for tonight. Choose from among a list of classics and faves such as lobster bisque, Hudson Valley foie gras, oysters on the half shell, truffled risotto, truffle-glazed scallops, marinated ribeye, Verlasso salmon, chocolate torte, baked Alaska—we could go on. Various four-course options are offered at $45 to $85. So now you know. Pick up the phone. Don’t blow it. 594-3154, hoteldupont.com/dining/green-room

Ditto in Dover

Feeling lucky? Take a chance at one of the wonderful restaurants at the Dover Downs Hotel & Casino. If it’s amore you crave, try Frankie’s Italian special for two, which includes an appetizer, entrée for two and dessert. Choose from filet mignon served with crab cake and shrimp, stuffed flounder, or chicken with prosciutto, arugula and fontina. Call 857-3775. If the elegant Michele’s is more your style, check out its Champagne dinner (and that delicious cream of crab bisque). (800) 711-588, doverdowns.com

Speaking of Champagne

DT drink guy Roger Morris concludes that, yes, Valentine’s Day is prime time for bubbly. He also suggests that you check out a new generation of pink sparklers. Local restaurants are in on the act. Check Caffé Gelato in Newark for Domaine Carneros ($33) and J ($61), Domaine Hudson in Wilmington for Antech Limoux ($35) and Soter ($88), the Green Room in Wilmington for Dom Perignon ($450) and Perrier-Jouët ($125), Sovana Bistro in Kennett for Gossett Grand Rose ($70 per half bottle), Redfire Grill in Hockessin for Domaine Chandon ($35), and the Back Burner, also in Hockessin, for Gruet, $30. Package stores have nice selections as well. See In the Drink here for more details. Now pop that cork.

What’s Valentine’s Day Without Chocolate?

Indeed, what is Valentine’s without chocolate. And what is beer without chocolate, for that matter? Due out on Feb. 15 from our genius friends at Iron Hill Brewery and Restaurant in Wilmington, Shokolad Stout, a full-bodied imperial stout brewed with lots of chocolate and aged with fresh cocoa and vanilla beans. At 9.5 percent alcohol by volume, someone is going to fall in love after one or two. We hope it’s you, as well as your intended. Look for Iron Hill’s hoppy Red Headed IPA on Feb. 17. This is a true session beer, one with a nice caramel flavor. Plan to make a night of it. 472-2739, ironhillbrewery.com/wilmington

Did Someone Say Beer?

What recipe can’t benefit from a bit of brew? Find out how to cook with everyone’s favorite beverage at NorthEast Seafood Kitchen in Ocean View on Feb. 15, when the good people from popular Tröegs Brewery of Hershey, Pa., drop in. Guest chef Jen Blakeman of sister restaurant Fish On! in Lewes will prepare foods from soup to dessert using some of a wide array of Tröegs handcrafted beers. The demo begins at 6 p.m., but go early to sample some Tröegs creations before they end up in the stock. 537-1785, northeastseafoodkitchen.com

One Last Bit of Valentine’s Business

Oysters. Say what you want, some people have ideas about what they mean and their effects on those who eat them. So, in the spirit of romance, here are the latest on offer at Deep Blue Bar and Grill in Wilmington ($2.25 each):
Malpeque-Prince Edward Island: medium sized, nice salt with a clean finish
Salutation-Prince Edward Island: medium sized, slightly salty with a crisp finish.
Blue Point-Long Island: medium-large, mineral qualities with a mild, briny finish
Beau Soleil-Nova Scotia: medium, juicy, firm and briny
Down at Harry’s Seafood Grill on the Wilmington Riverfront, you’ll find offerings from Prince Edward Island to Nova Scotia and Maine to Virginia, including ($2.35 and $2.45 each) Barron Points and Fish Hooks from Washington, Blue Points from Long Island, Ninigrets from Rhode Island and Steam Boats from British Columbia. Those with premium tastes can sample Cape Spear Salts from New Brunswic and Mashpee First Lights from Massachusetts (both $3.25 each). We wish you all the best. 777-2040k, deepbluebarandgrill.com; 777-1500, harrys-savoy.com/seafood

Finally, Spread the Love

Help the Ministry of Caring party for Fat Tuesday and support the House of Joseph II. On Feb. 21 at the Francis X. Norton Center in Wilmington, feast on salad, jambalaya, Creole stuffed chicken, baked macaroni and cheese, braised collard greens and bread pudding, all prepared by center chef Bill Bradley and his staff. Beer, soft drinks, masks and beads are included in the price of admission. Don’t miss it. Laissez le bon tons roulez! 428-3702, ministryofcaring.org

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