Something to Write About
With a strong rotation of cask- and bottle-conditioned beers, Ernest & Scott Taproom (named for Ernest Hemingway and F. Scott Fitzgerald) has taken the next big leap in Delaware’s gastropub revolution. The unfiltered and unpasteurized brews it serves exclusively are known as “real ales” because they contain live, natural yeast. Served room-temperature and without extraneous gases, conditioned beers are alive with fermented essence. Cask offerings, including local favorites like, sometimes, Dogfish Head’s 75 Minute IPA, rotate four at a time. An even longer list of bottle-conditioned beers exists, and the bar is stocked with bottles and kegs of strictly American craft beers. Like Chelsea Tavern, owner Scott Morrison’s cross-street venture, E&S subscribes to comfy, bistro-style cuisine, with a bit of uptown flair, as executed by chef Kevin Torpey. It’s all good, and you can find out why here.
Happy to be Crabby
Believe us when we tell you, no one serves crabs more local than Sambo’s Tavern in Leipsic. The owners buy right off the boats, which tie up in front of their waterfront restaurant. It’s no wonder that its crab cake sandwich will soon be unveiled as the quintessential sandwich for the state. Which venerable source of all things food would do such a thing, you ask? We’ll let you know when the big reveal is made. In the meantime, learn more about Sambo’s here. 674-9724
Hit the Beach
Where are beach locals chillin’ this summer? The Big Chill Surf Cantina on Del. 1. The ’70s surf theme was partly inspired by its neighbor, Liquid Surf Shop. “We wanted to create a culture—a place to go where you can hang out,” owner Josh Grapski says. “It’s got a good vibe.” Take five on the patio, listen to live music and tuck into tacos, wraps, salads, chili, nachos or quesadillas. (727-5568) Former Nage chef, Hari Cameron opened his own venture in Café Sole’s old space in Rehoboth. Diners around town will call it “Amuse” or “A Muse,” but ever stylish, Cameron is spelling it “a MUSE.” (The period is part of the name.) Cameron is sourcing ingredients from a 200-mile radius when possible, and he’s mining 18th-century recipes for menu material. “I’m looking to modernize them and take inspiration from what makes the Mid-Atlantic great,” he says. You can get small plates, seven-course tasting menus or entrées. Two local farms have provided barn siding for the decor, and at last glance, Cameron was soliciting old “Joy of Cooking” editions on Facebook to use as wallpaper. (227-7107) Touch of Italy is touching a lot of coastline lately. With locations in Lewes and Rehoboth, the “salumeria and pasticceria” is opening a bakery at the Villages of Five Points in Lewes. (touchofitaly.com) What else is new at the beach this season? Find it here.
Here’s a neat alterative to the typical farmers market—Delaware Local Food Exchange inside the Nature’s Way at 2400 Kirkwood Hwy., Wilmington. Advertising Fresh Local Food at Fair Prices, the exchange offers milk, butter, yogurt and cheeses; aged raw milk products; certified organic and pesticide-free produce; meat, poultry and eggs, honey and maple syrup; locally grown, locally milled flours; locally roasted fair-trade and organic coffees; handmade soaps and environmentally safe household cleaners; pesticide-free California olive oil; and more. That’s almost everything you can get at the supermarket, but all from the area, all offered at the peak of freshness, all supporting local producers, none of it trucked, thus reducing use of fossil fuels. Sounds good to us. 358-1042, delocalfoodexchange.com