Touch of Italy Restaurant received the 2013 Trip Advisor Certificate of Excellence. The accolade, which honors hospitality excellence, is given only to establishments that consistently achieve outstanding traveler reviews on TripAdvisor. Only the top-performing 10 percent of businesses listed on TripAdvisor receive the award, so it’s a big deal for Touch of Italy. To qualify for a Certificate of Excellence, businesses must maintain an overall rating of four or higher, out of a possible five, as reviewed by travelers on TripAdvisor, and must have been listed on TripAdvisor for at least 12 months. “We are very honored to receive this recognition and to be a part of TripAdvisor’s worldwide top 10 percent,” says co-owner Robert Ciprietti. “We are proud to bring our traditions and love of sharing the quality Italian food experience to the Delaware beaches, from our family to yours.” Says co-owner Joseph Curzi, “Touch of Italy is more than just a restaurant and a place to buy Italian products like pizza, homemade mozzarella cheese, freshly baked pastries and bread, but also a little piece of Italy right here on the Delaware coastline.” Visit Touch of Italy at 101 Secnd St. in Lewes, at The Village of Five Points in Lewes and 33A Baltimore Ave. in Rehoboth Beach. Look for another store soon at Shore Plaza, 19724 Coastal Hwy. in Rehoboth. 827-2730, touchofitaly.com.
Speaking of Italian places, this is such a big deal, it’s well worth another mention: Soffritto Italian Grill in Newark, nominated s the most popular Italian restaurant in North America that to the Ospitalità Italiana seal—the very seal that officially recognizes Soffritto as an authentic Italian restaurant away from Italy by the Italy-America Chamber of Commerce—is the best n the world. Soffritto beat finalists La Ciccia in San Francisco and Zambri’s of Victoria in Vancouver for top honors in North America, then traveled to Rome June 12 to find out how it fared against other restaurants from around the world. The competition: Ristorante Riviera in Quito, Ecuador; Italian Pantry in North Hobart, near Melbourne, Australia; Il Piccolo of Pontevedra, near Madrid, Spain; and Certo of Dubai. And it won. Soffritto is now the Premio Ospitalita Italiana, Best Italian Restaurant in the World, for 2013. This from Giovanni Panza, owner with his wife, Stefania, the chef: I never imagined I would receive an award from my motherland or President Giorgio Napolitano of Italy, but I knew that our work and passion for the restaurant would take us to be one of the best of the area. But no area in the United States would be the same than the guests we have in Newark and northern Delaware. So thank you for your continued support, kind words and smiling faces each time you dined at the No. 1 Italian Restaurant in the world outside of Italy.” Giovanni, Stefania, well done. Our congratulations to you. 455-1101, soffritto.com
Wine All You Want
The eighth annual Brandywine Big Bang BBQ happens July 6-7 at all the wineries on the Brandywine Valley Wine Trail. From pig pickin’ to chickin’ lickin’, there will be a little something for everyone, with live music and, of course, plenty of wine. What better way to celebrate Independence Day weekend? No wine trail passport or tickets are required. Just drop in at your favorite places. They are:
Black Walnut Winery, 3000 Lincoln Hwy., Sadsburyville, Pa., (610) 857-5566
Borderland Vineyard™, 332 Indiantown Road, Landenberg, Pa., (215) 436-9154
Chaddsford Winery, 632 Baltimore Pike, Chadds Ford, Pa., (610) 388-6221
Kreutz Creek Vineyard, 553 S. Guernsey Road, West Grove, Pa., (610) 869-4412
Paradocx Vineyard, 1833 Flint Hill Road, Landenberg, Pa., (610) 444-9003
Patone Cellars, 1051 Wickerton Road, Landenberg, Pa., (302) 545-7388â€¨
Penns Woods Winery, 124 Beaver Valley Road, Chadds Ford, Pa., (610) 459-0808
Twin Brook Winery, 5697 Strasburg Road, Gap, Pa., (717) 442-4915
For more, hit bvwinetrail.com.
Bean There, Ate That
From Get Healthy, Delaware’s Shari Short is always on the hunt for tasty, healthful recipes. So check her newsletter and blog regularly to find recipes for delicious foods like these baked black bean burgers, courtesy of Newark Natural Foods Co-Op.
3 cups cooked black beansâ€¨
1 cup cooked quinoaâ€¨
1 cup mashed sweet potatoâ€¨
1/3 cup chopped onionâ€¨1/2 cup roughly chopped sprouted pumpkin seedsâ€¨
1 cup freshly grated carrotâ€¨
1/3 cup nutritional yeastâ€¨
1 cup ground flax seedâ€¨
1/4 cup chile powderâ€¨
3 tablespoons vegan barbecue sauceâ€¨
1 tablespoon (2 cloves) minced garlicâ€¨
1 teaspoon saltâ€¨
1 teaspoon pepperâ€¨
1/2 cup sesame oilâ€¨
1/4-1/2 cup waterâ€¨
1/4 cup gluten-free oats
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. In a food processor, combine all ingredients except oil, water and oats. Combine until ingredients are all mixed, but not mushy. (There will still be some chunks in this burger.) Pour contents of food processor into a large mixing bowl. Add water and oil, then stir well. Add oats, allowing the mixture to absorb excess moisture.â€¨Form into at least 12 hockey puck-sized patties, and place onto a non-stick baking sheet.â€¨Bake for about 15 minutes, or until burgers are browned and cooked through. Serve with tomatoes, avocado, grilled onions, sprouts and your favorite mustard on a whole-wheat or gluten-free bun. For the rest of the news, click here.
A Big Burger Smackdown
While we’re on the subject of burgers, here’s a reminder: The second annual Wilmington Burger Battle will take place Aug. 24 at Twin Lakes Brewing Company in Greenville. Area restaurants—including last year critic’s choice Kildare’s Irish Pub and people’s choice Union City Grille—are expected to throw down again for an outdoor, rain-or-shine charity event. Proceeds support the Ministry of Caring’s Emmanuel Dining Room. Admission prices will include food, beer tastings, soft drinks, and music; tickets to this limited-capacity tasting event will be available in early summer through wilmingtonburgerbattle.com. Event co-founder Matthew Curtis, chef-owner of Union City Grille, says, “I consider the burger to be the perfect food, and a restaurant’s burger can really tell you a lot about its quality. We were thrilled that 16 of Delaware’s best restaurants came together last year to compete, and are hoping for more this year. I bet some of last year’s chefs want a rematch with me!” More than 400 people attended the 2012 event to place their votes for People’s Choice Burger, and the event raised over $4,000 to fight hunger. Three Delaware sports legends served as Delebrity judges, tasting18 burgers like champs, ultimately declaring Kildare’s burger their favorite. “We are hoping for a rich field of entries in the Alternative Burger category this year,” says Battle co-founder JulieAnne Cross says. “Many of our vegetarian friends supported the event last year, and we want them to enjoy the food as much as they enjoy the Delaware-brewed Twin Lakes beer.” The Twin Lakes farm in Greenville has again agreed to be the host, and event proceeds will again support the Emmanuel Dining Room, which helps alleviate the immediate needs of Delaware’s hungry by serving more than 180,000 nutritious meals at no cost and with no questions asked. Restaurants are encouraged to contact email@example.com for more information. Look for more as the event draws near.
It’s All About Presentation
“The Beach Eats” exhibit at The Rehoboth Beach Museum celebrates 100 years of eating in the resort. The display includes memorabilia from such legendary restaurants such as Chez la Mer, Sydney’s Side Street, the still-thriving Back Porch Café, Gus and Gus, and The Avenue. Whether you like your beach food fun or fancy, you’ll love this exhibit. 227-7310, rehobothbeachmuseum.org
Welcome, Jerusalem International Grocery in Lewes. This new store in Tenley Court is the place to find fine olive oils, delicious halvah (a now rare find in this state), exotic spices and other products from the Mediterranean and Latin countries, as well as Kosher foods. It’s a welcome addition to the beach. 644-1700