The Dining Insider: A blog about a tasting of Delaware Native Ale at Dogfish Head, the new makeover at Corner Bistro, a great special at BBC Tavern, crab cakes gifts at Fenwick Crab House and brunch at Winterthur

Local Flavor

You read about it in Delaware Today. Now taste it: Dogfish Head Craft Brewery will do a special tapping of Delaware Native Ale at the Dogfish Head Brewings & Eats brewpub in Rehoboth Beach for Delaware Today readers on Tuesday, Nov. 22 at noon. This is good stuff, people: a lightish ale the color of hay with hints of local peaches and pears, locally grown hops—a rarity—and a yeast harvested in the wild at Fifer Orchards in Wyoming. Taste hometown pride. We’re sure you’ll like it. Quantities are limited, so get there as soon as you can. Pub offerings are posted daily at

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Let’s just say we are really, really diggin’ the newly made over Corner Bistro. Soft gray walls and wainscoting brighten the dining room, marble-topped tables heighten the bistro vibe, and photos of the Riviera set the mood for a menu that we’ll describe as French with contemporary twists. Lunch last week: a traditional tarte flambée—thin, crispy dough baked with goat cheese, lardons and caramelized shallots—and delicious mushroom risotto. The risotto changes daily, as does the fish du jour and “plat du jour” (read: daily special). The Insider and foodie friend also sampled a delicious asparagas and crab gratin that was notable for the charred flavor of the asparagus and a gratin that was light enough—and delicious enough—to keep us wanting more. Perhaps best of all were dried figs stuffed with triple-cream Brie and candied pecans with a balsamic dip. As fig-cheese combinations go—and they seem to be the rage lately—this was the best The Insider has ever tasted. Dishes that intrigue us: sautéed shrimp in saffron buerre blanc, duck confit with hoisin and a wasabi potato cake with seared baby bok choy. The beer list now includes a variety of choices from area craft brewers. The wine list features several great bottles at beyond reasonable prices. We could go on. We won’t. We’re just going back as soon as we can. If you’re in a mood to hear a piano lounge version of “Girl From Ipanema,” click If you want to hear a live human voice, ring 477-1778.

Wine and Cheese, Please

We like this deal at BBC Tavern & Grill in Wilmington: half off an artisanal cheese plate when you buy a tasting flight of wine. The chef picks the cheeses. You pick the wine. Flights include the Cabernet Flight ($13) of Avalon Cabernet, Estancia Red Meritage and Rodney Strong Alexander Valley Cabernet: the Pinot Noir Flight ($14) of Aquinas Pinot Noir, Mac Murray Pinot Noir and Craggy Range; the Alternative Red Flight ($11) of Montes Malbec, The Crusher Petit Sirah and The Prisoner Red Zin Blend, and the Enjoyable White Flight ($11) of Alsace Gentil “Hugel,” Ferrari-Carano Fume Blanc, Sonoma Cutrer Chardonnay. The deal ends with the end of November, so pop in soon. Visit, or call 655-3785.

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Crab Cake Heaven

Another deal we love: If you order Fenwick Crab House crab cakes as a gift before Dec. 1, the good folks there will give you a gift in return: two free 4-ounce crab cakes. The cakes are perfect for tailgating, holiday dinners—even New Year’s Eve. Order online at Type FREE CAKES in the special instruction field, or call crab house owner Scott Fornwalt at (888) 539-6559. Orders must be placed by Dec. 1 for delivery prior to Dec. 30. One caveat: Orders of 24 4-ounce or 16 6-pounce cakes fill their boxes, which means you can’t get two extra cakes, but you will get a $10 discount on the order. That’s one delicious deal, and a terrific gift idea.

A Different Kind of Brunch

If you’re bored with the same old Sunday brunch options, check out Winterthur for special Yuletide Brunches, in keeping with its fabulous Yuletide at Winterthur celebration. Brunches are Nov. 27, Dec. 4, Dec. 11 and Dec. 18 from 10 a.m. till 2 p.m. The $27.95 price includes a complimentary Mimosa or flute of Prosecco. The view can’t be beat. Or try a special Yuletide Dinner for $34.50 on Dec. 6, Dec. 13 and Dec. 20. (members get a 10 percent discount on parties of up to four.) For reservations, call 888-4826, or e-mail Go to to browse the menu. Cheers.

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Chocolate Galore

Don’t forget that this weekend is The Sixth Annual Chocolate Festival at Dover Down’s Hotel & Casino, but with a special treat— executive pastry Chef Roland Mesnier will present cooking demonstrations and tell stories of his days in the White House, where he was the longest serving chef. There will be all kinds of chocolate and candy, of course, as well as an ice carving contest, gingerbread village, arts-and-crafts marketplace, live entertainment, ballet demonstrations and—who else?—Santa himself. For more, call (800) 711-5882, or visit Delaware Hospice will also present its annual Festival of Trees, so don’t miss it. 

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