Chef Donny Merrill Opens Skipjack in Newark’s Shoppes at Louviers

After leaving Montchanin’s Krazy Kat’s, Merrill set his sights on local seafood.

Skipjack's oysters on the half shell. Photo by Ron Dubick

Chef Donny Merrill had a few hectic weeks between April, when he left the esteemed Krazy Kat’s in Montchanin, and June, when he opened his own place, Skipjack, in the Shoppes at Louviers in Newark. “It was crazy,” Merrill says. “Any time I had off at Krazy Kat’s, I was here, doing what I had to do—painting, cleaning, that kind of stuff.” The effort has paid off. Skipjack, with its fairly priced menu, creative dishes and causal atmosphere, was a hit right out of the box—30- to 60-minute waiting lines on weekends were still the norm into fall. The draw: as much seasonal seafood from the Chesapeake as the chef can reasonably manage, with other local foods—“nothing frozen,” Merrill says—combined with starters such as artisan cheeses and charcuterie, venison-black bean chili and more. Leave it to Merrill, who has nabbed his share of local awards. Expect a few menu changes through the year, which translates to a few surprises every time you visit. (456-1800, skipjacknewark.com)

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