Here’s a little lighter fluid for the Riverfront party scene. FireStone Roasting House (110 S. West St., Wilmington, 658-6626) is the creation of Eric Sugrue and the ownership group behind Big Fish Grill and the Summer House. After extensive renovations, it takes over the location last occupied by C.W. Harborside.
The menu at FireStone is backed by extra-crispy craft pizzas baked in a wood-burning oven, part of FireStone’s attractive open kitchen. One signature pie comes topped with roasted chicken chunks, sautéed mushrooms, smoked mozzarella and truffle oil. The kitchen will also rotate a daily pizza special. “It’s just good, fresh pizza,” says manager Matt Moyer. “Great flavor, nice crust, not too thick, not too thin.”
Foodies might dig the crust, but FireStone also hopes to attract a nighttime crowd to its expansive outdoor patio. Expect lots of live music, DJs, hot dancing and cool drinks, like the signature firewater cocktail—with citrus vodka and Fresca (yes, Fresca)—and a honeydew martini cooled with frozen balls of sweet melon. “The scene is a big part of what we’re trying to create,” Moyer says. “That air of excitement.”
That’s hot. —Matt Amis
Page 2: Holy Smokes | Applewood smoke fills the air and the aroma of vinegar tickles your nostrils. It’s barbecue time. Below, the joints where we’re getting messy.
Applewood smoke fills the air and the aroma of vinegar tickles your nostrils. It’s barbecue time. Below, the joints where we’re getting messy.
A tick under a year old is Belly’s BBQ (20750 John J. Williams Hwy., Lewes, 945-7300). Dale Thaxton’s Angola smokehouse starts serving smoked pork sandwiches by noon. Barbecued pork shoulder gets smoked for six hours. Pit beef gets an apple-cider injection before it goes into the smoker for 10 hours, and on Fridays, Belly’s does smoked babyback ribs with a brown sugar-based dry rub.
The dining room might be well-appointed, but there’s nothing fancy about barbecue at Bethany Blues (6 S. Pennsylvania Ave., Bethany Beach, 537-1500; 18385 Coastal Hwy., Lewes, 644-2500). St. Louis cut ribs and beef brisket are done right—hickory-smoked for hours in a custom-built monster dubbed Lil’ Reggie.
Durham’s Best Barbeque (90 Fletchwood Road, Elkton, Md., 410-620-6250) smokes all your favorite meats. Beef brisket, pork, sausage, whole and half chickens—even Thanksgiving turkeys—cook via smoldering hickory in a stainless-steel smoker.
Perhaps the truest form of Delaware barbecue is found at weekend-only roadside chicken shacks like those sponsored by the Greenwood Volunteer Fire Company (U.S. 13 near Del. 16, 349-4529) and VFW Post 7234 (U.S. 1, Bethany Beach, 539-9981). Get there early.
Smokey, mouthwatering pork ribs and Angus short ribs are worth the trip to Mista B’s Barbecue (1575 Red Lion Road, Red Lion, 218-1048). Byron Pollard sets up shop Saturdays to barbecue chicken, ribs and pork shoulder. Save room for homemade sides and peach cobbler.
Where Pigs Fly (617 E. Loockerman St., Dover, 678-0586) has been doing hickory-smoked pulled pork since 1993. Grab a smoked and basted rack of St. Louis ribs with a basket of Memphis fries and a glass of sweet tea for sheer summertime bliss.
Timing and patience are key to Young’s BBQ (401 E. Main St., Middletown, 376-1777), which produces heavenly pulled pork, turkey breast and ribs. Done simply, the meats are given a dry rub, then smoked for several hours, receiving sprays of a vinegary marinade. —Matt Amis
Page 3: Big Things A Brewin’ | Iron Hill rocks the World Beer Cup. Bottoms up.
Iron Hill rocks the World Beer Cup. Bottoms up.
Meryl Streep, Michael Phelps and Wayne Gretzky have nothing on Iron Hill Brewery. The decorated brewpub (147 E., Main St., Newark, 266-9000; 710 S. Madison Street, Wilmington, 472-2739) added to its large trophy case in April, taking home five awards from the World Beer Cup in Chicago. Iron Hill has collected 16 World Beer Cup awards over the years, plus another 34 from the Great American Beer Festival in Denver, Colorado.
Among Iron Hill’s winning brews were: Raspberry Torte and Russian Imperial Stout, which won gold medals for American Sour Ale, and English-Style Imperial Stout. Seasonal Crazy Ivan won silver in the English-Style Imperial Stout category, while the Abbey Dubbel and Lambic de Hill took home bronze.
The brewpub also won awards for World Champion Brewery and World Champion Brewmaster. “I think of it as a little bit of validation that we’re making great products,” says Iron Hill director of brewing operations Mark Edelson.
Winning is nothing new to Iron Hill, especially Media, Pennsylvania, brewer Bob Barrar and Newark’s Justin Sproul, who created this year’s winners. “A year ago at the Great American Beer Festival we won six medals with six different brewers,” Edelson says. “Obviously both those guys are ecstatic.”—Matt Amis