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Keep on Truckin'


New digs: With the Craft Pizza Revolution in full swing, chef Matthew Hans has taken the game to its next logical step: wheels.

His business is the Wood Fired Pizza Truck, and he’s bringing crispy gourmet pizzas to customers via his cherry 1956 Ford F250 truck. But this ain’t just delivery, it’s the whole operation: The truck is strapped with a hardwood-burning pizza oven that turns out thin-crust, Neapolitan-style pies hot to customers in under two minutes.

People began noticing Hans and his truck at the Rodney Square Farmers Market this summer, where the Wood Fired Pizza Truck has become a weekly fixture. He also rolls into the Newark Co-op Farmers Market every Sunday.

The truck is booking up quickly for private and public events. Next month, Hans will park at the Boo at the Zoo! event at the Maryland Zoo in Baltimore.

Hans relishes in using local, seasonal ingredients for his pizza. At the Newark Co-op Farmers Market, he might top a pie with marinated eggplant or fennel. At Rodney Square, the bank crowd comes out for pepperoni, peppers, onions, sausage and a white pizza made with garlic-roasted olive oil, ricotta cheese and spinach. Grab one for $9, or a slice for $2.

Look for more on the Wood Fired Pizza Truck in Delaware Today real soon, and in the meantime, click here to follow the Truck.

New digs: Restaurant 55

You’re never too old to flip burgers. Just ask Dennis Forbes, owner of the venerable Dover fish house Cool Springs. He’s turned his new venture, Restaurant 55, into a high-end burger joint gastropub.

Christened when Forbes came to the startling realization that he was about to turn 55 (“And I should know better,” Forbes jokes), the restaurant specializes in burgers made from Wyoming’s Witt Bros. Market. That, and entrée salads, and honest pub fare like hand-cut fries and potato chips.

Forbes’ daughter Desiree Di’Antonio, who’s spent more than 32 years in and around the restaurant business, is a business partner and GM while Dennis will split time to some degree between the two.

It’ll be a relatively short commute–55 and Cool Springs share a diminutive shopping center just southeast of Dover.

“Dover is pretty excited,” he says. “We see it as an alternative [to Cool Springs],” he says.

55 isn’t as seafood-centric as Cool Springs, but counts salmon burgers and tuna burgers among its upscale burger creations. A brand new 24-seat bar area serves 12 craft-brewed beers (plus root beer from Dover’s Fordham Brewery). Entrées fall in the $10-$13 range.

Tuesday, September 21 – Thursday, September 23: Mile High Steak and Seafood, a top-notch steakhouse in Glen Mills, Pa., will regale its customers with a three-day Dinner Show series featuring the vocal stylings of Eric Kearns. Chefs will roll out a special four-course menu throughout the week loaded with—what else?—steak and seafood.

Take a look at the menu here. Tickets are $60 per guest. Call (610) 361-0855.

Thursday, September 23: The Delaware Center for Horticulture has a spiffy new urban garden that’s sprouting some very dippable veggies.

Just the right mix of ingredients one would need for, oh, say, a salsa competition. On Thursday, DCH will debut the Taste of Trolley Square Salsa Competition, a friendly throwdown featuring 10 Trolley-area restaurants.

Ciao Pizza, El Diablo, Fresh Thymes Café, Kid Shelleen’s, Lime, Logan House, Mary’s Place, Moro, Santa Fe Wilmington and Toscana will duke it out on the salsa floor, using a basket of ingredients of fresh, organically grown produce from The DCH’s urban farm in their creations. Guests in attendance decide the winner with a popular vote.

Be there to cast your ballot beginning at 5:30 p.m. from the DCH gardens and courtyard (1810 N. Dupont St., Wilmington, 658-6262). Tickets are $10 in advance ($15 at the door) and available to purchase from The DCH, Toscana, Logan House and Harvest Market.

Click here for more info.

Thursday, September 23: The good folks at Abbott’s Grill in Milford sure know how to tug at a man’s heartstrings: pork. And lots of it.

Abbott’s is hosting its first Pigs and Pinot dinner Thursday, which consists of a five-course meal where every dish pivots around pork. Plates are paired with a different Pinot Noir wine. To wit:

BLT Panzanella
Lardons of Bacon, Arugula, Cherry Tomatoes, Warm Bacon Dressing, Bacon Croutons
Territorial Pinot Noir ‘07 Willamette Valley, Oregon

Milk Braised Pork Loin
Fennel, Apple Salad, Pernod
Audoin Marsannay Clos de Jeu ‘05 Burgundy, France

Braised Pork Cheek
Bacon, Egg, Tomato, Risotto, Quail Egg, Pork Jus
Patton Pinot Noir ‘05 Willamette Valley, Oregon

Glazed Pork Belly
Seared Jumbo Scallop, Brulee of Banana, Blackberry Gastrique
Ken Wright Shea Pinot Noir ‘07 Willamette Valley, Oregon

Bacon Ice Cream
With Bacon Brittle on Warm Maple Brioche
A special bonus pairing will be served with dessert

Yes, it says bacon ice cream. Tickets are $75 a person, and seating is limited to 60 guests, so make your way to the registration page to reserve.

Thursday, September 23: Dogs sure are lushes, no? Between the Delaware Humane Association’s Muttini Mixer, and the Canine Partners for Life’s wine auction, the area is loaded with boozy bichons and tipsy terriers. On Thursday, Faithful Friends, the no-kill Wilmington shelter that brought us Barkitecture, is unveiling Martinis for Mutts at Washington Street Ale House.

For a $15 donation, enjoy drink specials (including a signature event-only cocktail) and appetizers from WSAH chefs. Find out more here.

Saturday, September 25: Ah, any food lover’s two favorite words: all-you-can-eat pancakes. The annual Pancakes for Parkinson’s event gets underway at the Wilmington Riverfront this weekend, where a $10 donation goes to the Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research, and nets you all the hot, syrup-drenched pancakes you want.

The event kicks off at 8 a.m. Saturday morning from the Shipyard Shops in Wilmington. Click here for more.

Friday, September 24 – Sunday, September 26: As one Oktoberfest closes shop for the year, another straps on the lederhosen to take the reigns. The third Rehoboth Beach Oktoberfest, a town-wide German celebration, kicks off Friday.

German cuisine, music and a few beer steins will be the order of the week for participating restaurants, which include: Arena’s Deli, Claws Seafood House, Dogfish Head Brewings & Eats, Dos Locos, Fins Fish House, Hobo’s, Ice Cream Store, Irish Eyes, Pig + Fish Restaurant Company, Porcini House, and Rehoboth Ale House.

For more information and sample Oktoberfest menus, check out www.downtownrehoboth.com or call 227-2772.

Saturday, September 25 – Sunday, September 26: The grapes have been stomped, barreled, corked and poured. Now it’s time to celebrate. Saturday sees the first of two Brandywine Valley Wine Trail Harvest Festival weekends (the second comes October 2-3).

All eight wineries on the Trail have something cool to offer in celebration of their 2010 vintages. Expect picnics, live music, grape stomping competitions, hayrides, barbecues, tours, and—oh yeah—lots of wine to taste. Click here for a fuller rundown.
See what each vineyard has planned here.

Sunday, September 26: Floods, volcanoes, asteroids, game warden Robert Muldoon—look, I don’t know what did in the dinosaurs, but 42 wines, specialty beers and trays of gourmet hors d’oeuvres is more than enough to shut me down on a Sunday afternoon.

You can make weekend productivity extinct too by hooking up with the Delaware Museum of Natural History for its fourth annual Wine and Dinosaurs festival. Wine mega-distributors United will bring in wines from across the country for tasting (and purchase), while a veritable all-star team of local caterers will provide food. Treats and hors d’oeuvres will come from Toscana Catering (chef Dan Butler will be making his famous tortellini), Gallagher and Gallagher (with a carving station for roast beef and turkey sliders), Sugarfoot Fine Foods, the Greenery, Montrachet Fine Foods and Bixby’s Caterers.

There’s a lot more to do at Wine and Dinosaurs. Besides walking around and looking at exhibits (with wine and slider in hand), there will be wine talks given by the News Journal’s Roger Morris and Wine Enthusiast’s Gary Monterosso. There’s always a great silent auction, live jazz music and more.

Tickets are $40 for museum members ($45 for non-members) in advance, and $55 at the door. For a complete look, click here.

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