When Megan Kee was growing up in Rehoboth, dinners often included steak—partly to appease her grandfather. “When we didn’t have steak, we had crab cakes or fried chicken—Sussex County-style dishes,” she recalls.
Kee put all threeon the menu at her new restaurant, Houston White Co., which recently opened in Bramble & Brine’s old location on Rehoboth Avenue.
This is not Kee’s first time as a restaurateur. She is the former proprietress of Bramble & Brine, and she owns La Fable, more locally known as Fable, a French restaurant on Baltimore Avenue.
Houston White Co. is the name of the lumber company founded by Kee’s great-grandfather, who incorporated the business in 1905. (The history explains the stand of evergreens at the top of the menu, andmay also account forthe kelly-green walls accented by clubby wainscoting.)
From the decor to the servers’ attire—crisp white shirts, long aprons and ties—the look exemplifies that of aclassic steakhouse. So does most of the menu, which includes a 12-ounce dry-aged New York strip and 48-ounce primer porterhouse that is large enough for the table to share.
During my recent visit I went old-school, orderingthe shrimp cocktail, a juicy barrel ribeye with béarnaise, and a side of creamed spinach. My dining partner hadRuby’s fried chicken (named for Kee’s nanny, who made it when Kee was a child).
The kitchen was still finding its footing at the time, and thechicken initiallyarrived with steak fries and coleslaw instead of the sweet potato puree and greens. It was a happy mistake, though: The server brought us the missing sides, and all—including the ones we hadn’t ordered—were delicious.
There’s something so wonderfully indulgent about a steakhouse, and vacationers looking to splurge canfind satisfaction here. For those who crave seafood, the crab cakes, lobster tail and fish of the day are sure to hit the spot.
Houston White Co. joins the venerable 1776 as one of the few steakhouses at the beach. Interestingly, the area is about to get another: Harvest Tide Steakhouse is slated to open early this summer in the old Da Vinci’s Pizzeria in the Lewes Beach area.
For steak lovers along the coast, the tide may indeedbe turning.
Houston White Co.
315 Rehoboth Ave., Rehoboth