Three Cheers for Beers

…(and wines) at the first Delaware Wine and Beer Festival. Plus, new wine digs in Wilmington, and EVOO invades Rehoboth.

Anniversary: Ristorante Attilio, the wood-paneled beacon of old school Italian cuisine, is celebrating its 25th anniversary this month. The restaurant, famous for its homemade pasta and comfort-food touchstones like fried smelt and pepper-and-egg sandwiches, was opened in October 1985 by Alberico and Vincenza Cafini, along with children Adele, Attilio and Carla. Over the years it’s been embraced by locals for its charm and became a go-to spot for family gatherings. The Cafini family grew, and six children have become part of the staff.

Attilio (1900 Lancaster Pike, Wilmington, is rewarding its loyal customers (and newbies alike) by offering a buy-one, get-one-half-off on pasta dishes throughout the month. For more, call 428-0909, or visit

New digs: North Wilmo inherited a hip wine store in the form of Ryan’s Wines & Spirits, which opened shop in Independence Mall earlier this month.

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Owner John Ryan, a former sommelier, hand-selects his inventory of wines from across the price spectrum and plans to show some of them off during weekly tastings, Fridays at 5 p.m.

Ryan’s takes over the spot previously occupied by Vino 100. The loungy shop is accented by colorful displays, a cushy window seat with comfortable pillows and local artwork. Grab a glass and join Ryan’s for its grand opening bash on October 16 at 2 p.m. Call 655-8466 for more.

Thursday, October 14: Green leaning, globally inspired and eco-conscious, Hobos Restaurant + Bar has taken hold in Rehoboth Beach’s charming Baltimore Avenue thanks to chef-owner Grechen Hanson’s clean, organic menus packed with local ingredients

On Thursday, Hanson and Co. will host a special tasting dinner centering on premier estate extra virgin olive oils and wines of the Rhone Valley.

Here’s a look at the menu for “Crush + Press”:

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Brute-Comté Crémant du Jura

Heirloom Tomatoes Preserved with Lemon Thyme and Stuffed with Arugula Pistou
Marina Colonna EVOO and 2009 Domaine Alary “La Grange Daniel” Vin de pays de la principauté d’Orange
“Cream” of Roasted Cauliflower and Artichoke Soup with Garlic Rouille
L’estornell EVOO and 2009 Domaine Manissy Tavel
Polenta Cakes with Nutmeg Mushroom Duxelles
Ravidá EVOO with 2008 Domaine Raymond Usseglio Chateauneuf-du-Pape
Salt Smoked Sea Scallops & Carmelized Shallot & Leek Risotto Timbales
Castelas EVOO with 2007 Jean-Michel Gerin St. Joseph
Almond Mandarin Olive Oil Cake
Marina Colonna Mandarin EVOO and 2008 Domaine Gardíes “Flor” Muscat de Rivesaltes

The party gets going at 6:30, and all olive oils from the menu will be available for purchase. The cost is $55 per person. Save your spot by emailing Hobos at or call 226-2226 for more.

Thursday, October 14: The imminently tasteful Green Room is revisiting its famous French wine dinners with a doozy of a four-courser kicking this off Thursday.

Tickets to the dinner, which include a few words from guest speaker Curtis Thiede, go for $100. Hors d’oeuvres will be served beginning at 6:30 p.m., with dinner to follow at 7 p.m. Call 594-3154 to reserve.

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Here’s a look at the menu:

Seared Butterfish
Pear-wild thyme beurre blanc, toasted almond and charred
honey-melon mille-feuille, golden caviar
Chateau Les Eydin’s Viognier, Vaucluse Rhone Valley
Hudson Valley Foie Gras
Pomegranate, stone-fruit relish, crostini of brioche
Pierre Ventin Cotes du Beaune, Burgundy France
Black Trumpet Crusted Rack of Red Deer
Porcini mushroom black pepper pommes puree,
cedar roasted baby fennel
Vieux Clocher Chateauneuf du Pape, Rhone France
Vanilla Crème Brulee
Stone-fruit compote
Muscat Beaumes de Venise, Rhone Valley

Sunday, October 17: The craft wine and beer movement is truly gaining steam in our small state. Earlier this year, the state tourism department unveiled the Delaware Wine and Ale Trail, which linked in spirit 10 of our local wineries and breweries and mapped them out handily for tourists.

Now some of the region’s best wine and beermakers have an event to celebrate their new kinship. The very first Delaware Wine and Beer Festival commences Sunday from the Pizzadili Vineyard and Winery in Felton, beginning at noon. Attendees will have an opportunity to sample more than 30 Delaware-made wines and craft beers from the likes of 16 Mile Brewing Company, Fordham/Old Dominion Brewing Company, Dogfish Head Craft Brewery, Evolution Craft Brewing, Fenwick Wine Cellars, Pizzadili Vineyard & Winery, Stewart’s Brewing Company, and Twin Lakes Brewery.

General admission to the fest, which includes access to grape-stomping and keg-throwing contests, is $5. Tickets can be purchased online at, or over the phone by calling (800) 233-5368. Potential tasters must purchase a sampling package for $20, which includes general admission and five tasting tickets. Organizers will sell commemorative wine glasses and beer mugs for $4 apiece, and tokens for full-pours of beer and wine go for $3 and $4, respectively.

Our Best of Delaware Elimination Ballot is open through February 22!

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