Dining Out(side)

Ahhh, the music of wavelets lapping a bulkhead, the reflection of city lights on a still river, the sound of crickets in the night. Could there be anything better than dining en plein air? Herein, alfresco for foodies.

33 West

The two white plastic tables on the sidewalk are unremarkable, but we’re glad they’re there. And they’re hot commodities. When the General Assembly is in session, pols vie for those spots like they vie for office. Locals like to beat them to the punch and linger over gourmet salads, sandwiches, burgers and the terrific coffee. 33 W. Loockerman St., Dover, 735-9822
 

Aqua SolAqua Sol

In Summit North Marina, this sizzling Cuban- and South Beach-inspired restaurant sits on a tranquil inlet of the Chesapeake & Delaware Canal. The patio offers spectacular views, especially at dusk, and it rocks with live music. Boaters tie up at the dock to enjoy martinis and unwind. 3000 Summit Harbour Place, Bear, 836-1800
 

Arena’s Deli and Bar

The 42-seat section of sidewalk in the Village By the Sea Shops is shaded by potted palm trees and umbrellas, like an oasis in Rehoboth’s bustling commercial area. Customers are allowed to bring pets, which helps create a friendly, relaxing vibe that folks seem to love as much as terrific sandwiches like The Hungry Surfer, cold microbrews and live music. 149 Rehoboth Ave., Rehoboth Beach, 227-1272
 

- Advertisement -

The Back Porch Café

The appeal of dining at The Back Porch is the secluded feeling. “It reminds them of Key West or a New Orleans courtyard, away from the hustle and bustle of Rehoboth Avenue,” says co-owner Keith Fitzgerald. The upper and lower decks of the vintage guesthouse create a uniquely romantic atmosphere. At dusk, both the sunset and moonrise are visible from upstairs. Add a Havana Daydream or a couple glasses of wine. The innovative food is prepared with more care than many other good restaurants give. 59 Rehoboth Ave., Rehoboth Beach, 227-3674
 

Page 2: Dining Out(side), continues…

 

Big Fish Grill Seafood RestaurantBig Fish Grill Seafood Restaurant

Everyone knows they can score great seafood at Big Fish. What many don’t know is that “there’s not much of a waiting list if you sit at the patio,” says manager Susan Sokowski. A pergola covers a space in the front of the seafood store next door. Ten wooden tables with green plastic chairs can accommodate about 40 guests. Big eats include appetizers such as fried oysters or grouper fingers, as well as entrées such as Big Fish jambalaya. 4117 Highway One, Rehoboth Beach, 227-3665
 

Blue Parrot Bar & Grill

The patio is dominated by a mural of a provocatively posed Marilyn Monroe perched on a balcony in the French Quarter. An iron rail separates diners from Union Street, and by mid-summer, when its vines have crawled, there’s more privacy than you’d think. There are Cajun and Creole dishes, as well as all-you can-eat crabs on Sundays starting at noon. 1934 W. Sixth St., Wilmington, 655-8990
 

Bonz Restaurant & Lounge

When customers dine on the new 44-seat patio at Bonz, they feel like they’re someplace else. The area is shrouded in leafy foliage, and heavy wooden tables sit atop custom brickwork floors. There’s live music every weekend, and when the evening brings a breeze, simply cuddle next to the fire pit. Harrington Raceway and Casino, U.S. 13, Harrington, 398-5348
 

- Partner Content -

The new rooftop terrace at Buckley’s Tavern in Centreville features a fireplace and casual dining among the treetops. Photograph by Thom ThompsonBuckley’s Tavern

At Buckley’s, “green” means diners are surrounded by gardens and mature trees that make one terrific en plein air dining experience. The back patio, adjacent to an English garden, is paved with river rock and sheltered by an arbor that protects beautiful trompe l’oiel murals. A Virginia Creeper on the brick-floored front porch shades 12 cozy tables and creates a buffer from Kennett Pike traffic. The biggest renovation was made this year: a living roof on the bar of the rooftop terrace, where you can dine by a fireplace in the treetops. The Vietnamese sugar- and lime-roasted chicken is a must, as is the wild mushroom and mascarpone flatbread. 5812 Kennett Pike, Centreville, 656-9776
 

Page 3: Dining Out(side), continues…

 

The porch at The Buttery in Lewes is a great spot to enjoy halibut simmered in papaya and coconut broth and served with plantain chips, jicama lime sambal, jasmine rice and spring peas. Photograph by Thom ThompsonThe Buttery

Among other excellent reasons for loving The Buttery—not the least of which is its outstanding menu—diners enjoy the Victorian architecture, once a prosperous ship captain’s home. So owner John Donato took great care when expanding a tiny porch into a proper veranda, going so far as having a new rail and posts milled to look exactly like the originals. Now 40 diners can sit at glass-topped wrought iron tables under the gentle breeze of ceiling fans. It’s an ideal place for sipping a mojito or a light rosé. “I spend a lot of time in Charleston and Savannah and the vibe is a lot like that,” Donato says. “You have all the time in the world to relax”—and watch people stroll on quaint Second Street. Try the crab cakes. 102 Second St., Lewes, 645-7755
 

Café Azafrán

Enjoy breakfast and lunch any time of the year at this classic coastal cottage, but get there before season’s end to have dinner under the tin roof of Azafrán’s sidewalk dining area. It’s perfect for sharing a big bowl of saffron-steamed mussels, Manchego with assorted meats, scallops seared with piquillo marmalade and other tapas. There are full entrées as well, and a special on wines by the bottle on Wednesdays. 109 Market St., Lewes, 644-444
 

Café Solé

The gurgling fountain is the centerpiece of the intimate, relaxing Key West-style patio at Café Solé. The area is covered in flowers, bamboo and palm trees, and custom mosaics and mirrors add a bit of sparkle. Chill with a glass of peach sangria or Chardonnay while noshing on a Cuban sandwich or raspberry-spinach salad. 44 Baltimore Ave., Rehoboth Beach, 227-7107
 

- Advertisement -

Caffé Gelato

This awning-covered section of Main Street sidewalk offers tables set with fresh linens and lit by candles. You may hear a live violinist. You’ll buy a bottle of wine from the 1,500-bottle cellar. You’ll be tempted to choose the nightly special, especially if it’s lamb rack lollipops or lobster risotto. And as you sip a glass of Muscat or tawny Port, you’ll wonder how you managed to finish that homemade vanilla bean gelato. 90 E. Main St., Newark, 738-5811
 

Page 4: Dining Out(side), continues…

 

Capers and Lemons

You can’t miss the deck as you head into Capers and Lemons—you’ll walk right over it. Both sections feature silver metal tables draped in white linen and lit by votive candles, all shaded by an awning. Because the restaurant is new, staffers are still experimenting with the menu, but alfresco diners tend to linger, usually ordering from an extensive wine list that favors Italy and California and choosing among several wood stone pizzas or hand-crafted pastas. 301 Little Falls Drive, Wilmington, 256-0524
 

Captain Pete’s Mediterranean Cove

European style dining is the order of the summer on Captain Pete’s front porch. “It’s a little bit of Greece,” says owner Helen Charuhas. Indeed, spanakopita, dolmades, grilled fish and lamb taste even more delicious when eaten outside. The vibe is relaxed, but the popular happy hour, featuring frozen drinks and margaritas, has been known to heat things up. The owners even like to push all the outdoor tables together and throw one big, fat Greek party. 700 Coastal Hwy., Fenwick Island, 537-5900
 

Catch 54 Fish HouseCatch 54 Fish House

The deck at Catch 54 is under the main restaurant, so the entire area is covered, and it’s as close to dining on water as you can get without falling in. On the Fenwick Ditch of the Little Assawoman Bay, the deck is part of a marina, and there’s a separate bar that starts jumping when the golfers and boaters arrive. Your view: The Del. 54 bridge to the south, expansive salt marsh to the north, and the whole town of Fenwick across the water. There is no finer place for crab cake sliders or a fried baby lobster tail. Del. 54, Fenwick Island, 539-0400
 

Catherine Rooney’s

This awning-covered strip of sidewalk on the shady side of Delaware Avenue is one of the most popular places in Trolley Square. At lunch, enjoy traditional Irish fare in a relatively sedate space. Most patrons nibble on Rooney’s well-known appetizers such as Jameson wings, Katie’s hummus platter, and signature salads, but there are also great burgers and entrées. 1616 Delaware Ave., Wilmington,  654-9700
 

Cavanaugh’s Restaurant

We love lunching on Market Street best when it can be done alfresco, especially under the classic marquee at Cavanaugh’s, especially with a juicy char-broiled burger in hand. 703 N. Market St., Wilmington, 656-4067
 

Page 5: Dining Out(side), continues…

 

Centreville Café

The beautiful two-level terrace outside this charming old home is best described as country-contemporary, with metal chairs and tables under beige canvas umbrellas, all surrounded by a formal garden and large yard. The lower terrace boasts a fragrant herb garden. The entire menu is offered. Enormously popular are the Outer Banks quesadillas, made with four cheeses and vegetables. Clients bring their own wine or buy two doors down at Collier’s of Centreville. 5800 Kennett Pike, Wilmington, 777-4911
 

Chesapeake InnChesapeake Inn

The dockside deck offers unparalleled views of Back Creek Basin and C&D Canal. The tiki bar on the western end serves rum cocktails and frozen drinks, and nightly live music helps foster a boat party vibe on the main deck. “We look at our place as the next best thing to the beach,” says owner Gianmarco Martuscelli. 605 Second St., Chesapeake City, Md., 410-885-2040
 

Coyote Crossing

As if all of the building isn’t a study in stunning design, the rooftop takes the tres leche cake. Sail-like awnings soar over lofty steel structures that shelter bar-goers as diners at surrounding tables enjoy traditional Mexican dishes and Southwestern favorites revved up with contempo twists. Reservations for primo dinner hours can be hard to come by. Book early. 102 E. Market St., West Chester, Pa. (610) 429-8900
 

The Cultured Pearl

The rooftop is so unlike anything else, diners are usually more amazed. More than 15,000 gallons of water create a man-made lagoon shaded by gazebos. Reach your table by tiptoeing across boardwalk bridges while koi and goldfish swim below. Palms, irises and bamboo reach skyward, as does the quality of The Pearl’s cuisine. 301 Rehoboth Ave., Rehoboth Beach, 227-8493
 

Page 6: Dining Out(side), continues…

 

C.W. Harborside

The big clay pots on C.W. Harborside’s patio on the Christina Riverwalk explode with pink geraniums, and wrought-iron tables and chairs surround a crescent-shaped bar under an expansive canopy that twinkles with tiny white lights at night. Happy hour foods such as hot wings and grilled turkey legs are popular. It’s a perfect place to watch rowers on the Christina. 110 S. West St., Wilmington, 658-6626
 

The Deer Park Tavern

Two decks of spacious porch wrap the front and side of the legendary Deer Park. Enjoy an ahi burger or the famous nachos. Sunday brunch is an affair as popular for unique offerings such as Eggs Chesapeake (Eggs Benedict made with crab cakes instead of Canadian bacon) as for its 16-ounce Bloody Marys. 108 W. Main St., Newark, 369-9414
 

Del Rose Café

Del Rose’s patio is set between the outer brick wall of the restaurant and the massive granite blocks of a railroad bridge, a study in contrasting textures which, protected by a beautiful wrought iron gate, makes a surprisingly cozy area for enjoying the signature chopped antipasto. 1707 Delaware Ave. Wilmington, 656-3015
 

DiFebo’s Restaurant

The gated courtyard at DiFebo’s is decorated with blue umbrellas and wicker furniture, which makes it feel thoroughly Mediterranean. Try cavatelli alla Bolognese while relaxing by the fountain. Entrée salads are a perfect fit. Top yours with slices of filet mignon, fresh fish, grilled shrimp or a crab cake. 789 Garfield Pkwy., Bethany Beach, 539-4550
 

Page 7: Dining Out(side), continues…

 

Dilworthtown InnDilworthtown Inn and Blue Pear Bistro

Few places match the vibe of the sunset-facing front porch at Blue Pear Bistro, an 18th-century store-turned-perfect-place to sample the charcuterie or a thoughtfully assembled cheese plate while you sip a fresh botanical cocktail. Get there early. The 10 tables are highly coveted. None available? You’ll simply have to venture next door to the Dilworthtown Inn for some of the  best cuisine in the area. The patio defines elegant country dining. 1390 Old Wilmington Pike, West Chester, Pa., (610) 399-1390  •  275 Brintons Bridge Road, West Chester, Pa., (610) 399-9812

Dome Restaurant + Bar

The terrace overlooks lush woods and a pond with a large central fountain. Begonias and geraniums add a visual punch. Diners favor wine, specialty cocktails and light fare. The apple-walnut and Caprese salads are big sellers. Then again, so is the short rib fettuccine. 400 Lantana Drive, Hockessin, 235-2600
 

The Exchange

The Exchange gets the hands-down nomination for best place to watch the Wilmington Grand Prix. Enjoy a Belgian draft as the cyclists whiz by the sidewalk patio. After the race—or any time—stay for some fine New American beef and seafood. Downtown cultural attractions—The Grand Opera House and DuPont Theatre—are mere footsteps away. 902 N. Market St., Wilmington, 576-9861
 

Fager’s Island

Fager’s is an actual island. Most sunny summer afternoons bring cool southerly breezes. Clear evenings provide amazing sunsets. Diners will find Eastern Shore classics such as crab cakes and broiled seafood platters, great steaks, and some nods to the trends such as seafood with Asian flair. 201 60th St., Ocean City, Md., (410) 524-5500
 

Galaxy 66 Bar & Grill

The rooftop bar is wide open to the stars. You won’t see the bay or the ocean, but you’ll mix with some friendly people who are here for the same reason you are: fine contemporary American cuisine—which is an anomaly in a town full of pub grub and butter-drenched seafood. 6601 Coastal Hwy., Ocean City, (410) 723-6762
 

Page 8: Dining Out(side), continues…

 

Gilligan’s

Restaurants don’t get more nautical than Gilligan’s, where the kitchen is housed in an old shrimp boat beached along the Lewes-Rehoboth Canal and the torch-lit deck hovers over the roof of the boat’s galley. Try the crab cakes, the Key lime martinis and the homemade desserts. 134 W. Market St., Lewes, 644-7230
 

Granary Restaurant

Great outdoor dining is just steps away at the casual Sassafras Grill. You’ll find eight tables and a few wooden benches underneath an awning on docks in the Sassafras River. Try the crab pizza, crab pretzels or crab cakes. 100 George St., Georgetown, Md., (410) 275-1603
 

Diners—and the lovely flowers—at the recently refurbished patio at Harry’s Savoy are protected by a new mesh awning. Photograph by Thom Thompson

Harpoon Hannah’s

The giant deck and tiki bar provide awesome viewing of vacation-crazed jetboat pilots ripping Little Assawoman Bay on craft rented at the marina next door. A waterfall and torches create a Jimmy Buffettesque hangout where frozen drinks like the signature Harpoon Hannah go great with burgers, sandwiches and seafood appetizers. Del. 54, Fenwick Island, 539-3095
 

Harry’s Savoy Grill

Redone in May, the patio at Harry’s Savoy is even more spectacular than before. With a new mesh awning that lets in the light and breeze while filtering out hot rays of sunlight, the brick patio is awash in fresh geraniums, begonias and hibiscus. A center fountain is lit with white lights in the evening. Comfortable seating at faux brick bistro tables offers space for about 45 people. The patio can and does accommodate families, but it’s one of the most romantic settings for a date. 2020 Naamans Road, Wilmington, 475-3000
 

Page 9: Dining Out(side), continues…

 

At Harry’s Seafood in Wilmington, pan-seared diver sea scallops can be enjoyed where they were meant to be: in full view of the water. Photograph by Thom ThompsonHarry’s Seafood Grill

The Riverfront deck at Harry’s is one of Wilmington’s most civilized outdoor dining spots. A stellar space to view after-game fireworks at Frawley Stadium or to hear live local music, Harry’s 80-seat patio is adorned with dark green wrought iron tables and a matching green awning. Choose sun or shade. “This is the place to slurp fresh raw oysters,” says general manager Kelly O’Hanlon. The grill’s full menu is available. Lights from the Market Street bridge reflected on the surface of the Christina makes one of the city’s most beautiful nighttime spectacles. If you see Captain Lionel’s pontoon boat docked out front, climb aboard for a pre-dinner tour of the river. 101 S. Market St. Wilmington, 777-1500
 

Hobos Restaurant and Bar

Health-conscious Hobos includes a covered patio with hightop tables and four-seaters. There is a slightly more intimate option at Hobos’ alley, where statuettes peer out from the lush foliage and walls are decorated with works by local artists. Watch for wine tastings and live music to enjoy with your sandwich, wrap or quesadilla. 56 Baltimore Ave., Rehoboth Beach, 226-2226
 

The Iguana Grill

People love to walk off the beach directly to the 55-seat porch, where they park their bathing-suited butts on the bright, multi-colored chairs. Southwest-inspired dishes such as quesadillas and seafood pasta go great with a margarita. Iguana carries 50 varieties of tequila. The Milton place offers a terrific view of Wagamon’s Pond. 52 Baltimore Ave., Rehoboth Beach, 227-0948  •  122 Mulberry St., Milton, 684-4211
 

Iron Hill Restaurant and Brewery

The 30-seat patio at the original restaurant “gives everyone a chance to enjoy the sights and sounds of Newark,” says manager Clare Pelino. Popular entrées include lobster salad and steamed clams. At Iron Hill on the Wilmington Riverfront, a 68-seat patio and an upper deck offer great views of the Kalmar Nyckel. 147 E. Main St., Newark, 266-9000  •  710 S. Madison St., Wilmington, 472-2739
 

Joe’s Crab Shack

Joe may have shacks in 28 states, but no other has a view of the Christina. There’s a 100-person deck filled with picnic tables and a sandy play area for kids. Seafood “fund-do” (a concoction of shrimp, crawfish and spinach) is a top starter. 600 S. Madison St., Wilmington, 777-1803
 

Page 10: Dining Out(side), continues…

 

Kelly’s Logan House

Kelly’s patio and porch offer dining among mature trees and shrubs atop a rolling brick-paved sidewalk that offers no shortage of charm outside the historic tavern. Good pub grub, a sunny corner and blue umbrellas add to its appeal. 1701 Delaware Ave., Wilmington, 655-6426
 

Kid Shelleen’s

Soft jazz drifts across the patio, which has, thanks to a new awning, become a year-round destination. When the weather is fair, the place opens wide and the party begins in earnest. Daily drink specials include $2 domestic pints and $3 rail drinks at happy hour. Seafood night is a hit on Thursdays. Sunday brunch remains a weekly tradition. 14th and Scott streets, Wilmington, 658-4054
 

Kildare’s Irish Pub

The view from the second-story deck of Kildare’s is of a parking lot and the backside of a dormitory, but, as at any fine Irish public house, it’s all about the people. Gastro pub fare and traditional Irish dishes rule the day. 45 E. Main St., Newark, 224-9330
 

Kindle Restaurant

Fans panicked when the restaurant left Milton, but rejoiced when it reopened in Lewes. One part of the patio looks onto Second Street. The other, defined by a white picket fence, runs along Bank Street. Red umbrellas shade some tables, and battery-operated candles stay lit on the breeziest of evenings. All menu items are available—including the roasted chiles with roasted garlic mayo. 111 Bank St., Lewes, 645-7887
 

The Kitty Knight House

When the outsized deck at the Kitty Knight House opens for the season, as many as 130 “history buffs” turn out for drinks and live music. As the weather heats up, so does the action. Sunset views of the Sassafras River Harbor are fabulous. 14028 Augustine Herman Hwy., Georgetown, Md., 410-648-5200
 

Page 11: Dining Out(side), continues…

 

Klondike Kate’s

Kate’s has defined the great outdoors in Newark for ages. Any mild afternoon in spring or fall will find its modest deck dripping with wayward co-eds on so-called study breaks, and those breaks can stretch into the evening, so reserve early if you intend to win a table for dinner. 158 E. Main St., Newark, 737-6100
 

Mango’s

From the second-story deck at Mango’s, diners can see the ocean better than they can from the boardwalk—the perch provides a view of Bethany’s growing dunes. It’s not a bad way to embellish your frozen mango margarita and coconut shrimp. Garfield Parkway at the Boardwalk, Bethany Beach, 537-6621
 

Bacon cheeseburgers, turkey clubs and other treats from McGlynns’ menu are served on an elegant patio that provides an awesome view of Dover’s Silver Lake. Photograph by Thom ThompsonMcGlynns Pub

McGlynns is a classic pub, one of the first places locals hit for beer and roast beef sandwiches. When the Dover location opened in October, casual got classier, thanks to its elegant patio on Silver Lake. A wraparound black wrought iron railing reflects off glass tabletops. Eight wicker table and chair sets accommodate about 25 people. A slate floor complements large bronze lanterns. McGlynns’ standard numerous draft beers and free happy hour buffets are also available on the patio. But without the televisions, the space offers a quiet escape and a surprising view. 800 N. State St., Dover, 674-0144
 

McKenzie Brew House

The best part about deck dining at McKenzie—besides the passion fruit mojitos—is not feeling like you’re sitting smack in the middle of busy Wilmington Pike, despite, well, being smack in the middle of Wilmington Pike. Diners can enjoy a bit of tranquility as they sip a Unicorn Ale. 451 Wilmington-West Chester Pike, Chadds Ford, Pa., 610-361-9800
 

Page 12: Dining Out(side), continues…

 

Northbeach Restaurant

Even when you’re inside at Northbeach, you’re outside. The space, overlooking Rehoboth Bay, is almost all open. On Sunday afternoons, dig your feet into the sand while you peel and eat shrimp on picnic-style tables and listen to the sounds of Jefe. 125 McKinley St., Dewey Beach, 226-8673
 

Nalu Hawaiian Surf Bar & Grill

Hurricane windows give Nalu its outdoor ambiance, and the thatched-roof bar, totem poles, palm trees and cold mai tais make diners feel like they’re kickin’ it on some island in our fine 50th state. The Spam BLT is a fun nod to a staple of the Hawaiian working man’s diet, but don’t miss the guava-glazed pork ribs. 1308 Coastal Hwy., Dewey Beach, 227-1449
 

Obie’s By the Sea

This 10-table boardwalk deck and bar is the ultimate no-shirt, no-shoes, no-problem spot for casual dining. Affordable appetizers, burgers, wraps, ribs and the house salad are one draw. The unobstructed view of the ocean is another. 1 Olive Ave., Rehoboth Beach, 227-6261
 

Porcini House

Chef Jay Caputo’s second-floor Tree Top Lounge strives for canopy cool through chunky beams and dramatic lighting. The heavy bar of marine-grade mahogany was hand-carved by a shipwright in Annapolis. Folks clamor for fresh mojitos and Kobe beef hot dogs, while lunch service and happy hour drives business during summer. 210 Second St., Rehoboth Beach, 227-6494
 

Qué Pasa

When the garage doors are up, the cantina is in business. Mere feet from the Rehoboth Bay are tables under black Jose Cuervo umbrellas, a few wooden benches and a handful of private Adirondack chairs. Order a margarita and a skirt steak, then settle into a mesh recliner on the beach, where you can watch the high jinks from renters of personal watercraft next door. 124 Dickinson St., Dewey Beach, 226-1820
 

Page 13: Dining Out(side), continues…

 

The Rusty Rudder

The sights and sounds—Misty May wannabees spiking volleyballs to the strains of calypso music in the afternoon—are unique to outdoor dining at Rusty Rudder. Before the Dewey party begins to rage, the bayside deck is a pretty great place to spend a late afternoon with a cold coconut crush and a burger. Walk up or boat in. Linger too long on Thursday and you’ll find yourself partying with Love Seed Mama Jump and its minions. 113 Dickinson St., Dewey Beach, 227-3888
 

Sovana Bistro

A patio hides in the back of an upscale strip mall, but a large pine tree and two wooden fences diminish the hum of automobiles. The space is appointed with a rusty black iron door and an old wooden hutch that holds wine glasses. Six wrought iron café tables covered with tan or black umbrellas sit atop a stone floor, and the patio’s perimeter is landscaped beautifully. Locally grown food is the star. Appetizers such as roasted beets with blue cheese are excellent. 696 Unionville Road, Kennett Square, (610) 444-5600
 

Seacrets

The forest of palms and thatched-roof bars say secluded island, though you’re only a block away from busy Coastal Highway. Dig your toes into the sand while you sink your teeth into a jerk chicken cheesesteak or delicious crab cake. After your meal, wade your rum runner out to an inner tube offshore, where you can soak your piggies in the placid bay while you ride out your food coma. 49th Street and the Bay, Ocean City, Md., (410)-524-4496
 

Toscana Kitchen + Bar

The burbling of the fountain, tucked into a corner of The Rockford Shoppes in Trolley Square, soothes anyone in need of a pleasant night out and a great meal. Start with fried calamari or grilled octopus. Share a Gorgonzola-fig pizzette baked in the kitchen’s wood-fired oven. Save room for a dish of homemade pasta or braised duck. Don’t forget the wine. There’s a special list of 20 bottles for $20 each on Sundays. 1412 N. Dupont St., Wilmington, 654-8001
 

Victoria’s Restaurant

Rise with the sun for a short stack of buttermilk pancakes and a mimosa on the boardwalk. Start dinner with the signature cream of crab soup. (It’s part of the four-course $29 prix fixe special, if you arrive early.) Tables under the black trellises—among the most romantic seats in the state—are highly coveted. Boardwalk Plaza Hotel, Olive Avenue and the Boardwalk, Rehoboth Beach, 227-0615
 

Woody’s Crab House

Two outdoor areas outline Woody’s, which specializes in steamed blue crabs and crab cakes. In front is a charming, laidback section of umbrella-covered tables on Main Street. Out back is a lively South Florida-style tiki bar with seating for 140. The area is tented and outfitted with a full bar and live entertainment. 29 S. Main St., North East, Md., (410) 287-3541

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

Holiday flash sale ... subscribe and save 50%

Limited time offer. New subscribers only.