Around the World in 80 Plates
Explore the French Side of Delaware.
There are so many good ethnic restaurants in Delaware that a comprehensive guide would fill an issue, so we’re offering it online. Here are some old and new favorites to consider the next time you get a yen for global flavor. Installment 3 of dining writer Pam George’s epic roundup from the February issue of DT is French.
French Savoir “Fare”
There was a time when the French way of cooking was the only way. Like so many things, the classic approach has been integrated with more modern methods and preferences. Still, there’s nothing like a robust crock of onion soup blanketed in thick, browned cheese or a garlicky plate of escargot.
Bon Appetit Restaurant
Known for: Offering Western Sussex County fine dining inspired by French classics and a touch of romance. Owners Chino and Karen Pedemonte fell in love while working in a New York restaurant. They opened Bon Appetit in 1991. Insider tip: French onion soup is available every day but Saturday. All desserts are made in-house. Poached mussels are considered a prized appetizer whenever they’re offered. The frugal can enjoy French flare for $44, which buys you a five-course meal. 312 High St., Seaford, 629-3700, bonappetitseaford.com
The Green Room
Known for: Being the jewel in Delaware’s culinary crown since it opened in 1913. In the past the menu in this Hotel du Pont mainstay was heavy into classical French cuisine. Sauces were either roux- or cream-based. “For the past five years, we’ve tried to utilize a fresher approach,” says Keith Miller, the executive chef.
Insider tip: Crepes are made fresh each day and curled around salmon that’s smoked in-house weekly. The classic cassoulet inspired the restaurant’s veal breast and appaloosa bean cassoulet, which also includes pork belly. The Amaretto, white chocolate and raspberry Napoleon has been the signature dessert for 12 years. Rack of lamb rotates on and off the menu—get it when you can. 11th and Market streets, Wilmington, 594 3100, hoteldupont.com
Mona Lisa Euro Bistro
Known for: A menu that spans Europe, from Scandinavia to Italy. Insider tip: You can take a culinary trip through Europe at Mona Lisa, owned by Jacques and Kelly Macq, who purchased the formerly all-Italian restaurant last May. But if you want French- and Belgian-inspired favorites, you’re in luck. There’s escargot, duck confit salad, mussels with fries and chocolate mousse. Occasionally, frog’s legs make the leap onto the menu. 607 N. Lincoln St., Wilmington, 888-2201, monalisaeurobistro.com