The Dining Insider: A Dining, Food and Restaurant Blog That features SIW Vegetables in Chadds Ford, Pennsylvania, Deep Blue Bar and Grill’s New Menu in Wilmington and Sprouting Chefs, Katie Freer’s New Cooking School in Lewes for Kids
In an area blessed with great produce, produce stands and an ever-growing number of farmers markets, SIW Vegetables still stands out, both for its variety and its location. The drive up the shady Route 100, following the twists of the Brandywine, offers some respite from the heat, the staff is always friendly and the selection can’t be beat.
This is where we discovered “ugly” tomatoes a couple years ago, and we haven’t looked back since. SIW offers the best corn going, grown right on Haskell’s Farm, and it harvests daily to ensure freshness as long as the crop is in. You’ll find all the items you expect—melons, peaches, squash, eggplant, cut flowers and more. But you’ll find unique heirloom varieties. Believe us: There is a pronounced difference in taste. SIW is worth a weekly visit, or consider a subscription to the CSA next season. (The take for last week: 4 pounds of squash, two cucumbers, an eggplant, a cantaloupe, three delicious tomatoes, two white onions, a red onion, two bulbs of garlic and a bunch of zinnias to dress up the kitchen table.) Come fall, SIW is worth a visit for the apples alone.
4317 S Creek Road in Chadds Ford, (610) 388-065, siw-vegetables.blogspot.com
For Lobster Lovers
One we love: Deep Blue Bar and Grill offers a special lobster dinner on Saturday night. The menu changes with chef Matthew Crist’s whims, but here’s a random sample, from last Saturday night:
Black Bean & Coconut Milk Soup
Lobster empanada, lime cream
Lobster Basmati Rice
Mango purée, macadamia nut coulis
Grilled Lobster Tail
Crispy tostones, orange-chile vinaigrette
All that for $29. It’s worth checking in week to week to see what’s on the slate.
Kids and KitchenAids
Since it’s soooo fashionable to “like” things these days, let it be said that we like Sprouting Chefs, Katie Freer’s new cooking school for kids. There are classes, summer camps, birthday parties and more, all with an emphasis on local agriculture and teaching real life skills through cooking: math through measuring and multiplying, cultural geography through regional and ethnic foods, language skills and socialization through interaction with classmates—you get the picture. This is no slouch operation. Chef Katie has a master’s degree in early childhood and elementary ed. She has plenty of experience as a teaching alum of the venerable Kids Cottage in Rehoboth, and she’s worked with some of the best restaurants at the beach. Kids 3-12 are welcome. Regular classes are Saturdays, 9 a.m.-noon, at Lewes Presbyterian Church, but classes are just the start. There’s plenty of time to register for the three camps in August.
(609) 405-2282, sproutingchef.com, or email Katie@sproutingchef.com