Mellow Velo

The Children's Beach House goes bike shop chic for its annual bash, Julianna's Kitchen brings Peruvian to Wilmo, and Paciugo whips up a gelato frenzy at the mall.



Tuesday, August 24: It’s hard to imagine Jane and Jennifer Adams, the mother-daughter team that owns Fresh Thymes Café in Wilmington, as anything but kindly, quinoa-loving John Denver fans.

But on Tuesday, the pair will adopt a new guise altogether: that of the infamous Soup Nazi from “Seinfeld.” From 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. Tuesday, the Café will serve soup and nothing but soup, from vegetarian options to more meaty choices. No word whether jambalaya will appear on the menu.

Call Fresh Thymes at 656-2026 for more.

Saturday, August 28: Bikes, scooters, beach cruisers and human-powered vehicles of all shapes and sizes are an inextricable part of the beach landscape.

That’s why the Children’s Beach House in Lewes unveiled a bike theme for its highly anticipated 8th annual Beach Barbecue, which gets underway Saturday at 6:30.

The barbecue, which raises valuable funds for Children’s Beach House programs that serve at-risk children throughout the state, will be catered by local faves Big Fish Grill, while frosty drinks will come via Dogfish Head and Fordham Brewing Co.

The event is casual, though you might want to pack your helmet. The Beach House will be decked out to resemble a bicycle shop, complete with beach cruisers, motorcycles, mopeds, mountain bikes, tricycles, scooters and more. They’re calling it A Bicycle Built for You.

For the third straight year, the Beach House will auction off really cool furniture decorated by local artists. Organizers have moved from Adirondack chairs to coffee tables to this year’s auction items: benches. Twelve hand-painted benches will hit the auction stand Saturday, and to get a sneak peak at the merchandise, click your way here.

Tickets for the ‘cue are $85 and can be purchased by calling 645-9184, or by visiting cbhinc.org.

Joe Van Horn and Sean McNeice: two serious guys.

Tease: If you haven’t read my review of Chelsea Tavern, check it out here. Loved, loved, loved Chelsea’s pizza, which chef Sean McNeice makes using Belgian brewer's yeast. The resulting crust is sort of this perfect, crisp, sourdough canvas. But skip the chicken and waffles.

 

New digs: Paciugo Gelato

First of all, say it Pa-choo-go. The boutique, Dallas-based chain came to Christiana Mall early this summer courtesy of Gianmarco Martuscelli and BJ Harris, who run the Chesapeake Inn. Already, they’re dealing with lines that snake outside the door.

“The response has been tremendous, thankfully,” says Harris, adding that foot-traffic could actually increase when construction on a Target store next-door is complete this fall.

The Martuscelli family fell in love with the Paciugo product at an industry convention, but Paciugo’s commitment to freshness denied them the chance to ship it directly to the Chesapeake Inn or family-run La Casa Pasta. Instead, Martuscelli and Harris opened their own franchise to make fresh gelato daily.

“The freshness of a product is everything,” says Harris, who visited 15 Paciugo locations to witness daily operations. “We were so impressed by their system and their product.”

Paciugo serves anywhere between 32-36 rotating flavors every day from a menu of 360 selections. Choices range from chocolate swirl to black pepper and olive oil. Creamy gelato, made from whole milk, eggs, plus fresh fruits and nuts and flavorings, is lower in fat and calories than ice cream.

Besides the Christiana Mall storefront, Paciugo Gelato is available as a tasting flight on the menu of Chesapeake Inn, and should be available in some form or another when La Casa Pasta reopens following its fire-induced renovation. You can also have gelato for your next party or event thanks to Paciugo’s portable catering cart.

Visit Paciugo at 470 Christiana Mall, Suite 1697, Newark, 266-7500.

New digs: Juliana’s Kitchen

The country that is now Peru was home to one of mankind’s oldest civilizations. But where pre-Columbian society once built some of Earth’s first monumental architecture, today’s Peru is very much a melting pot, as thousands of years has brought waves of European, African and Asian immigrants.

That multi-ethnic flavor is reflected in the cuisine of Peru, which draws influences from the food of China, Spain, Italy and Japan, among others. And with Peru’s rich soil, its tropical Amazon basin jungles, and the highlands of the Andes Mountains, the country’s agriculture is famous for its genetic diversity.

Juliana’s Kitchen (1828 W. 11th St., Wilmington, 888-1828), owned by Juliana and Edwin Jimenez, is pure Peru. Juliana is a Peruvian native, and her parents own a restaurant in Lomas, a beach resort community. The best part about Peruvian cuisine? “There is history behind every plate,” Juliana says while describing tacu-tacu (below), a dish of rice and beans once dismissed as slave food, but today is a national staple.

Juliana's Kitchen tacu-tacu de mariscos

Juliana’s, decorated in Peruvian wares, from table runners to paintings of Machu Picchu, takes over the spot previously occupied by The Dumpling House at 1828 W. 11th St., in Wilmington. Traditional dishes like cold-cooked, lemon-spiked ceviche are popular sellers. Edwin distills the Peruvian menu thusly: “If you like seafood, and if you like spice—whew—you can’t go wrong here.”

The restaurant serves dinner from 3 p.m. to 10 p.m. Tuesday through Thursday (3 p.m.-11 p.m. on Friday), with lunch service available on Saturday and Sunday at 11 a.m. Expect lots of chocolo corn, spicy ají peppers, and Peruvian surprises like chichi morada, a refreshing drink made from purple corn (below), or chaufa, Peru's answer to Chinese fried rice (above).

The Jimenezes say customers usually save room for dessert, and it’s easy to see why with delicious postres like suspiro a la limeña, a rich, caramely custard made from reduced sweetened condensed milk and meringue (below). Suspiro a la limeña translates to: "the sigh of a Limean woman." In other words, this dessert is so tasty and rich, it takes your breath away.

Colorful Juliana’s is just getting the ball rolling on its business, but it offers catering services for up to 100 people, and weekend specials—everything from tamales to grilled beef hearts—are beginning to take form. Stay tuned for more.


STAFF WRITER MARK NARDONE DISHES ON THIS WEEK’S
BEST WINE EVENTS AND MORE

About This Blog

Mark Nardone
Wilmington, DE

From chocolate festivals to wine tastings to new restaurant openings, Dining Insider has the Delaware dining scene covered. Delaware Today's Mark Nardone shares the scoop each week on the food and wine events you simply can’t miss. Contact Mark at mnardone@delawaretoday.com.

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