The Bar Exam
Our resident party boy tested a few great places to get your drink on.
These earn the As.
research assistance by Caitlin Birch
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Dead Presidents Restaurant and Bar (618 N. Union St., Wilmington, 652-7737) has a beer list that’s more Dublin than Little Italy, and the place is a relaxing neighborhood hangout in the coolest of ways. Catch the game here with people who actually care enough about the teams not to talk over the them.
The next wave of Wilmington power people—think bankers, lawyers, etc.—head to the urbane, upscale Deep Blue (111 W. 11th St., Wilmington, 777-2040). What makes it so snazzy? Credit the impressive wine list, specials on oysters (instead of wings) and the hip, upscale vibe. The open space allows everyone to see everyone else. On Wednesdays, $3 tapas go great with $4 glasses of Wente Riesling, and live music on Friday nights draws a bit of a younger crowd.
Watch your step on the way out of Del Rose Café (1707 Delaware Ave., Wilmington, 656-3015): the first is a real doozie. This modest tavern was a Trolley Square fixture long before the neighborhood became known as Trolley Square. There’s always live music. There’s never a cover.
The bar is tiny, for good reason, but there is no better place to sample wines from around the world than Domaine Hudson Wine Bar & Eatery (1314 N. Washington St., Wilmington, 655-9463).
Chic Exchange on Market (902 N. Market St., Wilmington, 351-4074) serves the mysterious X, a combo of Bacardi O, lychee liqueur, triple sec and orange juice. It’s hot with the after-work crew, which also appreciates the extensive wine menu, and the more up-tempo late-night crowd.
Some of the best culture clashes go down at Gallucio’s (1709 Lovering Ave., Wilmington, 655-3689), a classic neighborhood place known for gourmet pizza and, now, karaoke. On Saturday nights, cozy up to the bar to hear octogenarians murder Sinatra and 20-somethings butcher Britney. It’s all good.
Harry’s Seafood Grill (101 S. Market St., Wilmington, 777-1500) is the hip place for Wilmington’s movers and shakers. With its backlit central bar on the Christina, its esoteric martinis (like the Elderflower cocktail, with rosemary-infused ruby red vodka, St. Germaine liqueur and grapefruit juice), the power crowd rocks out to the Beatles and The Doors on Friday nights.
The Green Room Bar in the Hotel du Pont (11th and Market streets, Wilmington, 595-3100) is without a doubt the most elegant place in the state for an intimate drink.
Iron Hill Restaurant and Brewery (147 E. Main St., Newark, 266-9000; 710 S. Madison St., Wilmington, 472-2739) was a revelation when it opened—and it’s still growing. Brews such as Pig Iron Porter consistently win awards, and seasonal specials keep the selection interesting all year. The Wilmington location hops after work upstairs, downstairs and outside. In Newark, it’s the place UD undergrads take their visiting parents, then head back after they’ve left to down more raspberry wheat beers.
Named after Old Hickory himself, the Jackson Inn (101 N. Dupont Road, Wilmington, 652-9972) has been around since the late 1700s. The legend goes that Andrew Jackson visited the place during a campaign stop. Today it’s a comfortable spot for regulars to down Yuengling, munch on secretly coded cheese steaks (try the F11), quaff a Sam Adams and, on Fridays, enjoy live music.
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