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.
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Dilworthtown 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 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 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...