It’s a beautiful day in the neighborhood, but just what makes a great neighborhood restaurant? Picture casual places that are often close to actual neighborhoods, places that often welcome the kids, and places where you’ll often find a burger, as well as food that approaches fine dining, but with prices that won’t break the bank. Find your new favorite here.
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Crab cakes, friendly service and endless music are a few cornerstones of Elements Restaurant (423 N. Broad St., Middletown, 378-0448). Elements is part piano bar and part cozy neighborhood hangout, with its traditional decor and two brick fireplaces. Wednesday is open-mic night at musically thinking Elements. Live piano music goes down every Friday and Saturday evening.
Gino and Ruth Veriopoulos have owned European Bistro (1710 Naamans Road, Wilmington, 529-7773) for 20 years. The secret to longevity for this tiny 12-table bistro is the from-scratch Greek delicacies like gyros assembled from grilled lamb, real Greek yogurt and grilled pita, or Ruth’s traditional Greek avgolemono soup and mammoth tostarello sandwiches. Customers are treated like family, Ruth says, and, “If someone is ordering their first gyro, I love seeing them take their first bite.”
To many regulars, summer means briny Chincoteague oysters or steamed clams with drawn butter at Fins Fish House and Raw Bar (243 Rehoboth Ave., Rehoboth Beach, 226-3467). The family-friendly fish house sources nearly 35 types of oysters from around the world, and sources locally when it comes to desserts and beers.
Pizza, karaoke and a comfy rec-room feel have kept people coming back to Gallucio’s (1709 Lovering Ave., Wilmington, 655-3689) for years. The covered patio and spacious bar are legendary local meeting places, and the cuisine—from wings to stuffed shells—is pure comfort food. Crispy fried heaven known as panzarotti will have you thinking Italian Festival
At Go Fish! (24 Rehoboth Ave., Rehoboth Beach, 226-1044), owner Alyson Blyth gets raves for her mum’s fish and chips recipe, but tandoori chicken skewers, bangers and mash, and baked fisherman’s pie make this a right proper place for all appetites. We love the tube stop signs, the solar power, and the Boddington’s and New Castle Brown Ale.
Clad in cedar shakes, tiny Half Full (113 W. Market St., Lewes, 645-8877) may be intimate, but it’s brimming with big ideas. The global wine list traverses from Argentinean Malbec to South African Syrah to German Riesling and Italian Primativo, and complements the bold flavors of the oblong, wood-fired pizzas. They’re topped with everything from acorn squash purée, wild boar sausage and mascarpone, to fresh arugula.
From Day 1 in 1983, Harpoon Hanna’s (39064 Harpoon Road, Fenwick Island, 539-3095) has catered to seafood lovers with a few menu items that have never changed: crab imperial, stuffed flounder, broiled scallops and more. The same goes for beef lovers, whether they prefer grilled steaks or prime rib. With a kicking bar and a deck with one of the best sunset views at the beach, Harpoon Hanna’s has made itself a classic.
Page 4: Neighborhood Faves, continues...