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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Horace Shellhammer’s (260 Chapman Road, Newark, 738-0758) has made a go where many others have failed by offering good tavern fare with Tex-Mex for fair prices in a lively atmosphere.
Decked in Tiffany lamps and antiques inspired by a restaurant of the same name near Baltimore, House of Welsh (1106 Coastal Hwy., Fenwick Island, 541-0728) has been a Fenwick tradition for 12 years. Known for its seafood platters, crab cakes and steaks at fair prices, the House is the sort of friendly place where regulars revisit and newcomers are fast to make friends. Burger night on Monday packs them in, as does chef Martha Hitchens’ famous fish fry.
Visit any Irish Eyes Pub (213 Anglers Road, Lewes, 645-6888; 105 Union St., Milton, 684-8889; 52 Rehoboth Ave., Rehoboth Beach, 227-5758) for the fresh seafood bar, Irish classics such as corned beef and cabbage and shepherd’s pie, a couple Italian choices, and a warm pub atmosphere that instantly feels like home.
No matter where it pops up—now with eight locations and counting (two in Delaware)—Iron Hill Brewery and Restaurant (710 S. Madison St., Wilmington, 472-2739; 147 E. Main St., Newark, 266-9000) becomes an inseparable part of the local fabric. Visiting parents and new graduates are often treated to dinner at Iron Hill near UD’s campus, because the place is nice enough for a special occasion but comfortable enough to feel like home. Gastropub cuisine, especially the juicy half-pound burgers, are always done well.
An inviting, 40-seat patio and a fresh, flavorful, workmanlike menu are what has made Jack’s Bistro (222 Delaware St., New Castle, 544-5174) a fast favorite in Old New Castle. Named for owner Steve Coruzzi’s WWII-veteran grandfather, friendly Jack’s has been embraced by the neighborhood for its affordable family dining, especially sautéed crab cakes and Guinness-battered fish and chips. “I’m not some five-star, classically trained chef,” Coruzzi says. “We just want the food to be simple, accessible and flavorful.”
To transform the wood-paneled watering hole once known as the Hi-Ho Tavern into the James Street Tavern (2 S. James St., Newport, 998-6903), owners gutted the place, raised the ceiling, exposed some brickwork and injected a slightly more upscale character without abandoning the pub-tavern feel. Now a healthy mix of blue-collar and white-collar regulars hit James Street for cheesesteaks or flat iron steak with cipollini onions, plus live music and a great new wine list.
Page 5: Neighborhood Faves, continues...