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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It’s rare to find a neighborhood restaurant that serves grilled duck sausage and cocoa braised veal, but sophisticated bistro dining is part of the experience at Rigby’s Bar and Grill (404 Rehoboth Ave., Rehoboth Beach, 227-6080). Chef Theo Lipkins’ forward-thinking cuisine pairs well with a relaxing atmosphere and a lively bar crowd to make Rigby’s the go-to neighborhood spot in a foodie-friendly town.
In the shadow of the St. Georges Bridge, the smell of bubbling roux and the sound of Delta blues music emanates from Saint George’s Country Store (1 Delaware St., St Georges, 836-8202), a diminutive mom-and-pop place built into a historic general store. From-scratch Creole inspired dishes like jambalaya filled with tasso pork, andouille sausage, chicken, crawfish and shrimp, keep the place packed.
Half-price wines on Thursdays and Twin Lakes brews help make Six Paupers Tavern & Restaurant (7465 Lancaster Pike, Hockessin, 489-7287) a favorite. So does food such as ribs, strip steaks, seafood and delicious pasta dishes, most with a twist. Typical pub grub is anything but.
Oyster shooters, 50-plus TVs and a loaded late-night menu have certainly endeared Smitty McGee’s Raw Bar (37234 Lighthouse Road, West Fenwick Island, 436-4716) to the local sports crowd. Huge burgers, spicy Key West wings, party-like happy hours with shrimp and beer galore, plus a dash of Irish tomfoolery keep every local wickedly happy. Prime rib is delicious. Have your fish sandwich grilled or fried. The neighborhood is surrounded by water, so there’s a slip for your boat.
It’s close to impossible to sniff an ounce of unoccupied floor space during Eagles games at Stanley’s Tavern (2038 Foulk Road, Wilmington, 475-1887). That’s because Stanley’s is not simply a place with pennants and memorabilia on the walls, but a tavern where local sports are gospel. That’s what has endeared the warmly paneled 75-year-old Stanley’s to North Wilmington phanatics—that, and killer wings, ribs, burgers and beer.
It’s easy to underestimate The Starboard Restaurant (Highway One, Dewey Beach, 227-4600) as the archetypal Dewey party place, but don’t underestimate the delicious burgers, solid entrées such as Chesapeake chicken with crab meat and Swiss cheese, and a full Sunday brunch (with the famous bloody Mary bar, natch).
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