2012: Best Cocktail Selection
2012: Best Chef
2011: Hippest Bar
2010: Best Restaurant in Downtown Wilmington
2010: Best Cocktail Selection
2010: Best Raw Bar
2010: Best Happy Hour
2009: Best Happy Hour
2008: Best Bar
111 W. 11th St.
At Deep Blue Bar and Grill your mixologists take the time to make their own infusions— tequila with jalapeños, vodka with kumquats—then they turn them into original creations like the Jekyll & Hyde, blending that scorching tequila with blue agave nectar and lime juice to make something hot and sweet. Isn’t that what we all look for at happy hour?
Plenty of restaurants have happy hours, but few combine quality and value like downtown Wilmington’s Deep Blue. Between 5 p.m. and 8 p.m., $5 appetizers take an uptown twist in dishes such as duck spring rolls with ginger-jalapeño aïoli, and littleneck clams in steamed garlic-beer broth. Even draft beers (a low, low $3 a pint) include righteously sippable Stella Artois, Dogfish Head 60 Minute IPA and Twin Lakes Pale Ale. To get extra briny, grab any three oysters from the raw bar for $5.
From little Lady Chatterlys from Nova Scotia to slightly plumper Little Shemogues from New Brunswick, Deep Blue has oysters on the half-shell covered, especially if you like yours covered in fresh cucumber mignonette or American paddlefish caviar. The chic raw bar holds little neck clams and brawny Texas shrimp cocktail.
Staffers at Deep Blue Bar and Grill have revived the downtown happy hour scene, especially on Wednesdays, when Wilmington After Work draws the thirstiest customers and lovers of live music. But the Grays (critics Harold and Linda) award Deep Blue for its “central location with mingling space,” says Harold, as well as the “good appetizers, cocktails and bartenders.” On Thursdays, half-priced oysters are popular, and on Wednesdays, $3 tapas go great with $4 glasses of Wente Riesling. There’s a new tapas menu every week and some sort of entertainment. Bar food includes tuna tartare, steamed Mediterranean mussels, crispy beef wonton and fried oysters. In other words, it’s not your standard happy hour grub.
Best of Delaware History:
2012 Best Chef, Readers, Upstate
2012 Best Cocktail Selection, Editors, Upstate
2010 Best Cocktail Selection, Upstate, Readers (tie)
2010 Best Restaurant in Downtown Wilmington,
2010 Best Raw Bar, Upstate, Critics
2010 Best Happy Hour, Upstate, Critics
2009 Best Happy Hour, Upstate, Critics
2008 Best Bar, Upstate, Critics
2007 Best Seafood, Upstate, Critics
2007 Best Happy Hour, Upstate, Critics
2006 Best Restaurant in Downtown Wilmington, Upstate, Readers
2005 Best Upscale Restaurant, Upstate, Readers
2005 Best Upscale Restaurant, Readers
2005 Best Downtown Wilmington Restaurant, Upstate, Readers