Migrating up Market Street was a good move for Orillas Tapas Bar & Restaurant, where chef Julio Lazzarini introduced New Castle County to Spanish favorites like croquettes of Serrano ham and garlicky sautéed shrimp. The menu varies with the season. The toppings on his flatbreads are ever changing and always delicious. The paellas are rich with saffron. Five years since it opened, Orillas remains a fave.
Serrano ham croquettes with guava rum glaze—tempted? It’s the kind of dish that makes
Orillas Tapas Bar and Restaurant traditional and innovative at the same time. We love the
Orillas Tapas Bar and Restaurant ditched its 400 block digs to make a move uptown,
away from the constant construction and to the heart of Market Street. That means more
people may be willing to seek it out and try chef Julio Lazzarini’s delicious preparations.
It’s perfect before or after a show at The Grand and still only a short walk from World
Cafe Live at The Queen.
Tasty tapas at Orillas Tapas Bar and Restaurant come under the control of chef Julio Lazzarini, but the wonderfully refreshing sangria is all mom. Ivelisse Lazzarini’s recipe calls for strong wine to form a base flavor—think Cabernet or Tempranillo—and sugar-free fruit juice such as high-quality pomegranate juice. Be generous with the chopped fruit, she says, and keep red fruits (plums, red apples, red grapes) with red sangria and white fruits (pears, honeydew, white grapes) with white sangria. Orillas has barrels of both at the bar, plus sparkling wine sangria de cava and St-Germain sangria. Grab a glass during happy hour (5 p.m. to 7 p.m.) for $5.
The ever-changing menu at Orillas Tapas Bar and Restaurant offers tiny dishes filled with things such as Serrano ham croquettes with guava-rum glaze, marinated olives, roasted red peppers and the mainstay item, garlicky gambas al ajillo. The atmosphere—a welcoming wooden bar, a few intimate tables, exposed brick and low lights—is muy romantic.
When he opened Orillas Tapas in 2008, Julio Lazzarini brought something new to a town thought to be set in its conservative ways. Two years later, Lazzarini has become toast of the town and a bona fide celebrity chef. The CIA grad’s tapas, his intimate dining room and his commitment to downtown Wilmington’s revitalization have won over the throngs. He’s appeared on the Food Network, at Meals from the Masters and the National Restaurant Association’s annual gala.