8th & Union sts.
Italy claims half of chef Matthew Curtis’ DNA, so it’s no wonder his Union City Grille features his handmade pastas. Enjoy fettuccine with basil-tomato sauce; pappardelle with meatballs in basil and Parmesan tomato sauce; gnocchi with mushrooms, arugula, goat cheese cream, and truffle breadcrumbs; and linguine with gulf shrimp, charred broccoli, tomato and lemon.
Chef-owner Matthew Curtis of Union City Grille has won awards for his lasagna and
meatballs, so he knows his way around Italian. Whether you sample his handmade
linguine in clam sauce, gnocchi with goat cheese and mushrooms, or fettuccine
pomodoro, you’ll see why UCG has succeeded so well in Little Italy.
Union City Grille crafts fresh food that kids will actually eat, from chicken fingers to mini-burgers and fries and creamy penne mac-and-cheese. There’s even a kid-friendly crudite plate, with crunchy cucumber, carrots, celery and cheeses. Jamie Oliver should take notes.
Matthew Curtis took over Union City Grille without much of the buzz or fanfare that accompanied the half-dozen or so new restaurants in Wilmington. The Grille’s reputation had been fading. It was considered a decent place for steak, but not much else. Curtis, a former chef at Deep Blue and Toscana, figured great ingredients, good value and some new blood could get people jazzed about Union City again. “The idea was trying to establish a new clientele, a bigger database and just market the place properly,” Curtis says. “They always say if you buy good food, people will appreciate it.” So far, his plan has worked. Monthly wine dinners, great happy hours and his terrific, uncomplicated dishes have people talking. “We’re not reinventing the wheel,” he says. “More like we’re re-teaching people how to love food.”