The Only Constant: Change
Changes to the dining scene are less about openings of new restaurants and closings of old ones. They’re about seasoned pros doing new things. Here’s the dish.
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Nothing is static in the Delaware dining scene. Restaurants open. Restaurants close. But if one storyline was most persistent this year, it was the Comeback.
Two New Castle County giants recently announced their returns from the abyss: Greenville’s popular Brandywine Brewing Co. was rebooted by owner David Dietz as BBC Tavern and Grill, and the stoic, long-shuttered Columbus Inn in Wilmington, previously marked for upscale condo buildings, will return to its former glory this spring.
Greenville is abuzz about the BBC. Dietz hesitates to call his BBC Tavern and Grill a reopening or a rebirth, but the owner of the former Brandywine Brewing Co. acknowledges his legacy. Famous pretzels, gigantic nachos and fabulous beer are once again hot-ticket items, but the kitchen, helmed by talented Mark Doto, also does barbecued scallops and seared sea bass. Customers must be nutty for BBC’s repurposed church pews, because the place is heavenly popular.
The Columbus Inn, the nearly 300-year-old Wilmington landmark on Pennsylvania Avenue, was purchased last fall by Louis Capano & Associates, which hopes to revive its old charm while bringing it into the 21st century. That means a few cosmetic changes will be made—like turning an old coat room into a glass-enclosed wine room—without departing from the Inn’s famous cozy, dark-wooded atmosphere.
Dover saw some promising signs to its dining scene, including Frankie’s in Dover Downs, a casual, Sinatra-themed Italian restaurant that’s big on wine, pasta and brick oven pizzas.
Celebrity chef Jamie Weist carted back into town with The Club Bistro and Pub in the former spot of the Three Little Bakers in Pike Creek. A comfortable upstairs bistro serves hand-cut pappardelle pasta, certified Angus steaks, pan-seared scallops and golf course views. The downstairs pub offers burgers, nachos, sandwiches and light fare—with a cold beer, of course.
Speaking of beer, Delaware got its newest brewery in the form of 16 Mile Brewery in Georgetown. Native Delawareans and homebrew gurus Chad Campbell and Brett McCrea opened the microbrewery inside a 100-year-old former farm building. The fruits of their labors include the sweet and hoppy Amber Sun Ale and the slightly citrusy Old Court Ale, both available in bottles and kegs, and at select bars and restaurants.
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