The Restaurant Issue: 96 Favorites
In our tiny state, 96 restaurants may seem like a lot, so let’s put this in perspective: The Delaware Restaurant Association counts 1,900 members, everything from pizza joints to Zagat-listed classics. How do we choose 96? Editors considered the atmosphere, novelty, quality of cuisine, reputation, longevity, wine program, service and value at 200 top-tier restaurants (plus a few just over the state line), including past Best of Delaware winners. We didn’t include every neighborhood tavern—we’ll get to them in another issue—nor every neighborhood Italian place. (Find them at www.delawaretoday.com/Delaware-Today/February-2008/Dining-Guide-World-Class/.) Left standing: a diverse roster of places you simply must visit—if you haven’t already.
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Owners Bob Mitchell and Tom Holmes scour the markets for aged beef so fine, it should be insured. Your new favorite slab of beef: 10 ounces of certified Angus bliss seared in a 1,600-degree oven. Filet mignon, Delmonico, New York strip—they’re all here. One-of-a-kind seared beef capriccio is served with deep-fried prosciutto, artichokes drizzled with roasted garlic and horseradish-infused olive oil, then garnished with shaved Parmesan. 18585 Coastal Hwy., Suite 6, Rehoboth Beach, 645-9355
Abstractions Sushi Bar
Traditional Japanese decor is hip again, which makes Abstractions even hipper by default. You’ll find sushi and sashimi of salmon, tuna, yellowtail and more, as well as creative maki. If that’s not your thing, try the lobster crab cakes, teriyaki or pad thai. There’s a variety of sakes, as well as sake-based cocktails, a wine list heavy on Californians and more martini combos than you can shake a cocktail mixer at. 203 Rehoboth Ave., Rehoboth Beach, 226-0877
Agave Mexican Grill
At Agave, more than 70 varieties of tequila find their way into glasses for sipping, tasting flights and margaritas. Before opening the place, owner Chris McKeown toured Mexico to learn what gives añejo tequila its oaky finish while he also discovered the secrets of stellar Mexican cuisine. Think chiles en nogada and crispy fish tacos. Diminutive though it is, Agave has become a hotspot. The good: It’s hoppin’. The bad: You might have to wait for a seat. 137 Second St., Lewes, 645-1232
You’ll love the view of the marina from the sunroom, with its towering windows. You’ll also love a festive offering of starters such as skewered jerk chicken, ceviche and conch fritters. Feeling the island vibe yet? Try the dark rum-guava barbecue sauce on the ribs or a good Cuban sandwich. If you like yuca, you’ll find plenty of it here, as chips, as a mash and as gnocchi. 3006 Summit Harbour Place, Bear, 365-6490
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