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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Closing in on 100 years, the stately space formerly known as Main Dining Room is still the epitome of fine dining. The Green Room wraps French-inspired cuisine in gold chandeliers, mahogany walls and Versace china under a soaring ceiling. Executive chef Keith Miller, who’s been with DuPont hospitality for 18 years, is a creative force (and accomplished sugar artist) who is tasked with harnessing the energy of his young, Culinary Institute of America-trained team. The premier special-occasion place isn’t for special occasions only—a $27 entrée isn’t a king’s ransom, and The Green Room offers a three-course meal for $40 every night. On the regular menu, you’ll find pan-roasted squab, seared Costa Rican corvina and Muscovy duck with kale marmalade, but if the crab and fontina cheese sandwich ever left the menu (or heaven forbid, the macaroons), regulars would revolt. 100 W. 11th St., Wilmington, 594-3154
Harry’s Savoy Grill
The flagship of David Banks and owner Xavier Teixido continues to be an indomitable force. The naysayers who think Harry’s hasn’t changed in 20 years are still out there, blissfully unaware that Harry’s was one of the first around to add ceviche to an American menu. Even still, the prime rib, lobster and crab cakes remain superb. It’s the perfect place if your party is a mixed bag. Steak and crab cakes for some, duck confit and ostrich loin for others. All are delicious. Sommelier Anne Hood is one of the best. She trains servers at both Harry’s restaurants in the ways of the grape. 2020 Naamans Road, Wilmington, 475-3000
Busy in a fun way, Harry’s, like its beef-and-lobster forebear, consistently sources better product than its competition. And you can’t beat the view of the Christina River. Splurge on the grand seafood plateau, a full-on thesis of the raw bar’s best in oysters, mussels, clams, shrimp, ceviche, sashimi, ponzu and lobster. Never be afraid to ask your server exactly what, pray tell, an amberjack, a triple tail or a bigeye is. He’ll explain gladly, and it’s usually delicious. (P.S.: They’re fish.) 101 S. Market St., Wilmington, 777-1500
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