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.
(page 2 of 26)
Other places may have golf course views, but none is as panoramic as At the Rail’s vantage of White Clay Creek Country Club. You’ll find classic steak and seafood dishes, but the chefs also stretch with offerings such as an appetizer of short rib spanikopita ravioli bursting with tangy feta cheese. Seasonal wine dinners stretch the bounds in delicious ways. The decor is classic and comfortably rich. 777 Delaware Park Blvd., Wilmington, 994-6700
The Augusta Grille
The renovated Clarion Belle hotel is a world away, and with a name like The Augusta, the emphasis is on cuisine of the South, such as peanut soup and pecan- and sweet potato-crusted catfish, pecan pie with bourbon cream and, from the bar, cool mint juleps. But there are Italian favorites too, prime rib and beef tenderloin, and fresh seafood, all served in a warm, softly lit dining room. 1612 N. Dupont Hwy., New Castle, 299-1414
Almost 30 ago, the Back Burner set the standard for an area that was in need of fine dining, and it remains at the fore. The menu recently changed to accommodate budget-minded diners, but the decor is still country elegant, and the pumpkin-mushroom soup and stuffed mushroom caps remain area classics. There is nothing like a seafood stew Provençal on a chilly night. 425 Hockessin Corner, Hockessin, 239-2314
The Back Porch Café
Made by foodies, for foodies, The Back Porch is the only place in Delaware where you will find grilled rabbit loin with truffled gnocchi or walnut-crusted paillards of duck breast with beet root polenta and blood orange. Chef Leo Medisch and the rest of Back Porch’s owners travel far and wide to excite their taste buds, then pass the adventure on to you, via Pugliese buratta, roasted Guinea hen and more. Try The Back Porch’s Café Flambé, a mix of Kahlua, Galiano and coffee embellished with fresh whipped cream, cinnamon and nutmeg and a rim of scorched sugar. It’s the best, if not the coolest, drink at the beach. Watching one made is akin to watching someone blow glass by hand. 59 Rehoboth Ave., Rehoboth Beach, 227-3674
Page 3: The Restaurant Issue: 96 Favorites, continues...