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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Domaine has an unparalleled wine program (400 constantly rotating bottles) that satisfies serious oenophiles and neophytes, all in a dining area that feels more like your neighbor’s rec room than a stuffy wine bar. The country French bistro-style menu is as rock-solid as the wine program, one heavy on seasonal ingredients and motifs. Even rack of lamb glazed with 15-year-old balsamic vinegar won’t break the bank. Domaine’s regular wine dinners, the ones where vintners themselves are typically present, are a must for wine lovers. And Domaine’s new craft beer list is as impressive as its wine list. 1314 N. Washington St., Wilmington, 655-9463
Dos Locos Stone Grill
Dos Locos really took off when it started offering the stone grill three years ago. Order some beef (or lamb or seafood), then cook it to your liking on a red-hot stone delivered to your table. Choose your own seasoning rub and accompanying sauces such as jerk or teriyaki. The Two Crazies also offer all the standard Mexican dishes such as fajitas, burritos, enchiladas and more. The hacienda decor is as warm as the grilling stones, and the bar sizzles with regular drink specials (but don’t be wary about bringing the kids). 208 Rehoboth Ave., Rehoboth Beach, 227-3353
Carl Georigi’s cozy-chic Eclipse wrote the script for his other restaurants: superior service and straightforward ingredients that sing on the plate. Hearty cold-weather items such as braised short ribs with maple demi-glace always reappear on the menu, along with marinated ribeyes, great pastas and more. Weekends pop with unique fish specials and a small bar crowd. Regulars have been known to dine there five or six nights a week. And it’s truly family-friendly. 1020 N. Union St., Wilmington, 658-1588
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