Restaurant Guide: Localvores Unite
The farm-to-table movement is sweeping the state. Why? Supporting local farms builds communities—and fresh food just plain tastes better. Here are some restaurants at the fore of the movement.
Research assistance by Rebecca Kasman
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Hobos Restaurant + Bar
56 Baltimore Ave., Rehoboth Beach
Penning a new menu daily allows Hobos chef-owner Gretchen Hanson the flexibility to use the latest and freshest ingredients available. Hydroponic grower Brenda Dunning of Small Wonder farm cultivates herbs, lettuce, cucumbers and more year-round, and Davidson’s Exotic Mushrooms keeps Hanson’s fungi-friendly menu stocked. Hanson also scours the Rehoboth Farmers Market each week hoping to spread the wealth among the area’s many small, family-owned farms. “Five acres or less is my focus,” she says. “I try and support those farmers as much as possible.”
Home Grown Café
126 E. Main St., Newark
Chef Eric Aber composes daily specials based on deliveries from the Lancaster Farm Fresh Co-op’s community-supported agriculture program. So that wild mushroom-pumpkin soup and grilled romaine salad taste extra-fresh because they are. A cadre of local dairy farmers, including Pennsylvania faves Misty Creek Dairy in Leola and Maplehofe Dairy in Quarryville, provide organic pasteurized cheeses. Magnolia Bread Co. provides bread and Woodside Farm Creamery provides ice cream. Home Grown’s terrific bar serves brews from Dogfish Head, Victory, Evolution and Yuengling. Bottles from Bouchaine Vineyards, owned by Delawareans Tatiana and Gerret Copeland, fill out the wine list.
213 Anglers Road, Lewes, 645-6888
52 Rehoboth Ave., Rehoboth, 227-5758
105 Union St., Milton, 684-8889
Sourcing everything from corner produce stands to Kirby & Holloway Provisions, all three Irish Eyes locations are big-time localvores. Lewes Dairy provides the milk. Georgetown’s 16 Mile Brewery provides the beer. Mushrooms, blue crab and fish come from Wilmington, Cambridge, Maryland, and Annapolis, respectively. Buying local, says head chef Marcus Donovan, is “like keeping it in the family.”
14th and Scott streets, Wilmington, 658-4600
When a group of big guns from Harry’s Hospitality Group (the people behind Harry’s Savoy, Harry’s Seafood and Harry’s Market)—namely, Xavier Teixido, David Leo Banks and Kelly O’Hanlon—purchased Kid Shelleen’s Charcoal House and Saloon in September, observers wondered what sort of changes might occur at the well-established and popular neighborhood spot. One big change is a renewed attention to fresh ingredients. The Jenny Farm Steakburger, a new signature item, is made from choice cuts of grass-fed beef (hence the “steak” in the name) from Green Valley Farms in Unionville, Pennsylvania. “We’ve been to the farm, been to the slaughterhouse,” Banks says. “We call it a steak burger because we’re able to choose the cuts of beef.” And like the Harry’s restaurants, Kid’s relies on local seasonal produce, meat and fish.
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