Margherita and Vincenza Carrieri-Russo’s V&M Bistro in Wilmington earned the editors’ pick for Best Homemade
Pasta upstate.//Photo by Leslie Barbaro

Restaurants

Appetizers

Readers, upstate •• Klondike Kate’s •• 158 E. Main St., Newark, 737-6100


Bar

Readers, upstate •• Grain Craft Bar + Kitchen •• 270 E. Main St., Newark, 737-2931


Bar Menu

Editors, upstate •• There are 25 hearty and delicious items on the menu at Tonic Bar and Grille. We are big fans of the curried cauliflower and the mildly spicy empanada of chicken, chorizo and Manchego cheese—and of the gooey grilled cheese of cheddar and Gouda with tangy roasted tomato and caramelized red onions. Enjoy with a spicy Moscow Bull. •• 111 W. 11th St., Wilmington, 777-2040


Beer Selection

Readers, upstate •• Two Stones Pub •• 300 Lantana Drive, Hockessin, 239-2200 •• 2502 Foulk Road, Wilmington, 439-3231 •• Read more about Two Stones Pub here.

Two Stones cofounder Ben Muse is crafty when it comes to selecting brews.//Photo by Leslie Barbaro


Bistro

Editors, upstate •• Eclipse Bistro was the first of the Platinum Dining Group restaurants (which now includes Capers & Lemons and Taverna), and it is as welcome now as when it opened 20 years ago. Throughout its evolution, it remains committed to innovative food, great wine and a relaxed dining experience. Start with the Taleggio puffs, sublimely crispy pillows served with a barely sweet syrup. They are a perfect lead to duck breast with wilted Swiss chard and light cherry jus. Your wine? The servers will never steer you wrong. •• 1020 N. Union St., Wilmington, 658-1588


Breakfast Place

Readers, upstate •• Drip Café •• 144 Lantana Drive, Hockessin, 234-4430


Breakfast Sandwich

Editors, upstate •• Served all day, the satisfying breakfast sandwiches at LOMA Coffee can be customized to your heart’s content. Try an everything bagel with egg, turkey bacon, Cooper Sharp American cheese and hot sauce. The welcoming staff and cozy seating area are icing on the cake. •• 239 N. Market St., Wilmington, 384-8494


Brewpub

Readers, upstate  Iron Hill Brewery & Restaurant •• 147 E. Main St., Newark, 266-9000 •• 620 Justison St., Wilmington, 472-2739


Brunch

Readers, upstate  Drip Café •• 144 Lantana Drive, Hockessin, 234-4430


Brunch with a View

Editors, upstate  You’ll be impressed by the view of the buffet tables, meat carving stations and seafood raw bar at Deerfield, all heaped with favorite foods. But on sunny days, it’s the brightness of the room and vista of the lush golf course through the bank of ceiling-high windows that make the meal unforgettable. You’ll have to wait until September for service to start again—but it’s worth it. • 507 Thompson Station Road, Newark, 368-6640


Burgers

Readers, upstate  Kid Shelleen’s Charcoal House & Saloon  1801 W. 14th St., Wilmington, 658-4600


Ceviche

Editors, upstate •• You can find fancy versions served in appetizer portions at some upscale seafood restaurants, but they are a mere tease. At The Chicken House Peruvian Cuisine, you will get a soul-satisfying meal of fresh fish, shrimp, shellfish or a combination marinated in lime and full of bright cilantro flavor. It is one of summer’s perfect foods. • 422 E. Main St., Middletown, 376-7793 •• 1224 Capitol Trail, Newark, 737-2426


Charcuterie and Cheese Plate

Editors, upstate •• These days, menus are “curated.” Sometimes, we could do without the pretense. Simply put, Corner Bistro works hard to find an ever-interesting selection of cured meats and artisanal cheeses. The cheeses come from local farms (expect a triple-crème Brie and sweet Spanish Manchego). We appreciate that, but what really gets us are the pickled vegetables that come with the plate and items such as preserved grapes, candied pecans, seductive house-made rosemary honey and blackberry balsamic. Sharing is optional. •• 3604 Silverside Road, Wilmington, 477-1778

The charcuterie and cheese plate at Corner Bistro in Wilmington is tops upstate, according to the editors.//Photo by Leslie Barbaro


Chef

Readers, upstate •• Robbie Jester of Stone Balloon Ale House •• 115 E. Main St., Newark, 266-8111 •• Read more about Robbie here.

Robbie Jester of Stone Balloon Ale House//Photo by Leslie Barbaro


Cocktail Selection

Readers, upstate •• Copperhead Saloon •• 3826 Kennett Pike, Greenville, 256-0535 


Coffee Shop

Readers, upstate •• Brew HaHa! •• 3838 Kennett Pike, Greenville, 658-6336 •• 45 E. Main St., Newark, 369-2600 •• at Christiana Hospital, 4755 Ogletown-Stanton Road, Newark •• 733-2739; 3636 Concord Pike, Wilmington, 478-7227 •• 222 Delaware Ave., Wilmington, 777-5137 •• 1400 N. Dupont St., Wilmington, 384-6344 •• 5329 Limestone Road, Wilmington, 234-9600 •• 824 N. Market St., Wilmington, 777-4499 •• 1812 Marsh Road, Wilmington, 529-1125


Crab Cakes

Readers, upstate •• The Grille at Back Creek •• 101 Back Creek Drive, Middletown, 378-6499

Editors, upstate •• A light binder and subtle seasoning let the sweet flavor of blue crab shine in the meaty cakes at Courtyard by Marriott-Newark. It’s no wonder the hotel has become a go-to, even in a state that is outrageously blessed with great crab cakes. •• 400 David Hollowell Drive, Newark, 737-0900


Crab House

Editors, over the line •• Never mind the steam pot dinners, snow crabs, mussels and other enticements at Hilltop Crab House Restaurant, the best way to enjoy the place is to have a seat in the big back room with a pile of steamed blue crabs. •• 8980 Gap-Newport Pike, Toughkenamon, Pa., (610) 268-2766


Date-Night Restaurant

Readers, upstate •• Grain Craft Bar + Kitchen •• 270 E. Main St., Newark, 737-2931

Editors, upstate •• With its white linens and white glove service, The Green Room set the standard as a place to impress. Whether you want to make that impression on a first date or a 25th wedding anniversary, the rococo decor, wine list and fine food will always work magic. •• Hotel du Pont, 11th and Market streets, Wilmington, 594-3154


Desserts

Readers, upstate •• Caffé Gelato •• 90 E. Main St., Newark, 738-5811


Dining Icon

Editors, upstate •• Since the war of 1812, Columbus Inn has offered hospitality to travelers and neighbors alike. Traces of the core Colonial structure, such as exposed rafters, remain, but the place is thoroughly modern in feeling and in its approach to dining. The menu features hearty beef, chops, chicken and seafood—the kind of food that never goes out of style, the kind of style that defines an icon. •• 2216 Pennsylvania Ave., Wilmington, 571-1492


Dinner Before the Show

Editors, upstate •• From Chelsea Tavern, The Grand Opera House is a short hop across the street, and The Queen Theater is less than four blocks. That means you can enjoy great gastropub fare until 10 minutes before curtain. You’ll be wowed by fun starters such as fried pickles and cauliflower, pizzas from a wood-burning oven (not to be confused with the much-marketed Wood Stone oven) and entrées like the crispy maple leaf duck. After the show, you can return for a nightcap. •• 821 N. Market St., Wilmington, 482-3333


Family Place

Readers, upstate •• The Well Coffeehouse and Marketplace •• 6949 Lancaster Pike, Hockessin, 352-1717


Fine Dining

Readers, upstate •• The House of William & Merry •• 1336 Old Lancaster Pike, Hockessin, 234-2255


Guacamole

Editors, upstate •• We don’t know what makes the guacamole so special at El Diablo Burritos, but believe us: It’s special. Thick, subtly seasoned—even better than the guac made tableside at some Mexican restaurants. We like it in our burritos, with our quesadillas and atop our salads, but, really, just give us a bowl and a spoon. •• 127 E. Main St., Newark, 439-4541 •• Shops at Limestone Hills, Limestone Road, Wilmington •• 1812 Marsh Road, Wilmington, 439-4648 •• 13 Trolley Square, Wilmington, 691-5532


Happy Hour

Readers, upstate •• Grain Craft Bar + Kitchen •• 270 E. Main St., Newark, 737-2931


Healthy Fare

Readers, upstate •• Home Grown Café •• 126 E. Main St., Newark, 266-6993


Historic Dining

Editors, upstate •• The former Cantwell’s Bridge Hotel and Tavern was built in 1822. It operated for 100 years in the port town of Cantwell’s Bridge (later renamed Odessa). The eponymous Cantwell’s Tavern is now housed inside the historic Brick Hotel, which was fully restored as an early 19th century-style tavern. Cantwell’s offers upscale casual dining with dishes like beer-battered fish and chips, wood-fired pizzas and a wide selection of craft beers, including locally brewed Taylor’s Grog. •• 109 Main St., Odessa, 376-0600


Homemade Pasta

Editors, upstate •• Delaware may be small, but the competition for authentic Italian food is steep. That didn't scare sisters Vincenza and Margherita Carrieri-Russo, who opened V&M Bistro in 2014. Their family operation has been keeping the locals fed with perfectly al dente pasta such as linguine with sautéed clams and moon-shaped agnolotti in a white truffle cream. •• 1717 Marsh Road, Wilmington, 479-7999


Hot Dogs

Readers, upstate •• The Dog House •• 1200 N. Dupont Hwy., New Castle, 328-5380


Late-Night Menu

Readers, upstate •• Grain Craft Bar + Kitchen •• 270 E. Main St., Newark, 737-2931


Lobster Rolls

Editors, upstate •• There’s no skimping on the main attraction at Trolley Square Oyster House. The lobster is tossed in a combination of smoky brown butter and mayonnaise and served in a fresh split-top bun. Rich, delicious, filling. (See page 65.) •• 1707 Delaware Ave., Wilmington, 384-7310


Lunch Spot

Readers, upstate •• Grain Craft Bar + Kitchen •• 270 E. Main St., Newark, 737-2931

Editors, upstate •• For the kind of old-school sandwiches you grew up eating but just can’t seem to re-create at home, head to Degnar’s Greenhill Deli. A simple turkey sub with lettuce, mayo, salt and pepper is indescribably delightful. You can also choose from an array of specialty pizzas, cheesesteaks, strombolis and pastas. Wash your meal down with a homemade iced tea or lemonade. •• 2501 W. Fourth St., Wilmington, 656-3663


Makeover

Editors, upstate •• When Mickey Donatello took over the beloved Bon Appetit Gourmet Food Shoppe a few years ago, he knew exactly what to keep and what to change. Customer favorites—the breads, cheeses, pâtés and cured meats—stayed, but he refurbished the interior to give it a chic, French-cottage feel. The interior is rustic yet refined and paired with the modern menu, customers are easily transported to Paris. •• 3629 Silverside Road, Wilmington, 478-4344


Margaritas

Editors, upstate •• Both Del Pez Mexican Gastropubs offer a robust lineup of craft margaritas, each one brimming with refreshing flavors. If you’re craving something sweet, consider the Strawberry Irapuato: strawberry-infused tequila, jalapeño-infused simple syrup, basil leaves, lime juice and strawberry puree. We can’t resist ordering one (or two) without a side of fresh guac. •• 76 E. Main St., Newark, 738-3800 •• 400 Justison St., Wilmington, 691-7974


Mussels

Editors, upstate •• The mussels on the appetizer menu at Buckley’s Tavern are mild, pillowy soft and served with a hearty dose of smoky Andouille sausage, white wine, scallions and tomatoes. Ask for extra garlic bread. •• 5812 Kennett Pike, Wilmington, 656-9776


Nachos

Readers, upstate •• Klondike Kate’s Restaurant and Saloon •• 158 E. Main St., Newark, 737-6100


Neighborhood Favorite

Editors, upstate •• Consistently delicious food at Piccolina Toscana has kept some regulars intrigued for 25 years. Among leading favorites at present: tuna tartare and pork osso bucco over mushroom risotto. The big table encourages communal dining. Sunday buffets feel like family dinners. And the bar stays lively. •• 1412 N. Dupont St., Wilmington, 654-8001


New Restaurant

Readers, upstate •• Churrascaria Saudades Brazilian Steakhouse •• 230 E. Main St., No. 203, Newark, 355-5551

Readers named Churrascaria Saudades Brazilian Steakhouse in Newark as Best New Restaurant upstate.//Photo by
Leslie Barbaro


Outdoor Dining

Readers, upstate •• The Patio at the Hilton Wilmington/Christiana •• 100 Continental Drive, Newark, 454-1500


Pizza

Readers, upstate •• Pizza by Elizabeths •• 3801 Kennett Pike, Greenville, 654-4478


Prime Rib

Editors, upstate •• No one has been doing it longer or better than Harry’s Savoy Grill. It’s been the restaurant’s signature dish since it opened in 1988. Top-quality beef from Midwestern producers is slow roasted for hours to create a tender, juicy dish served simply in its own juices. Choose from cuts from 10 ounces to 18 ounces. Delicious. •• 2020 Naamans Road, Wilmington, 475-3000


Ribs

Readers, upstate •• The Well Coffeehouse and Marketplace •• 6949 Lancaster Pike, Hockessin, 352-1717


Romantic Atmosphere

Readers, upstate •• Caffé Gelato •• 90 E. Main St., Newark, 738-5811


Salads

Readers, upstate •• The Well Coffeehouse and Marketplace •• 6949 Lancaster Pike, Hockessin, 352-1717


Sandwiches

Readers, upstate •• Capriotti’s Sandwich Shop •• 430 Eden Circle, Bear, 832-8132 •• 1835 Pulaski Hwy., Bear, 838-8898 •• 120 Lantana Drive, Hockessin, 257-5222 •• 743 N. Broad St., Middletown, 376-7827 •• 708 W. Basin Road, New Castle, 322-6797 •• 230 E. Main St., No. 241, Newark, 454-0200 •• 4132 Ogletown-Stanton Road, Newark, 533-5132 •• 4522 Kirkwood Hwy., Wilmington, 998-0096 •• 2124 Silverside Road, Wilmington, 479-9818 •• 510 N. Union St., Wilmington, 571-8929


Seafood

Readers, upstate •• Big Fish Grill on the Riverfront •• 720 Justison St., Wilmington, 652-3474


Secret Spot

Editors, upstate •• River Rock Kitchen is one of those secrets that hides in plain sight. Housed in The Westin on the Wilmington Riverfront, it towers above typical hotel restaurants. Curried chick peas are a unique starter. Pan-seared salmon is served atop a toss of shaved apple, cucumber ribbons and watercress over tomato fondue. The dining room is at once contemporary and rustic, but we suggest sitting on the patio when the weather is fair. •• The Westin Wilmington, 818 Shipyard Drive, Wilmington, 397-5518


Service

Readers, upstate •• Stone Balloon Ale House •• 115 E. Main St., Newark, 266-8111


Small Plates

Editors, upstate •• Merchant Bar •• 426 N. Market St., Wilmington, 543-5574


Soul Food

Editors, upstate •• From Cap’n Crunch-encrusted wings to mac and cheese, comfort food abounds at Twisted Soul Restaurant & Bar. The Southern-inspired menu offers several irresistible sides—cornbread with strawberry butter, anyone?—in addition to a few lighter options (like the Caesar salad with blackened salmon). •• 413 N. Market St., Wilmington, 888-0701


Sports Bar

Readers, upstate •• Grotto Pizza •• 13 Autopark Drive, Middletown, 314-9500 •• 45 E. Main St., Newark, 369-0600 •• 2015 Concord Pike, Wilmington, 888-2222 •• 1819 Pennsylvania Ave., Wilmington, 777-3278


Steakhouse

Readers, upstate •• Walter’s Steakhouse •• 802 N. Union St., Wilmington, 652-6780


Sunday Brunch

Readers, upstate •• Kid Shelleen’s Charcoal House & Saloon •• 1801 W. 14th St., Wilmington, 658-4600


Surf and Turf

Editors, over the line •• Thursdays and Saturdays are Surf & Turf Nights at the elegant Mendenhall Inn. The deal includes an 8-ounce center-cut sirloin finished with a Merlot-Stilton blue cheese butter and onion crisps served with a 6-ounce Maine rock lobster tail. The beef can be upgraded to an 8-ounce slice of slow-roasted prime rib or a 6-ounce center-cut filet mignon. The Land and Sea section of Mendenhall’s regular menu offers a crab cake as a substitute for the lobster tail. •• 323 Kennett Pike, Mendenhall, Pa., (610) 388-1181


Sushi

Readers, upstate •• Mikimotos Asian Grill and Sushi Bar •• 1212 N. Washington St., Wilmington, 656-8638


Tavern

Editors, upstate •• Stanley’s Tavern has served as a gathering spot since 1935, and it remains a favorite. The formula is simple: Make people feel right at home. Stanley’s patrons know exactly what to expect: a welcoming, comfortable spot to watch the games of the day, enjoy ribs, Buffalo wings and other fun food, drink a beer and enjoy the camaraderie of others. •• 2038 Foulk Road, Wilmington, 475-1887


Traditional Pizza

Readers, upstate •• Grotto Pizza •• 315 Autopark Drive, Middletown, 314-9500 •• 45 E. Main St., Newark, 369-0600 •• 2015 Concord Pike, Wilmington, 888-2222 •• 1819 Pennsylvania Ave, Wilmington, 777-3278


Vegan Dishes

Readers, upstate •• Home Grown Café •• 126 E. Main St., Newark, 266-6993


View of the Links

Editors, upstate •• Because At the Rail Wine Bar & Grille is situated on the main level of the clubhouse at White Clay Creek Country Club, diners are treated to one of the best golf course views in the state. The dining room, bar and veranda all overlook the picturesque course’s practice green, the tee at No. 9 and the 14th fairway. The course is beautifully appointed with mature trees, wildlife areas, and streams and ponds that provide a soothing backdrop for the upscale dining experience. •• 777 Delaware Park Blvd., Wilmington, 994-6700


Water-View Dining

Readers, upstate •• Harry’s Seafood Grill •• 101 S. Market St., Wilmington, 777-1500


Wine List

Readers, upstate •• Domaine Hudson •• 1314 N. Washington St., Wilmington, 655-9463


Wings

Editors, upstate •• With a menu as diverse and eclectic as that at BBC Tavern and Grill, the chicken wings are easy to overlook. But if you don’t mind getting a little messy, they are worth the embarrassment. Three varieties (original BBC buffalo hot sauce, Jack Daniels whiskey barbecue sauce and Thai sauce) provide a flavor for every taste. We’re partial to the Jack Daniels whiskey barbecue sauce—sticky, sweet, finger-licking good. •• 4019 Kennett Pike, Greenville, 655-3785


Ethnic Favorites

American

Readers, upstate •• Lettie’s Kitchen •• 1318 Old Lancaster Pike, Hockessin, 239-7816


Chinese

Readers, upstate •• The Crownery •• 228 Lantana Drive, Hockessin, 239-3825


Continental

Editors, upstate •• Readers voted La Fia best French restaurant, but strictly speaking, it’s so much more. •• 421 Market St., Wilmington, 543-5574


French

Readers, upstate •• La Fia •• 421 N. Market St., Wilmington, 543-5574


Greek

Readers, upstate •• Opa! Opa! •• 11A Trolley Square, Wilmington, 654-4500


Indian

Readers, upstate •• Maharaja Indian Cuisine •• 1450 Capitol Trail, No. 121, Newark, 369-1202


Italian

Readers, upstate •• La Casa Pasta •• 120 Four Seasons Pkwy., Newark, 738-9935


Japanese

Readers, upstate •• Mikimotos Asian Grill and Sushi Bar •• 1212 Washington St., Wilmington, 656-8638


Mediterranean

Readers, upstate •• Olive Tree Café •• 13 Chestnut Hill Plaza, Newark, 266-4598


Mexican

Readers, upstate •• Santa Fe Mexican Grill •• 190 E. Main St., Newark, 369-2500


Modern Italian

Editors, upstate •• Elevating the humble grilled cheese to a masterpiece of provolone, fontina and mozzarella with tomato and pesto on rustic bread characterizes the approach at Capers & Lemons. Classic shrimp scampi gets the addition of spinach and tomato. The chicken Marsala is among the best anywhere. It’s all served in a contemporary room and offered with a thoughtfully assembled wine list. •• 301 Little Falls Drive, Wilmington, 256-0524


Thai

Readers, upstate •• Ubon Thai Cuisine •• 936 Justison St., Wilmington, 656-1706


Best Restaurant in Town

Greenville/Centreville

Readers •• Pizza by Elizabeths •• 3801 Kennett Pike, Greenville, 654-4478


Hockessin

Readers •• House of William & Merry •• 1336 Old Lancaster Pike, Hockessin, 234-2255


Middletown

Readers •• The Grille at Back Creek •• 101 Back Creek Drive, Middletown, 378-6499


Newark

Readers •• Caffé Gelato •• 90 E. Main St., Newark, 738-5811


North Wilmington

Readers •• Ulysses American Gastropub •• 1716 Marsh Road, Wilmington, 691-3456‚Äč


Wilmington

Readers •• Iron Hill Brewery & Restaurant •• 620 Justison St., Wilmington, 472-2739


Retail Food & Drink; Food to Go

Bagels

Editors, upstate •• Good New York-style bagels can be hard to find, but Newark Deli and Bagels has been doing them right for years. Don’t leave Main Street without grabbing a fresh bagel smothered in homemade cream cheese or a decadent breakfast sandwich. (The bacon is some of the best around.) •• 36 E. Main St., Newark, 266-7150


Bakery

Readers, upstate •• Bing’s Bakery •• 253 E. Main St., Newark, 737-5310


Butcher

Readers, upstate •• Herman’s Quality Meats •• 64 E. Cleveland Ave., Newark, 731-5344


Candy/Chocolate

Readers, upstate •• Govatos Chocolates •• 800 N. Market St., Wilmington, 652-5252; 4105 Concord Pike, Wilmington, 478-5324


Catering

Readers, upstate •• Caffé Gelato •• 90 E. Main St., Newark, 738-5811


Cheesesteaks

Readers, upstate •• Claymont Steak Shop •• 3526 Philadelphia Pike, Claymont, 798-0013 •• 57 Elkton Road, Newark, 453-9500 •• 2710 Concord Pike, Wilmington, 478-1500


Food Truck

Readers, upstate •• The Brunch Box at Drip Café •• 144 Lantana Drive, Hockessin, 234-4430


Gourmet-to-Go

Readers, upstate •• Harvest Market Natural Foods •• 7417 Lancaster Pike, Hockessin, 234-6779


Health Food/Organic Food

Readers, upstate •• Harvest Market Natural Foods •• 7417 Lancaster Pike, Hockessin, 234-6779


Ice Cream

Readers, upstate •• Woodside Farm Creamery •• 1310 Little Baltimore Road, Hockessin, 239-9847 •• Read more about Woodside Farm Creamery here.


Mead

Editors, upstate •• The range of colors—pale yellow to rich red—gives a hint at the diversity of flavors in the mead made at Liquid Alchemy Beverages. Owners Jeffrey Cheskin and Terri Sorantino are wont to infuse the fermented honey drink with everything from sweet black currants to chili peppers. Styles range from sweet to dry, from spicy to hoppy, a la beer. It’s intriguing. •• 28 Brookside Drive, Wilmington, 438-0252


Neighborhood Market

Editors, upstate •• From fresh baked goods and confections to a wide selection of cheeses and fresh-cut meats, Janssen’s Market offers all the grocery basics and more, including a store-length case of prepared foods, sushi to grab and go, hot soups and chilis, plants for the house and garden, and lots of friendly service. •• 3801 Kennett Pike, Greenville, 654-9941


Seafood Market

Readers, upstate •• George & Sons’ Seafood Market •• 1216 Old Lancaster Pike, Hockessin, 239-7204


Subs

Readers, upstate •• Capriotti’s Sandwich Shop •• 430 Eden Circle, Bear, 832-8132 •• 1835 Pulaski Hwy., Bear, 838-8898 •• 120 Lantana Drive, Hockessin, 257-5222 •• 743 N. Broad St., Middletown, 376-7827 •• 708 W. Basin Road, New Castle, 322-6797 •• 230 E. Main St., No. 241, Newark, 454-0200 •• 4132 Ogletown-Stanton Road, Newark, 533-5132 •• 4522 Kirkwood Hwy., Wilmington, 998-0096 •• 2124 Silverside Road, Wilmington, 479-9818 •• 510 N. Union St., Wilmington, 571-8929


Wine Store

Readers, upstate •• FranksWine •• 1206 N. Union St., Wilmington, 429-1978


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