Two of the area’s best chefs team up to give Sussex a taste of haute country cuisine.
(page 3 of 3)
On paper, flatbread pizza of clams Casino topped with frisee and bacon salad seemed a strange idea, but all the dots connected. Little lumps of clam, loosely shielded in Parmesan breading, dotted crisp, pita-like crust while frizzles of frisee and bacon provided sidestrokes of clean bite and saltiness. Drizzled over the whole beautiful mess was warm chive oil.
It saddens me to think the best dish isn’t offered during summer. Should they return in fall, try Abbott’s luscious pumpkin gnocchi. The dish showed Nage-level sophistication and warmth, with the pillowy gnocchi acting as focal point in a thick ragout with tender chunks of braised lamb, sun-dried cherries and butternut squash in a sweet Madeira reduction. It was a warm woolen sweater of a dish, hand-knit by grandma with love and served with shaved Parmesan on top.
Reading helped spearhead farm-to-table dining in Delaware at Nage, and it would seem this concept is an even better fit in Milford. The restaurant sources from local farms, including Colvine Bison Farm on Del. 16 (for bison chili and burgers) and Evans Farms in Bridgeville. It’s one of a handful of ways Abbott’s is working hard for acceptance. (It takes its name from Abbott’s Mill, a town landmark.)
Servers appeared at times in need of a bit more spit-shine, as well as more study time with the day’s food specials, but they exhibited genuine friendliness and charm.
Then there’s Bald Jason, Abbott’s wacky unofficial mascot, whose name graces the adjoining pub. The building, which previously housed Smith and Co. Restaurant, is essentially divided in two: Abbott’s Grill on one side, Bald Jason’s on the other.
Smith and Co. had been looking very New York, 1980s, so the Abbott’s team reupholstered booths and modernized the dining room. Bald Jason’s is tricked out with 17 flatscreen TVs. So whether you’re after beer and burgers or Jerusalem artichoke risotto, it’s here.