Something New to Chew On
Every year brings a whole host of great new places to dine. Here are a few to sample this season.
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Delaware’s beach towns collectively represent one of the region’s bona fide dining destinations. As such, there is constant movement among its many restaurants. Places close, new ones take their places, old owners sell, new ones buy, and so forth and so on. Here’s the latest scorecard.
In spring, restaurateur Matt Haley added yet another eatery to his growing collection. The man behind Fish On, Lupo Di Mare, catch 54, Bluecoast and a bunch more opened Betty’s Pure and Simple (18585 Coastal Hwy., No. 23, Rehoboth Beach, 645-6160), his ode to American family-style comfort food. Betty’s, which re-imagines chicken and waffles, sloppy Joes and barbecued pork chops, opened in the spot formerly occupied by Adriatico at the Midway Shopping Center on Del. 1. The name Betty was chosen to conjure images and memories of aunts, neighbors or grandmas who were famous for their beef stroganoff or coleslaw.
Café Azafran has long been one of Lewes’ many culinary destinations. This summer, the diminutive tapas hut takes its act down Coastal Highway into Rehoboth Beach (18 Baltimore Ave., Rehoboth Beach).
Also new in Rehoboth Beach is Henlopen City Oyster House (50 Wilmington Ave., Rehoboth Beach), which opened during the springtime in the spot formerly occupied by Celsius. Henlopen City boasts lots of fresh seafood and a sizable selection of oysters from both coasts—all wrapped in a rustic, family-friendly environment. Joe Baker and business partner Chris Bisaha gutted the former Celsius, then added a bar and a separate raw bar where customers can sit and mull over the day’s selection of oysters, peruse the eclectic wine list, and consider the list of microbrews, which changes regularly. More than a few great restaurants in Rehoboth might also require you to take out a second mortgage to afford the tab. Henlopen City won’t be that kind of place. Says Baker, “We wanted to create a spot where families can dine and become repeat customers.”
Health-conscious Hobos Restaurant + Bar (56 Baltimore Ave., Rehoboth Beach, 226-2226), steered by owner and executive chef Gretchen Hanson, approaches cuisine from a global perspective, yielding menu items such as couscous towers with garlic, spinach and tomato, and quinoa salad with ginger salsa. Check out al fresco dining in Hobos’ alley, where statuettes peer out from the lush foliage and walls are decorated with works by local artists.
For a sip and a snack, consider Hawaiian-themed boutique chain Maui Wowi (52 Rehoboth Ave., Rehoboth Beach, 519-9808). Freshly-made fruit smoothies with varieties such as mango-orange and kiwi-lemon-lime and Hawaiian Kona coffee are the shop’s trademark items. This location, led by owners Greg and Jennifer Goldman, also serves Hawaiian cookies and snacks. “The smoothies are very healthy, fat free and actually can be a good meal replacement,” Greg says, “and very refreshing after a hot day at the beach.”
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