New Restaurants Making a Splash at the Beach
To our delight, dining options along the coast continue to expand.
Thinh Pham opened Minh's Bistro between Lewes and Rehoboth Beach.//Photo by Maria DeForrest
Food lovers, before you head to the beach again, make a list and check it twice. A host of new restaurants join established favorites, so your dining options are many. Here’s a rundown to help you plan ahead.
New for summer is The Suburban Farmhouse, which marries interior design with delectable baked goods. This coffeehouse/gift shop seeks to stimulate an appetite for inspiration, says co-owner Kristen Latham, an interior designer who came up with the idea while visiting a JoAnn fabric shop in Nashville. Inside the store was a kiosk that sold coffee and sandwiches. “It was amazing, sweet and perfect,” Latham says. “I wanted to eat there every day of the week.” The Suburban Farmhouse sells coffee and “cruffins,” a croissant-muffin hybrid, along with pastries. A new menu also showcases flatbreads, panini and sandwiches. Given the location, chicken salad is a big hit. You’ll also find acai bowls for a boost of superfood. •• 108 Federal St., Milton, 250-6254
The Little Brick Cakery has also baked up a new business. Owner Shelly Lias-Maull, who’s been baking cakes for 30 years, fell in love with the building, formerly occupied by Bacchus Wine Bar & Restaurant. The retired educator decided to make her dream of opening a cake shop come true. You’ll also find pies and cookies. Call first for the hours, or check Facebook. •• 106 Union St., Milton, 664-2495
A Different Kitchen opened last year, but, if you haven’t had a chance to visit, it bears mentioning again. What’s with the name? There was once a restaurant called The Kitchen in the same space. The newer restaurant is indeed different. Asian-inspired dishes include miso soup, chili-miso chicken wings and bao buns. •• 16388 Samuel Paynter Blvd., Milton,
This historic town is better known for museums, the hospital and the ferry terminal than it is for its dining. That’s changing thanks to the innovative Heirloom at Savannah Road and Third Street and The Pig & Publican on Lewes Beach. These restaurants have some new neighbors. One is The Station on Kings, which is owned by Leisa Berlin, who also owns Edie Bees on Second Street. Like Berlin’s chocolate shop, The Station brings a fresh and sophisticated concept to town. It’s a lot like Terrain in Glen Mills. There are areas for a gift shop, cafe and small nursery. •• 720 Kings Hwy., Lewes, 645-0300
Across the street is Big Oyster Brewery, the brewpub that’s part of the Fins Ale House & Raw Bar family. Along with Crooked Hammock Brewery and Mr. P’s Pizza, which has 19 local beers on tap in summer, Big Oyster has turned this stretch of Kings Highway into a beacon for beer-lovers. •• 1007 Kings Hwy., Lewes, 644-2621
A reminder that Gilligan’s Waterfront Restaurant is in a brand-new building next to the Inn at Canal Square. It’s easy to find, since it’s in the same spot. The current structure, built from the ground up, is open all year. One thing hasn’t changed, though, and that’s the size and flavor of the panko-crusted crab cakes. •• 134 W. Market St., Lewes, 644-7230
Traditionally, Lewes’ culinary activity has happened in the historic district. Two restaurants, however, have shown potential across the water. The Wheelhouse opened in April in The Wharf’s old space. The owners also have Zogg’s Raw Bar & Grill in downtown Rehoboth Beach. Zogg’s is steps from the beach; The Wheelhouse boasts canal views. •• 7 Anglers Road, Lewes, 291-2162
If all goes as planned, Harvest Tide Steakhouse will open early this summer in the old Da Vinci’s Pizzeria. The restaurant is owned by brothers Danio and Enrique Somoza and their wives. If Enrique Somoza’s name stands out, it’s because he’s been the chef at 99 Sea Level in Bethany Beach. •• 410 E. Savannah Road, Lewes, 644-2600
BETWEEN LEWES AND REHOBOTH
At one time, opening a restaurant on the highway raised eyebrows. No longer. Minh’s Bistro and Miyagi Ramen Bar both opened on Route 1 last year. Minh’s, next to Rosenfeld’s Jewish Deli, is owned by Thinh Pham, an electrical engineer-turned-restaurateur who grew up in Saigon. The restaurant’s specialty is pho, a flavorful broth of chicken, shrimp or beef full of rice noodles, with herbs, lime and other accoutrements on the side. •• 18949 Coastal Hwy, Suite 103, Rehoboth Beach, 703-6626
Toward the entrance to Rehoboth Beach, Miyagi Ramen Bar showcases a noodle soup that eats like a meal. It’s owned by Jeong Hoon Kim and Tammy Wang of Saketumi fame. You’ll also find rice bowls and other dishes. The tuna tataki is a must-try. •• 19266 Coastal Hwy., Unit 6, Rehoboth Beach, 567-2385
Iron Hill Brewery & Restaurant at long last has flown south to the beach. The chain, born in Newark in 1996, was aiming for a late May opening. The restaurant is located along Del. 1 near Holland Glade Road. The patio will give diners a front-seat view of the stop-and-go traffic on weekends. •• 19791 Coastal Hwy., Rehoboth Beach, 260-8000
Azzuro Italian Oven + Bar has taken up residence in the old Papa Grande’s site. Owners Tonya and Francesco Agostino, longtime beach vacationers before becoming residents, are serving Italian cuisine that you’d find in Italy and not the kitchen of your Italian-American grandmother. Francesco’s family has owned several restaurants in Italy. •• 210 Second St., Rehoboth Beach, 212-2409
And in the old Pig + Fish location, you’ll find Cuvée Ray, a wine bar with up to 170 wines available by the bottle and glass. You’ll also find Joe Churchman, the celebrated chef from the old Bramble & Brine. It’s an all-star cast. Sydney Arzt, who once had a restaurant with music in this building, is booking the live entertainment. According to owner Ray Kurz, music and wine are the perfect pairing. •• 236 Rehoboth Ave., Rehoboth Beach
And in the old Bramble & Brine is Houston White Co., a steakhouse owned by former Bramble & Brine owner Megan Kee. She also owns La Fable, a French bistro in the old Mixx location near Eden. Houston White Co. offers the classic steakhouse experience, but with a twist: Kee’s family recipes, including fried chicken, are also on the menu. •• 315 Rehoboth Ave., Rehoboth Beach, 227-8511
Coastal Delaware finally has an Indian restaurant, thanks to Indigo. The restaurant raises the bar with beautiful stemware, weighty silverware and Raghu Kumar in the kitchen. Kumar, who owns the restaurant with his father, grew up in the business. The family previously owned an Indian restaurant in Annapolis. •• 44 Rehoboth Ave., Rehoboth Beach, 212-5220
On Baltimore Avenue, owners of The Pines have been busy renovating Hobos’ old space. The restaurant should prove popular given its two-floor deck for outdoor dining. Expect casual fare and comfort foods that take it up a notch. Co-owner Bob Suppies calls it a “coastal tavern.” Well-known area bartender Tyler Townsend is Suppies’ partner. •• 56 Baltimore Ave., Rehoboth Beach, 864-7778
At the new Mez-Cali Taqueria and Mezcal Bar, owner Jeff Treacy has dedicated the eatery to his love of agave spirits and mezcal. He also wanted to use Mexican cuisine as a launch pad for some innovative dishes. You may never see the same taco twice. •• 1205 Coastal Hwy., Dewey Beach, 260-9017
South of the Indian River Inlet Bay, Ropewalk is under construction in Bethany Beach. A “coming soon” stamp served as its Facebook cover photo. No doubt, the restaurant will be in good company. The culinary tide always turns at the beach.