Delaware Today magazine In Wilmington special supplement: Ethnic dining and restaurants like Asnan Sushi Bar, Juliana’s Kitchen, Santa Fe Mexican Grill, Ubon Thai Cuisine, Vinoteca 902, World Cafe Live at The Queen and Zaikka Indian Grill
Newcomers add spice to the city’s diverse dining scene.
The Yucatan-style empanadas at Santa Fe Mexican Grill are made with shredded pork and spiced potatoes wrapped in a handmade corn tortilla and served with salsa.
Photograph by Jared Castaldi
Wilmington already has a tasty mix of menus, but these new restaurants are sure to enhance the diner’s experience. Offering flavors from Peru to Thailand, these hot spots will please the most sophisticated palate. Whether you’re craving a sushi roll, ceviche, or a grilled cheese with a twist, just check the menu. You won’t leave hungry.
Asnan Sushi Bar
Whether you’re looking for traditional sushi or Indonesian cuisine, Asnan Sushi Bar can accommodate you. Located on the riverfront, this restaurant offers a contemporary setting where the food looks and tastes amazing. Owner Rissa Asnan says the dragon and spider rolls are favorites, while the Philadelphia and spicy tuna rolls are also popular. Asnan is in the process of acquiring a liquor license for her restaurant, so customers can look forward to great happy hour specials in late 2011. 115 Christina Landing Drive, Wilmington, 655-2505, asnanrestaurants.com
A unique Peruvian restaurant, Juliana’s Kitchen has been turning heads in Wilmington since the store opened in 2010. Owner Edwin Jimenez says, “What makes us successful is our cooking is homestyle, meaning we use the freshest ingredients.” Juliana’s Kitchen is known for its ceviche, a blend of fresh fish marinated in lemon juice. Another favorite is the parihuela, a classic Peruvian soup that includes whole crab, shrimp, scallops and squid. 1828 W. 11th St., Wilmington, 888-1828, julianaskitchen.net
Santa Fe Mexican Grill
When Santa Fe in Wilmington opened in 2010, owner Javier Acuna envisioned a menu beyond the usual “Delawarean” traditional menu. He wanted to bring authentic Mexican food and other favorite Latin dishes to the city. Santa Fe has achieved that goal with flavorful entrées such as the steak a la tampiquena and the salmon with cilantro jalapeno sauce. 2006 Pennsylvania Ave., Wilmington, 425-5200, santafewilmington.com
Ubon Thai Cuisine
Meaning ‘Lotus Flower’ in Thai, Ubon is not your typical tri-state Thai restaurant. A family-operated business for 29 years, Ubon will be unveiled on the riverfront in the fall of this year. Executive chef Wit Milburn categorizes the restaurant’s style as creative, homestyle Thai. “We will have some staple dishes such as pad Thai and panang curry,” he says, “but we will also have some specialty dishes. Lemon grass lollipops and the som tam salad are just two examples.” 936 Justison St., Wilmington, 521-4710, ubonthaicuisine.com
Opened in 2010, Vinoteca 902 is a combination of Mediterranean and Puerto Rican cuisine. Manager Adam Chesia believes this unique infusion will whet any appetite. “Our risotto croquets are big sellers,” Chesia says. “They are deep fried and include fresh ham and rich mozzarella. I would also recommend the Catalonian empanadas, which are stuffed with goat cheese and spinach.” Washing down these delectable delights shouldn’t be a problem—the restaurant sells 55 unique wines by the glass. 902 N. Market St., Wilmington, 575-9244, vinoteca902.com
World Cafe Live at The Queen
Newly opened, World Cafe Live in Wilmington is the definition of diversity. The venue holds 20 to 40 events per week and offers a varied drink selection. The downstairs restaurant showcases savory weekly features. “We tailor our menus to be as eclectic as the visual and musical atmosphere,” says manager Ryan Starr. The various grilled cheese sandwiches are favorites, including the oven-roasted lamb loin with mascarpone cheese and baby spinach topped with orange marmalade and served on toasted multi-grain bread. 500 N. Market St., Wilmington, 994-1400, queen.worldcafelive.com
Zaikka Indian Grill
At Zaikka, it’s all about the customer. Opened in mid-August, this Indian restaurant offers its patrons several options. “What sets us apart is that we let the customers create their own meals,” owner Anu Nagpal says. “We offer healthy and flavorful options, including a variety of salads. This is something that most traditional Indian restaurants don’t offer.” The lamb kabobs and naan, an Indian flatbread, are popular. 209 N. Market St., Wilmington, 543-4958, zaikka.com