New to DE
Just moved to Christiana. We need some places to try. We dont mind driving an hour or so on nice days
Any Indian or Thai
We need a couple good seafood places
Anything place that is an area icon. (any roadside place over 30 years old fits this bill)
Anything else that should not be missed.
Harry's Seafood Grille and the Riverfront Market in Wilmington are worth checking out, and I don't think they've been mentioned yet. Delaware does have some good restaurants, but if you don't mind driving a bit, go to Philadelphia. There are many, many great places to eat in this city. However, since I haven't lived in the area for about three years and am somewhat out of the loop, I will defer to Philadelphia Chowhounds for specific suggestions.
I grew up in DE and still get back there often
While it is not a mecca of world class restaurants, there are some good places to check out - many of them mentioned in previous postings
To reiterate and suggest a few more:
Upscale: Eclipse (on Union), Culinaria, DuPont Hotel Green Room (if you don't want to spend a bundle, try Sunday brunch, which is still pricey for a brunch, but not as expensive as dinner), Deep Blue, Toscana (also has a nice lounge), The Orchard (BYO in Chadds Ford), Gilmore's (BYO in West Chester)
Casual: The afore-mentioned Charcoal Pit (I personally like the one on Concord Pike the best), Pizza By Elizabeth's (Route 52; pricey pizza, but totally worth it), Mikimoto, Attilio's, Cromwell's
Brunch: Buckley's (good pub atmosphere as well), Hank's (Route 1 in Chadds Ford)
Pubs: Basically anything in the Trolley Square area - Logan House has been around the longest of all the pubs there; Buckley's is also good as pubs go
If you like crab and want to try it the traditional Mid-Atlantic way, head down to Smyrna and go to The Boondocks.
Enjoy and welcome to the second smallest state.
Of all the posts on this thread, this is definitely the most comprehensive, so I'll add on to it. I'm not agreeing or disagreeing with any of the comments, I just want to mention a few updates since this was written.
821 is trying to change their image to a more approachable place that still has incredible food, but doesn't strictly feel like a special occasion place. Haven't tried the new menu yet and I can't wait to.
The Exchange on Market opened I think about a year ago. It's a very attractive upscale feeling place. The menu alway seemed limited. But since the owners closed their other restaurant, I think they've spent more time building a better offering here. The food is good, and it's even a nice spot to stop in for a nice drink and just light fare at the bar.
Ameritage Bistro on the corner of 9th and Orange also just opened. Nice place. I enjoyed the one and only meal I've tried there.
Domaine Hudson is not to be missed. The sushi at Mikimoto's is wonderful. And if you're up for a drive, The Farmhouse out in the Avondale area is truly wonderful.
We're a small city that doens't have a ton to offer, but it's getting better. I hope you're enjoying your life here.
"yankee_fan_0" doesn't get out much! If Zagat ratings mean anything to you, then The Green Room at Hotel du Pont and Domaine Hudson in Wilmington, and Krazy Kat's in Montchanin (between Wilm. & Greenville) are upscale restaurants not to be missed. Eclipse, Moro, Toscana and Mikimoto's are also good choices. (Sadly, Restaurant 821 closed earlier this year.) In north Wilm., you've got to try Corner Bistro at RT 202 and Silverside Rd. Right around the corner from it and facing RT 202 is a promising new diner, Lucky's. Sorry, I'm not a fan of Charcoal Pit (I have better memories of it as a kid); I'm surprised it's still around.
I moved to Delaware 4 years ago, and have to agree with the hounds who say there's very little good food in Delaware -- Del Rose is one of the worst Italian restaurants I've ever been to, the food at Buckley's is mediocre (although it's a decent place for a late night drink), and Hotel Dupont is, in my opinion, over-rated. I do agree, though, that Culinaria, in North Wilmington, is pretty good; it's chef-owned, fun atmosphere, great tomato-parmesan soup and cesear salad that actually has anchovies in it. Desserts are mediocre, though. Ask for the "good" wine glasses if you go; they only have a few decent wine glasses, but if you're in on the secret, they'll give them to you. Also agree on Domaine Hudson; it's primarily a wine bar, tons of great wines by the glass, and you can order small or large plates of very well prepared food that pairs well with the wine. Harry's seafood is decent, but hardly one of the best in the country; their appetizers are better than their mains. We recently tried a restaurant called Sovanah in PA, close to Kennett Square, that was pretty interesting; it's BYOB, french-influenced food, but also excellent brick-oven pizzas, and great service. It's either on route 82 or 896, I can't remember which.
And if you want to go into Philly, there are tons of great little chef-owned BYOBs to try.
It's not right in Wilmington, but I agree that Sovana Bistro on Unionville Road in Kennett Square is terrific and deservedly popular. They have a nice terrace and the food is well executed. But 821 on Market in downtown Wilmington has the freshest local food with the most imagination--both for flavor and presentation.
Hi Welcome to Delaware. I Grew up there, and my parents still live out in the Pike Creek
They like a small boutique place on Union Street Called: ECLIPSE.
They also like Toscana , Green Room, Deep Blue, and 821.
Mendenhall Inn has upgraded (improved) recently they tell me
Don't know if Krazy Kat's is still open and serving fine eclectic fare in Greenville (pricey)
Up 295 north to Jersey - take Route 70 exit west (Cherry Hill/Marlton) towards Philadelphia until you find
SIRI's Thai -French @ 2 miles on the left (green awning , small strip mall) Fantastic food
and BYOB. Nice surroundings.
If you take an exit before route 70, the exit for Voorhees (route 561) and bear right up the
ramp and head @ 5miles to the Ritz Movie Theater Plaza, you will find
Fantastic Indian Food at CORRIANDER - surroundings are simple sophisticated and service
Almost next door is Nouveau fusion Chinese and Sushi at Chez Elena WU, 4 or five
stoor fronts down is the Tiny (Reservations recommended) restaurant- RITZ SEAFOOD.
This place has fantastic seafood and delicious desserts. (HIgh Zagat's rating and featured
on Food TV NETWORK!)
All three of these are BYOB.
Enjoy and please post if you go.
Well here is the weekend update.
We tried to go to Attillio's... they are on vacation.
So. We had to go out to Newark, so we drove along the Kirkwood Hghwy until we saw something interesting... Himalaya Indian was it.
They had a buffet. Food was very good. The garlic naan that came with the buffet was outstanding. It was definitely the best Indian meal I have had in a long while
We live very close to Tasty Thai, and got food there when we were moving in. It was very good. I seem to remember thinking the portions were not terribly large for the money (I expect to get a lot of meals out of one take out order I guess) but we will certainly be going back.
Had dinner at Stewart's Brewing too a couple weeks ago and had a good meal. Typical pub stuff which was perfect.
Thanks for the follow up! Attilios is on my "to try" list as I've heard very good things from friends. I'll have to try Himalaya.
One place that I love in Christiana for an easy night out is the Border Cafe. Very good (and inexpensive) mexican and cajun food, great salads, and tasty margaritas. Consistantly tasty. You'll find a lot of recs on here, which was how I found it.
Sorry, cannot agree with Yankee about restaurants in DE. We have some good ones in Newark. Try Caffe Gelato (nouvelle cuisine, good wine list, periodic wine dinners), Iron Hill Brewery (excellent beer brewed on premises and best food I have run across at any brew pub) and Homegrown, all on Main Street. For Indian, we like Maharaja on Kirkwood Highway, just outside Newark. Decor there is nothing to write home about but the food is good. Nonna Ristorante has good Italian food. In Wilmington, check out Moro (excellent), 821, Corner Bistro (north of town, on Silverside Road), Culinaria (also north of town, Marsh and Silverside), Mikimotos and Jasmine (both good for sushi).
I agree with Cafe Gelato...one of Wine Spectators highest award restaurants...go on Tuesday and any bottle in the house is half price...and they have one of the best wine lists in this part of the world.
There are tons of joints along main street in Newark from Klondike Kates to the Deer park Inn...both good.
In Wilmington try Harrys Seafood down on the river for some of the best seafood in the country, fabulous oyster bar and a limited sashimi menu.
Around Trolley Square there are tons of great pubs...most already mentioned in a post above.
I also like the Washington Ale House next door to Mikimots...both are excellent but the Ale House is more of a Pub atmosphere. There is an excellent Jamaican restaurant that is short on atmsphere but excellent Jerk Food at 273 and Hwy 4 in ogletown.
Now, now, Yankee Fan, that's just a bit harsh, I'd say. Wilmington may not have an abundance of great restaurants, but they do have a few. Three truly wonderful places that come to mind are Domaine Hudson (http://www.domainehudson.com), Moro (http://www.mororestaurant.net/menu.html) and Mikimotos for sushi (http://www.mikimotos.com). In Trolley Square, you've got your pick of pubs -- some have outdoor seating and/or live music -- Catherine Rooney's Irish Pub, Kid Shelleen's, and Kelley's Logan House, to name a few. For seafood, I'd recommend Deep Blue, which is downtown.
We do have some 'good' restaurants. Mikimoto's is a fav of mine, Toscana, Moro, Manos Latinos is good and our newest Italian, Pomodoro which is the most authentic Italian we have. Sadly the only good Chinese place is rather dumpy but the food is good and that is ShangHi in Claymont. If there are others, I don't know about them. Keep us posted with the places your try though.
Burgers and shakes at Charcoal Pit, several locations. Buckleys Tavern up Rt. 52 (pub fare). Del Rose in Trolley Square known for a great chopped anti-pasta. One of my faves is Attilios on the corner of Lincoln and Lancaster Ave - gotta get fried peppers, never seen them anywhere else like this and fried smelts if the have 'em. If you got big bucks, the Green Room in the Hotel Dupont is a world class restaurant.
If you really don't mind driving an hour - you can get to Philly for anything or Rock Hall Md for steamed crabs...
Where did you move from?
We moved from Southern Colorado. Six years before that we were in Ct.
Glad you mentioned the Charcoal Pit. I saw them all over and knew I would have to try them out.
May go to Attilios tomorrow. Headed up that way anyway. I will have to remember to go back in spring time when they have smelts. I have never had them, but my Mom used to talk about going smelting as a kid in Mich.
And also thanks for mentioning Rock Hall. We plan to go down that way on a road trip soon just to see what's there.
As for Buckleys, we happened to go there a few times when we were looking for a house. It was just convenient place on the way home (to our rental place in West Chester)
THanks again. I will let you know how it goes in the future.
OK - you are now in the "Cheese Steak Triangle" (Philly, South Jersey, Wilmington)...so you have to try some cheese steaks and hoagies. Of course, the cheese steak war is in south Philly. Hoagies are all over - start with an Italian. The Wilmington hoagie war is Capriotti's vs. Casapulas. I would go with the Capriotti's specials like a bobby or a cole turkey (fresh roasted turkey) or the Italian from Casapulas. Mmmmmmmmmm...I'm hungry now.
For the best wings in the world - go to Dreamers on Philadelphia Pike. The man is a genius with hot peppers. If you like it hot, I recommend #6 (although In hear they're up to #10 now). Not just extra vinegar sauce - true hot pepper combos with awesome heat but still great taste. I like it when my scalp sweats after one or two wings.
Love to hear your feedback.