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What is your favorite restaurant in Wilmington?

s
supersharpie Jun 26, 2009 10:44 AM

My wife and I have lived in North Wilmington for 11 months and have only tried a few area restaurants (Deep Blue - very good but perhaps a bit overpriced, Border Cafe - great food, amazing prices, no ambience, and Jasmine's on 202 - not overly impressed, the food was ok but bland).

We know that there must be some really good establishments out there that we simply have not discovered to this point and would love some recommendations. We are open to any kind of dining experience with food quality the paramount criterion.

We also were looking for one recommendation for a specific occasion. One of our college friend and his SO are coming to spend the night at our home in July and we want to take them out for a very casual dinner. Our friend basically orders burgers wherever we go so a good sandwich selection is a must and a cozy atmosphere is also desirable. Would Buckley's Tavern in Greenville fit the bill or should we be looking elsewhere?

Thanks!

  1. spyturtle008 Apr 7, 2010 10:42 AM

    I've been living in Wilmington for 4 or 5 years now, and sadly have only managed to scrounge up a few places I'm inspired to eat at on a regular basis. (Border Cafe is one of them.) Since you're in North Wilmington, I'd encourage you to venture up into Philly more if you don't already -- there aren't many restaurants in the Wilmington area that can't be beat handily by a Philly establishment. It really isn't as much of a hassle as it might sound. My partner and I head up there often on weeknights when we're craving something good -- can get up there in about a half-hour.

    Here's our Wilmington picks besides BC:

    Pizza By Elizabeth's (Greenville)
    Dumpling House (Taiwanese BYOB tucked behind a car dealership off 52 in Wilmington)
    Sovana Bistro (Kennett Square, BYOB as well but they do have a license)
    Lucky's (diner on 202, kind of hit or miss, but we've found a few things we love that are consistent, including their banana cream pie which is to-die-for)

    For a very minimalist but solid breakfast, try Meghan's (off 202 near the state line, simple but good diner) or Kozy Korner on Union St.

    Toscana (Trolley Square) has been doing a $5 happy hour menu that includes pizzas, apps, some mixed drinks and wines if you eat in the bar area. It's our go-to spot for a quick bite before catching a show at the Grand.

    Used to love Buckley's, but several years ago they limited their menu, started using cheaper ingredients, and service took a nose-dive. I've poked my nose in a few times since and have noticed some improvement but not quite up to snuff. I agree that the roof deck is really pleasant.

    Good luck!!

    -----
    Kozy Korner Restaurant
    906 N Union St, Wilmington, DE 19805

    Toscana
    1402 N Dupont St, Wilmington, DE 19806

    Dumpling House
    1828 W 11th St, Wilmington, DE 19805

    3 Replies
    1. re: spyturtle008
      in bocca Aug 28, 2010 07:13 AM

      I have a few faves beginning with a definite hole in the wall that you would never go to unless someone reccd it to you, India Palace on Maryland Avenue. The location is lackluster and so is the decor, but the food and service make up for it all. It is run my a husband and wife and they crank out some incredible stuff. My favorites are the tikka masala, saag, nanna and the eggplant ( banyan bhurta). Near there is a killer taco shop that is cheap and so good, El Pique. Tacos are only 1.50, and they do a variety of meats.

      For someplace a little nicer or a date night, I enjoy Moro on Scott street, they have excellent food and great cocktails. Also, while the weather is nice, Chesapeake Inn is worth checking out. On Thursdays they have a live band who are actually quite good. You can sit on the deck and order their fresh seafood. There is Cafe Napoli on Kirkwood Highway that serves "american" italian food done very well, large portions, and fairly priced,

      A little ways out is Bistro on the Brandywine, a friend of mine is the chef there and they pride themselves on using fresh and local ingredients. The food is inventive and well done.

      As for pizza, my favorite is Little Vinny's. It's a family run pizza shop near Ferris. They serve the best pizza that I've had stateside. They make some interesting varities of pizza and have a high quality dough that is made on site. There is also another good place close by called Pizza Pro. They have a specialty pizza called the Godfather with ricotta, fresh tomatoes and garilc. It is excellent.

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      Pizza Pro
      119 Greenbank Rd, Wilmington, DE 19808

      1. re: in bocca
        scoopG Aug 30, 2010 10:59 AM

        Thanks. I will have to check some of these spots out. Moro I have found can be great one meal and bad the next.

        1. re: scoopG
          spyturtle008 Sep 1, 2010 06:50 AM

          I had one terrible experience at Moro -- I remember the service problems most clearly, but I remember the food being underwhelming (and overpriced), too. Seemed like the chef was infatuated with one ingredient and trying to work it into every dish (aged balsamic). Also a cheese plate that was pretty pedestrian. I remember enjoying the dessert, and thinking I might come back and sit at the bar for a drink and dessert some time, but the more I thought about the service issues, the more I was put off.

    2. j
      jks19714 Apr 1, 2010 12:51 PM

      I would agree with the recommendation of Stoney's -- really good fish, chips are OK.

      Many years ago, I did some free consultation (network design) for the Royal Navy -- the Brits used to laughing tell the guards at the Gate not to get between me and the local Chips' shop. Stoneys takes me back to the days when I had hair... :-)

      john

      1 Reply
      1. re: jks19714
        RC51Mike Apr 1, 2010 04:40 PM

        The chips have been hit or miss of late. When they're on, they're great. Hmmm, maybe a frying temp. inconsistency. Next one of us there should say something to Stoney.

      2. d
        danbee1 Jun 28, 2009 06:22 AM

        P.S. What does "too homegrown" mean?

        10 Replies
        1. re: danbee1
          j
          jerseygurl Mar 26, 2010 09:45 AM

          danbee1...too homegrown means the place reminds me of my old aunt ida's kitchen!

          1. re: jerseygurl
            RC51Mike Mar 26, 2010 12:59 PM

            Please do not rely on any "best of" list produced by the local rags. Some of our favorites, Pizza by Elizabeths, Buckleys- they do have some decent selections on the menu a step above barfood and their burgers are good. Harry's Seafood, Big Fish, Iron Hill, Stoneys, Corner Bistro, Lucky's Coffee Shop, Bon Appetit.

            -----
            Pizza by Elizabeths
            4019 Kennett Pike, Wilmington, DE 19807

            1. re: RC51Mike
              k
              kingnesta Mar 26, 2010 05:06 PM

              I would recommend trying Mazzellas on Philadelphia Pk. Its a pizza shop atmosphere but they have some of the best pasta dishes I've had in this area. The shrimp diablo is loaded with all different size shrimp and very spicy and my personal favorite is Liguini and vodka sauce. The prices are also great and the dishes are huge enough to last a couple of days. Booths corners is also nice but it is just a bunch of little shops that offer good food. My personal favorite there is Grecian delights, they have the best tacos that I've ever had and they only have them every other week. they make their own shells. the gyros are also good. You can also go to Albies for the best burger in the area.

              1. re: kingnesta
                s
                supersharpie Mar 26, 2010 07:50 PM

                Thanks for mentioning Mazzellas, it has become a favorite of ours over the past few months. The pizza is the best in town and the chicken cacciatore is great.

                The Iron Hill serves very tasty chicken sandwiches and the beer is decent as well. That is generally the meal we order on Fridays when we don't really want to go out but don't want to eat in either.

                Cajun Kate's at Booth's Corner has been something of a revelation. It is a great place to pick up a container of jambalaya or gumbo big enough to satisfy two healthy appetites.

                1. re: supersharpie
                  RC51Mike Mar 27, 2010 03:50 AM

                  Besides Cajun Kate's my other Booths Corner vice is a chocolate cream filled donut from Donut Haven every Friday.

                2. re: kingnesta
                  t
                  travelmad478 Mar 27, 2010 04:48 AM

                  Good to know about Mazzella's--is the pizza thin crust? I don't find myself in that neighborhood much, but I might go out of my way if the pizza is really good (I was born and raised in a heavily Italian-American part of NJ and have certain very strong opinions about what good pizza is!)

                  1. re: travelmad478
                    m
                    MrRuffles Mar 27, 2010 09:51 AM

                    Being from the Northern Italian region of NJ, I can't say that Mazzella's pizza was very memorable. Their food is standard Italian fare but we've always found it terribly oversalted. Our basic Italian go-to spot is Cafe Palermo on Miller Road in the Home Depot Plaza. We've never had a bad meal there.

                    1. re: MrRuffles
                      RC51Mike Mar 27, 2010 02:36 PM

                      I think Mazzella's is pretty good. As a matter of fact I'm eating one right this very moment. However, for a closest to NY thin crust pizza, Dom's in Newport is probably the best in the area.

                      1. re: RC51Mike
                        j
                        jessicheese Mar 29, 2010 06:14 AM

                        I have to second Doms for best thin crust in the area.

                        1. re: jessicheese
                          t
                          travelmad478 Apr 6, 2010 02:57 AM

                          Finally made it to Dom's last night. We just got slices, not a whole pie. On the whole I found the pizza to be pretty good, definitely a step up from my neighborhood standby Gallucio's. But it's not at all what I would consider true "thin crust" pizza. (I realize this is a fine distinction for those who have never actually had the real thing--but it is very, very different from basic NY-style pizza.) I guess I still have to go back to my home county in NJ to get the real stuff!

          2. d
            danbee1 Jun 28, 2009 06:14 AM

            Some good suggestions here altho I'd certainly pass on Buckley's and Kajun Kate's, which really isn't a restaurant (I know, I know - even my dog disagrees!)  Go to Delaware Today (local mag) and look at their "best of" ratings.

            1. j
              jerseygurl Jun 27, 2009 11:31 AM

              hi supersharpie, my hubby was transferred to wilmington last may...well, in over a year, we've tried lots of restaurants, some memorable, some not so....i found deep blue to be a little pretentious, generally trying to hard to be something special. since the recession has deepened, we were, like you, looking for affordable, clean places with a nice atmosphere and exemplary food....finally we found it! travel 2 miles out of town (rte 52) to greenville, to elizabeths pizza, wait....it's not a pizza joint...its a lovely breezy place with a lovely bar area....catering to the locals, you can get a tremendous lightweight meal, pizza, salads, extras plus the finest beers and wines in the area. you will find the service good, the prices great and the ambiance almost perfect! there is no pushing high priced entrees, drinks or desserts...the locals that frequent the place are generally nicely dressed, civil and just overall nice. there are no wild kids running around....sensuous chandeliers and beautiful artwork...they are open from 11:30 AM til around midnight, so going at any time
              is so very convenient. some places to pass, feby's fishery - too homegrown for me, timothy's at the riverwalk - salad's made with iceberg, yuck...the exchange on market - businessmen go there to get drunk after work, food quality is 'diner-like." harry's seafood, riverwalk - too expensive, food quality is nothing special, service is very slow.
              sadly, our wilmington stay will soon be over as my hubby will soon be laid off......but go ahead and enjoy yourselves and your dinner...

              1. j
                jessicheese Jun 26, 2009 11:34 AM

                Welcome to Wilmington! I'm glad that you've found Border Cafe- it's one of our favorites.
                Check out the Washington Street Ale House. Very Casual, great food with a nice sandwich selection, and great beer, too. I haven't been to Buckley's in years, but remember liking it.

                For other places, here are a few to check out:

                Blue Parrot- live music, decent Cajun food, fun atmosphere
                Booth Corners Farmers Market @ Foulk & Naamans Creek (Fri & Sat)- I just found this last week and am in love with Cajun Kates. The other places looked promising, too
                Orillas Tapas- great spanish tapas, nice ambiance
                Harry's Seafood- I haven't been here, personally, but hear wonderful things both on CH and from friends
                Union Street Grille- could be another option for your night out. I had a great meal there about 3 years ago.

                I agree to search "wilmington" using a 3 year span and you'll find a lot of great suggestions.

                1. t
                  travelmad478 Jun 26, 2009 11:16 AM

                  If you live in north Wilmington, get over to Culinaria (Branmar Plaza) and give that a try. I haven't been there in a long time (since they stopped serving lunch, probably 8 years ago!) but it was very good then.

                  Buckley's is an OK choice, nothing super special, but it is harmless and fits the bill if you are just there for burgers. Sitting on the roof deck is pleasant if it's a nice night.

                  Please do a search of this board for Wilmington threads. There are many.

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