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Oct 5, 2009 07:32 AM

Philly Chowhounds need help for Wilmington, DE

We will be in Wilmington on Sunday afternoon for a concert, and would like to know of a good place for dinner.

Two I see mentioned are Union City Grill and Harry's Savoy. Any comments about these?

Another one I read about, Domain Hudson, is not open on Sundays.

We are not looking for anything very deluxe or trendy. Also, we are seniors and prefer a place where the noise level is not horrendous. (Lately, some of our Philly places have noise levels over the top.)

Thanks for any help.

Sylvia in Philly

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  1. Harry's Savoy is a 70s-ish place. Lots of meat and fish. Not noisy, but not near Wilmington really. Deep blue is a nice fish place downtown. Moro is pretty close and a quiet place with good food and wine.

    2 Replies
    1. re: gfweb1

      Thank you. Even though we're not that far away, I really know nothing about Wilmington restaurants. I really appreciate the help.

      1. re: sylviag

        Wilmington is another world to Philly people,and vice versa. I've lived in both and am continually amazed at the distinct orbits these near-by cities have.

    2. I second gfweb's recommendations and would add Toscana as well. It isn't very loud on Sundays (but can be other days). I prefer Harry's Seafood down on the riverfront to the Savoy, but it can get a little noisy. Definitely one of the better wine lists in the area - including by the glass.

      12 Replies
      1. re: liddy

        Sylvia, not to let you down, but dining in Delaware when you're used to food in Philly is like entering a third-world country cuisine-wise. The word mediocre keeps popping up in my mind, since Wilmington has seafood, tapas, Italian, etc. places, but none have really wowed me in the past. That being said, in my opinion Harry's Savoy Grill is a place well past it's prime (not as bad as say Bookbinder's got) but beyond the good prime rib, not much else there is memorable. Harry's Seafood Grill is not bad, but nothing like what you'd get in Philly. I have not eaten at Union City Grill but know that they got a new chef recently so who knows. Deep Blue has always had good oysters and decent seafood, although they are (or at least were) very big on covering things with nages (is that a word?) or sauces of one type or the other. I have had good things and so-so things at Moro. To me it seems a bit overpriced for what you get, and being seniors, if you cannot walk up a set of stairs, I'd steer away from this place. I used to really like Toscana, but with their last menu change this past spring I was very underwhelmed and disappointed. I remember having a terrible, tiny, greasy duck leg served over whipped up cauliflower. It was pretty nasty and I wrote Toscana telling them how disappointed I was (and to urge them to bring back the delicious pasta that they took off the menu with brown sugar and squash filling that was excellent) but have not heard back from them months later. They do have pretty good octopus (but nothing like say Estia) and some of the pasta is pretty good. Domaine Hudson is good (a bit noisy though at times) but you said they are closed on Sundays.

        The only other place that comes to mind is Krazy Kats in Montchanin but that's not much better than the places alreay listed and I have not been to Eclipse lately so can't comment much on that. The Hotel DuPont is more for the environment than the food and I have not heard much good about Orillas, the tapas place that has already revamped it's menu at least once.

        I guess if I had to choose a place, it would probably be Deep Blue or Toscana, but I would be tempted to drive to Kennett Square and eat at Sovana Bistro or since you are heading back to Philly anyway...

        1. re: bluehensfan

          I mostly agree with all your points, But I'm not sure that Sovana is any better.

          1. re: gfweb1

            Yeah, you may have a point if you are comparing it to a good meal in Philly!

          2. re: bluehensfan

            i'm sorry, but I have to argue that comparing Delaware restaurants to a "third world country" is a little extreme..... Does it have the numerous options of Philly- no- but it's also way smaller than Philly.
            I've been to Orillas Tapas, Union City Grill, and Toscana, and all were wonderful experiences. I'm not sure, however, if I'd suggest them as lunch spots for you based on what you've mentioned.
            Pizza By Elizabeths in Greenville might be a nice option. Wonderful and eclectic- delicious specialty pizzas and salads. I saw quite a few seniors on my last trip there and think it would be perfect.
            I've also heard good things about Sugarfoot- at 10th and Orange, I think- but have not tried it myself.
            If Pomodoro is open for lunch, that is a wonderful Italian restaurant on Union Street which you might enjoy.

            1. re: jessicheese

              Below the canal is the third world country part. LOL

              1. re: gfweb1

                As a Dealwarean born & bred ('til moving to the Midwest a couple years ago), I have always poked fun at "lower slower Delaware" - but in its defense have to point out that Rehoboth beach has numerous killer restaurants. Newark DE also has ponied up - Caffe Gelato, Stone Ballon Wine whatever, and others. Fair Hill Inn in nearby fair Hill MD is awesome, and the Wedge just over the PA line on 896 is nice too.

                1. re: Mr. Teflon

                  Thumbs up to Stone Balloon and Fair Hill. Gelato is OK. Wedge.....not unless they have completely changed everything would I ever go back there.

              2. re: jessicheese

                I'm sorry, but you're wrong. Delaware is absolutely the home of the most mediocre restaurants on the east coast. Sure there are a couple OK places, but three or four in an entire State is pretty sad.

                1. re: yankee_fan_0

                  There are only 3-4 "OK" restaurants in the entire state of DE?? Wow- I didn't realize that my standards were so low.

                2. re: jessicheese

                  Just tried Pizza By Elizabeths in it's (somewhat) new location. The place is beautiful! But...the service was awful (got two of the three pizzas wrong) and was clueless about the dessert special. He also arrived after a ten minute wait to announce that "I guess your server never arrived so I'll be taking care of you." We believed him at first but his inability to get two thirds of our orders correct and his unfamiliarity with the dessert menu buried him. The fact that one half of the bottom of one of our pies was burned to a crisp did not help much either (not that we mentioned it). Having dined there in the past (and been relatively happy) I think that they are getting too big too fast, as our meal was not worth the hassle (despite the food being pretty good).

                  Oh Well. Back to the Border Cafe for some decent grub and better service...

                  1. re: bluehensfan

                    Sorry to hear of your experience and hope it is not a trend. We had bad service a couple times. Once, no service for over ten minutes. (We tend to be patient.) We walked out and I went home and emailed the Elizabeths to tell them of the lack of service. That was on a Saturday. Monday morning one of the Elizabeths emailed a response. She had investigated what happened with the non-server, explained what happened, apologized and made things right. I can forgive lapses and mistakes as long as the management makes an effort to correct it. They did so and we're still happy customers. I've begun to make it a practice to make sure a restaurant knows if they did things right or wrong. I prefer emailing later than making a scene and further wasting my time. Sometimes I get responses, sometimes not.

                    1. re: RC51Mike

                      It was nice of the management at Elizabeth's to tell you that they investigated what happened to you but it seems that whatever changes they tried to implement didn't work given our experience this past weekend and your comments regarding repeated bad service there.

                      We did leave a comment card at the hostess stand, so who knows...

                      Frankly we should have done what you did and left after ten minutes. I think we would have been happier in the long run! It's a shame because we are pretty forgiving about bad service to a point (when our server initially arrived and made the comment about the other server not being there we replied by saying that it is his or her loss because our server would be getting their tip), but for example when a customer asks for a particular item for dessert (which our server told us was not on the menu, and then arrives with the menu and sure enough the item is there, and made the comment "uh uh, they ran out of it but they just made another batch of it at 3:30 today (and quickly printed up new menus?)" I tend to lose patience.

            2. Right now we have a reservation for Union City Grille. I'll report back!

              1 Reply
              1. re: sylviag

                Thanks a lot...I have not been there yet and would love to know if there is something I am missing around here.

              2. That's a shame that Domaine Hudson is closed on Sunday's. That would be my pick! -mJ

                2 Replies
                1. re: njfoodies

                  Eclipse on Union. Good place. Nice atmosphere. Low key. Since everyone on this board claims to know so much about Delaware and it's lack of restaurants, I'm surprised it wasn't mentioned!!!! The staff is still getting used to the new, big space, but the food is still great. I grew up in Delaware and I haven't lived there for years, but everytime I get back (4-5 times a year), I crave Elizabeth's. I don't always make it, but I always want to try to. DuPont has wonderful brunches. Their dinner service is good. Used to be great.

                  1. re: EpicuriousOenopheliac

                    Eclipse is a nice enough place, but a bit casual for what I had in mind.