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Prince on Delaware (New Castle, DE)

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Definitely worth driving the extra 15 minutes to. This place appears to be criminally under-marketed and in fairness, has one of the most irritating websites imaginable, but the food was really good. My colleague recommended it and told me to go because she likes it "and there's never anyone in there." Well, that was pretty much true--only about 1/4 of the tables were occupied on a Saturday night at 8 PM, which is a real shame.

On weekends (at least for the current few months), they serve soul food, but at other times the restaurant is sort of upscale creative Caribbean/French/American--you'll have to look at the menu. (Be forewarned--getting to it via the website is a production.) The food we had last night was from the soul food lineup and it was almost universally excellent. I had fried chicken with a side of collards and a side of mac and cheese; other members of my party had barbecued beef ribs, shrimp and grits, and a grilled Niman Ranch pork chop, with various sides. I thought my fried chicken was fabulous, with a crispy, peppery batter; the collards in particular were the best I've ever eaten, and the cornbread served with everyone's meal was good too (although the Southerner in our party found it on the sweet side). Everyone else raved about their food as well, including a very picky rib eater. We will definitely be going back to try other items. It looks like the restaurant will be a great place for brunch in nice weather. There are a few tables outside.

The one downside, and it is definitely worth mentioning, was the drinks menu. The place has a full bar for cocktails and serves a small selection of OK wines, but for some reason has Corona (!) as the sole beer selection. After dinner, the only tea was Lipton--no better-quality or herbal teas--and the coffee was really weak. This was a letdown after the great food, but could easily be improved (I hope someone from the restaurant is reading this!) The drinks side doesn't come close to the creativity and quality of the food side.

The dining room is very nice, sort of a mash-up of Old New Castle style and zebra prints, if you can imagine that, and well executed. The restaurant is right on the corner of the main square in New Castle, heading toward the water. I'm sure they'll get a bigger crowd in the summer when tourists are there, but Prince on Delaware needs much better marketing in general. It's been there for a while, but I'd never heard of it, and as I mentioned the website is awful. I hope they work out their drinks kinks, get some advertising going, and get better known!

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Prince On Delaware
124 Delaware St Ste Frnt, New Castle, DE 19720

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  1. We went to Prince on Delaware this past Saturday before a concert.

    FOOD:

    Very good overall. What we ate:

    Grilled Niman Ranch pork chop (my dad) -- came with two mammoth chops, and they were perfectly seasoned. Really, really delicious.

    Baby back ribs (my mom) -- the table's pick for best entree. Really juicy, really well flavored, perfectly cooked. I'm usually picky about ribs, but couldn't find anything to fault (other than that I didn't order them).

    Fried chicken (my wife) -- the skin wasn't quite as crispy as I thought it could have been (a little more flour, I think), but the meat was very moist and flavorful.

    Salmon (my mother in law) -- she loves salmon and said it was good; I hate salmon, so I didn't taste it.

    Fried red snapper (me) -- the fish was moist and well cooked, but not as crispy on the exterior as I think it should have been. The batter was underseasoned. The menu also says it's supposed to come with two fillets, but I only got one, and it didn't come with the tartar sauce promised. They fixed that when asked, but not with tartar sauce, what they brought out tasted similar to thousand island dressing - normally I wouldn't even eat my fish with tartar sauce, but the lack of seasoning made me want something to go with the fillet.

    The sides: three of us ordered the same -- collard greens and mac'n'cheese, and both were very good (I thought the mac'n'cheese could have been a little more moist, but nobody else agreed). We all agreed with travelmad's assessment -- the collard greens were out of this world. My dad said his potato salad on the side was good -- and his grilled asparagus, while fine, should have come with more than 4 thin spears. The mashed sweet potatoes my mother in law had were tasty -- I can't stand most mashed sweet potato dishes because of all the sugary stuff most folks want to mix in.

    Dessert: My wife and I split the chocolate mousse cake dessert. Very good if you are a chocolate fiend (like my wife).

    SERVICE:

    Enthusiastic and friendly, but a little on the slow side (both in terms of table service and kitchen speed). They were very busy, almost all of the tables were full, and I think they may have been a bit overwhelmed.

    Also, and this is the first time this has even happened to me in a restaurant, but when I ordered coffee with dessert, the coffee was brought out without any cream or milk, and when I asked for it our server told us they were out -- no cream, half-and-half, whole milk, or skim milk. Almost unbelievable. Again making me think they were a bit overwhelmed by the full house.

    And the final piece to our dinner, the restaurant forgot to include the tip on the credit charge -- I wrote in a 20% tip but only the food/drink cost showed up on my credit card bill.

    CONCLUSION: We will definitely go back. The meat items were delicious, the fish not quite up to that level (not bad, but paling in comparison). Service (both attention and speed) could use some improvement. And please have some milk around for the coffee!

    3 Replies
    1. re: c.w.

      Sounds like you guys had a very similar experience to our group's: great food from the soul food menu but bizarrely bad execution on the drinks. I haven't been back since I posted this review, as New Castle is a bit of a haul from where I live now, but I should remember it and go again. I'm glad to hear that the restaurant was full, even though it sounds like that was a contributing factor to the downsides of your evening. I do hope the owner/chef gets it together on the non-food side of things!

      1. re: c.w.

        I will try this restaurant on a Soul Food weekend. Sounds like a neat/different place to eat. And LIVE JAZZ on Friday nights. Like travelmad, I too had never heard of this place until now. Then again, not too much going on in downtown New Castle anyway. Will definitely give this a try in the new year.

        Also took a look at the pastry chef's website ( http://dessertsbydana.com/index ) looks like they have a nice selection of goodies.

        1. re: c.w.

          Also, and this is the first time this has even happened to me in a restaurant, but when I ordered coffee with dessert, the coffee was brought out without any cream or milk, and when I asked for it our server told us they were out -- no cream, half-and-half, whole milk, or skim milk. Almost unbelievable. Again making me think they were a bit overwhelmed by the full house.

          There really is no excuse for this. There are three supermarkets and a half dozen convenience stores within five minutes of Old New Castle. If you are that low on something, call somebody up and get them to the store.

          Hell, as a customer, if I liked the food, I'd offer to run to the store for them as I would want them to succeed so I can continue to come to a place where the food is good.