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Jan 30, 2011 12:42 PM

Valentine's Weekend Dinner Near University of Delaware?

Hi all, I'm looking for a good restaurant for a valentines dinner. We will be dining the Saturday before so I'd like to make reservations ASAP. Looking for formal dinner (Slacks and blazers for men, dress for women). We are from the Towson area and went to Oregon Grille and Milton Inn. Anything similar to those would be great. Anything within a 30 minute drive is preferred. Thanks Hounds!

The Milton Inn
14833 York Road, Sparks, MD 21152

Oregon Grille
1201 Shawan Road, Hunt Valley, MD 21030

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  1. Ristorante Nonna in DE and Fair Hill Inn in FairHill MD. Latter is more romantic.

    Fair Hill Inn
    3370 Singerly Rd, Elkton, MD 21921

    1. 30 minute drive from Towson or University of Delaware area?

      1 Reply
      1. re: genevapics

        University of Delaware. Sorry for any confusion.

      2. My favorite for a romantic dinner selection would be Domaine Hudson. It is a dressier establishment with an incredible wine list. This will be a 25-30 min drive and at the higher end of a price range. The lights are dim and the ceilings are low, its defintely a good spot to get close. I would recommend making reservations.

        1. Thanks for the answers so far. Fair Hill and Domaine seem more what we are looking for. Are both of these places "Young couple" friendly? We are a college couple but both are from good homes and know how to dress. Last time we went to a more upscale restaurant, the server seemed to scoff at our age even though we were better dressed than anyone there and left a generous tip. What is the dress code for Fair Hill Inn? It looks more casual from the website.

          Fair Hill Inn
          3370 Singerly Rd, Elkton, MD 21921

          9 Replies
          1. re: thenoxus1

            Domaine is perfect for young couples. The vibe there seems like it would suit you well. I am 27 and felt totally comfortable there in a casual dress. My guy loves to sport slacks ties when we dine and he fit right in. Also, it's in downtown Wilmington with hip after dinner drink options. The Chelsea Tavern would be a great spot to get a good cocktail after your meal.

            Or Vintoteca 902 is a good dinner option, I haven't eaten there myself but it gets great reviews on CH. It's also in downtown Wilmington and is upscale.


            1. re: in bocca

              We are not concerned about drinks really as we are non drinkers. But we are looking for a place that is dressy, men in slacks/ties/sport coats. Women in the equivalent dresses etc. Fair hill looks nice but doesn't seem as formal. May go with Domaine as we want a place that fits that more formal dress code.

              1. re: thenoxus1

                Domaine is not formal either--you can of course wear whatever you want, but the people around you will not be in jackets and ties/dresses. (They won't be in shorts and flip-flops either, just normal "smart casual" wear.)

                To be honest I can't think of a single restaurant in Delaware that would be even majority occupied by men in jackets and ties and women in dresses, unless perhaps the restaurants at the Hotel DuPont--which I wouldn't recommend for this occasion.

                1. re: travelmad478

                  What would your suggestion be then, prefer more upscale dress but will take what we can find. Which is the most dressy/romantic in your mind.

                  1. re: thenoxus1

                    I am a big fan of Domaine Hudson so I would recommend that also. It can be a little noisy but not in a boisterous way--just low ceilings. The lighting and the space fit the "romantic" category. Then again, if you are not going to drink, you're going to waste a lot of what Domaine has to offer--the stupendous wine list and very good beer list.

                    Vinoteca 902 is also a good choice for food and atmosphere although I would not call the space particularly romantic--it is fairly brightly lit and the ceilings are high. The service at Domaine is better and more professional.

                    I have never been to Fair Hill Inn so can't comment about it, but it has received good notices here. It might be the closest analogue to your Milton Inn.

                    You may want to scale your expectations down just a hair. Wilmington/Newark is a lot smaller than Baltimore and there is not such a broad spread of restaurant options. I also find that having very high expectations for "special nights" like Valentine's Day and New Year's Eve are almost certain to be disappointed in some way!

                    1. re: travelmad478

                      I know we won't find an exact match, just looking for the areas closest offerings. Would domaine be worth it if we aren't drinking really you think? Also what's the general dress code there? Just want a nice valentines dinner that isn't at like an olive garden or the likes. Spending time together is what makes it special:) Thanks.

                      1. re: thenoxus1

                        Yes, Domaine is worth it even if you are not drinking. Please read my earlier post regarding dress code there.

            2. re: thenoxus1

              Fair Hill is fine with any dress. It tends toward jacket with or without tie. Can't imagine any condescension there. Domaine Hudson is fine too. I like 'em both, but I think Fair Hill is better by a couple of notches.

              1. re: gfweb1

                Both choices are excellent, but I would recommend Fair Hill Inn. The FHI is much more romantic and might be a little closer. Wood burning fireplaces and the rustic inn make for a memorable setting.

                You won't go wrong with Domaine Hudson for food either, but I do not think they can match the atmosphere of FHI.

                Good luck.

                Fair Hill Inn
                3370 Singerly Rd, Elkton, MD 21921