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Domaine Hudson or the Green Room?

My father-in-law wants to take out my husband and I for a very nice dinner tomorrow night. I'm thinking the Green Room at the Hotel Dupont might fit the bill, but the reviews I've found are decidedly mixed. I think my father-in-law might prefer the Green Room (since he wants to take us to a place nicer than we could normally afford), but I'm worried it might be a disappointment. So I'm wondering if Domaine Hudson is a safer option (where we've had reliably delicious food and wine).

We'll want great service, good wines, and flexible chefs (since we don't eat gluten or much dairy).

Thoughts? Thanks!

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Green Room
11th Market Sts, Wilmington, DE 19801

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  1. Out of the two, Domaine Hudson would be my choice. You might also want to consider Krazy Kats or Moro.

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    Krazy Kats Restaurant
    Kirk Rd, Montchanin, DE 19710

    4 Replies
    1. re: genevapics

      Geneva, what are your reasons for preferring Domaine?

      We went to Moro a year ago and were not impressed with the service. We thought the food was good, but not as good as Domaine.

      We haven't ever tried Krazy Kats because of the name and the ridiculous branding and decor. :) I suppose we should try it sometime, but those things are an almost insurmountable turn-off.

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      Krazy Kats Restaurant
      Kirk Rd, Montchanin, DE 19710

      1. re: FuriousOyster

        You commented that you want good wine and that is what Domaine does very well. Plus the atmosphere is wonderful, the food very good and the service is excellent. I have eaten at Domaine on several occasions and have always come away very happy with a smile on my face.

        The Green Room is a beautiful room, with good food, but I find it a bit stuffy.

        As Travelmad suggested, there are several options in Kennett Square. One I would suggest would be Sovana Bistro http://www.sovanabistro.com/restauran... . It is an open restaurant but somehow feels very cozy. Fabulous meals prepared with local ingredients that change with the seasons. If you feel adventurous and have the time, this is a place that might suit you also.

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        Green Room
        11th Market Sts, Wilmington, DE 19801

        1. re: genevapics

          I don't think Sovana Bistro is really worth the drive from Wilmington. Terribly loud when crowded.

      2. re: genevapics

        Domain I like, Moro I find a bit irritating. This notion of selection a fish and then choosing the prep seems silly. Last time there the service was poor. With a small group and ordered three appetizers which all arrived at the same time!

      3. Second vote for Domaine. I eat at the Green Room pretty frequently for business lunches and breakfasts, and while it's not bad, I vastly prefer the atmosphere, food, wine, and service at Domaine Hudson. I don't know how well you will do with the no gluten/no dairy thing, because the menu at Domaine is pretty short, but maybe you can call ahead to ask about that. They change their menu on a regular basis.

        I have not been to Krazy Kat in 10+ years and don't see myself ever returning. The food was fine although not memorable; the atmosphere and clientele are not my speed. (By which I mean that I am not 80 years old and getting my hair set weekly.)

        If you feel like driving some way, there are nice places to go in Kennett Square, but if you want to be in Wilmington then I would feel entirely confident making a reservation at Domaine Hudson.

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        Green Room
        11th Market Sts, Wilmington, DE 19801

        Krazy Kats Restaurant
        Kirk Rd, Montchanin, DE 19710

        3 Replies
        1. re: travelmad478

          Thanks, travelmad.

          We've eaten at Domaine a number of times, and they are great with our dietary restrictions.

          We would prefer to stay in Wilmington, but are willing to travel 30 minutes for a truly outstanding place. What were you thinking in Kennett?

          I think the tough part is finding something with sufficient formality. We like interesting, delicious food and a formal, conservative atmosphere. It seems like a casual atmosphere is really in right now, and I'm not always a fan. (I'm making this complaint as a 28-year-old; I can't imagine what I'll be like when I'm old!)

          1. re: FuriousOyster

            Well, the Green Room wins on "formal, conservative atmosphere," it is true. I am OK with it for breakfast and lunch, particularly if I'm at a business meal, but eating there for pleasure would not be my choice. Domaine is definitely less formal, but I really like the service level there (I would call it "friendly, warm competence").

            Sovana is an excellent restaurant food-wise, but it's neither conservative nor formal. It can get pretty loud in there; probably they'd call it "lively." I don't know how old your parents are, but my 68-year-old, hearing-aid-wearing dad would be challenged.

            One other I would put forth is Foxfire at Stone Barns, a place I finally made it to recently. It's about a 40-minute drive from Wilmington. The food is really fine, service is good (although not perfect, and servers are on the young side), and the setting is lovely. It is also BYO, which to me is a plus. I took my mom and my mother-in-law there, and we were all very happy. The menu is creative but more traditional eaters will be very satisfied. A thread on it is here: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/727244

            1. re: travelmad478

              Had a nice meal for my birthday a couple of years ago at the Green Room but I think they've changed chefs since then. While the room is somewhat formal, we found the service to be friendly and not necessarily stuffy. In fact, while we're not sticklers for dress codes we were somewhat dismayed that a nearby table of diners was wearing hoodies, down vests, and rain gear.

              We tried Moro once, were not impressed, and see no reason to return. Haven't been in a while but we've had pretty decent luck with Eclipse though it can get a little noisy at times.

              Have never had a bad meal at Domaine and service is always top-notch. That would be my choice.

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              Green Room
              11th Market Sts, Wilmington, DE 19801

          1. re: scoopG

            Eclipse is a possibility, although the one time I went there I was sufficiently underwhelmed with the food never to return. This was a long time ago, and all I remember (vividly) was ordering something that I thought would be akin to quenelles and getting, basically, gefilte fish. Not that I don't like gefilte fish in the right setting, but that was not the setting!

            It is on the formal side though, so you may want to give it a try. When I ate there I also recall running into my dentist, who is in his 70s and very patrician. It is not Krazy Kat territory though.

            1. re: travelmad478

              We've been to Eclipse twice and enjoyed the food both times; we got the duck with cranberry maple sauce, and, while it was quite sweet, it was perfect for Christmas celebrating. But it is not remotely formal in my book: it has televisions, and the wait staff was quite casual on our two visits. But it's a great neighborhood spot, an easy walk for us, and we'll be back again.

          2. Krazy Katz > Domaine = duPont (though it is fancier)>> Moro (some good meals, some bad)

            Sovana has passionate fans, but I don't get it.

            Krazy Kat is definitely not hip, but the food is good.

            1. Thank you so much to everyone for all the advice! Your comments helped us to settle on the Green Room (because we all agreed that "stuffy" was exactly what we wanted), and we had a fantastic meal.

              We started with drinks at the bar. This was the one partial disappointment of the night. We chose the Green Room in part because we thought the Dupont would have a classy bar. It does not. It has a bar with two enormous televisions and a bartender who has never heard of a Sidecar cocktail. So we settled for Old Fashioneds, and we tried to sit far from the televisions. The bartender was sweet, and she tried to make a Sidecar, but the attempt was far from successful. The decor was a little dated too (not in a classy way, but in a 90s way).

              The service at the Green Room was outstanding: warm, but not familiar, and charmingly eager to please. Our server was very knowledgeable about the menu, and he took great care to make sure that our food was gluten-free and dairy-free. I don't think I have ever felt less deprived eating a meal with those unfortunate restrictions. Both the men had fois gras with fennel and dark chocolate sauce to start; it was a marvel! I had a "truffle trio" starter which was quite good as well. We all enjoyed the trio of heritage pork--all perfectly cooked--and a good pinot noir. We finished with sorbet and flourless chocolate cake (by far the best I've ever had) accompanied by port and muscat wine. The macaroon cookies are gluten-free too, and they were good.

              The atmosphere is wonderful: unobtrusive live piano music, over-the-top decor, privacy for conversation. Most people were well dressed, and we didn't feel out of place in blazers and ties (for the men) and a sleeved silk dress (for me).

              In sum, we loved it. It's not a place I'd want to frequent, but it was a real pleasure to do at least once. Thanks again for all the help!

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              Green Room
              11th Market Sts, Wilmington, DE 19801