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May 8, 2012 03:37 PM

Univ of Delaware/Newark, DE-Wilmington, DE

Any recommendations for dinner on a Friday evening? Somewhere not near Main Street, she's exhausted all of those places! Any great food is preferred. Thanks...

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  1. If you are willing to drive out of Newark a bit (15-30 min), here are some good, casual places for an end-of-the-semester family dinner:

    1 Reply
    1. re: cke25

      Thanks for the recommendations. Will check them out...

    2. Soffritto and Ole Tapas on Kirkwood Highway. Two Stones Pub for outstanding beer list and elevated bar food.

      4 Replies
      1. re: RC51Mike

        Enthusiastic second on Two Stones Pub. We have recently discovered this place and really like it. Hands down the best beer list in DE, and probably in several surrounding states. The food is also very well done--as RC51Mike says, it basically takes bar food to a higher, more imaginative, better-executed level. It's in Newark but away from the main drag. It is casual. This place is quite popular and fills up, but the wait for a seat is worthwhile.

        1. re: travelmad478

          Another Two Stones Pub fan here! The food is s--o-o-o good and the beer excellent. They also take reservations. Be4 aware that the main room (where the bar is located) only has high tops. I don't feel comfortable at a high top so I always make a reservation and I ask for the back room which has regular height tables.
          Have fun!

          1. re: Fiona

            Thanks, Fiona. Back room table suggestion is much appreciated.

        2. Is Vita Nova, upstairs in the Trebant Center, still open? It's run by the students who are studying Hotel and Restaurant Management and I think it's the single best-kept dining secret in the state of Delaware.

          Or, if you don't mind a 20-minute ride north, there are a number of really good places in the Kennett Square area.

          8 Replies
          1. re: CindyJ

            Vita Nova is totally new to me. Will definitely look into it. Thanks for the referrals...

            1. re: ansky4

              Vita Nova is good, still there, but since it's run by students the schedule can be limited. For instance, their last dinner seating of the semester is tonight. Also, dinner is their training ground for super formal, which is nice but you'd want to know that before reserving. Lunch buffet is more casual, although because the students are being evaluated, I wouldn't say that it's ever exactly laid-back.

              Tonight my pick is pizza truck at Va La Winery in Avondale. Good food, great wine, nice to sit and sip and munch overlooking the vineyards -- if the sometime-smell of the nearby mushroom farms doesn't put you off.

              1. re: spyturtle008

                Now that is a new one to me. I live pretty close to Va La and it sounds like a very nice way to spend a nice Friday evening! (The mushroom smell is a constant for me anyway as a Hockessin resident so I can't imagine it would put me off...) Thanks for the tip!

                1. re: travelmad478

                  Sign up for Va La's email list for updates -- it is a lovely way to relax when the weather's nice (and even when it's not -- we've been there for a sudden rain storm and there's plenty of space to scuttle for cover). Details from this week's email:

                  This Friday, May 11 :
                  Wood. Fired. Pizza. We say welcome back to Friday nights and wood-fired deliciousness. Steaming hot pies fresh off the coals created by celebrity chef, possum breeder, and former ninja assassin, the beloved Mr Matthew J. Hans IV.
                  PLUS: the mighty Glenn E. Williams Jazz Trio doing a little evening concert thing (5 - 8 pm, weather and belief in love permitting.) Pizzas are small batches made to order, so come early to beat the rush.

                  1. re: spyturtle008

                    We are totally into that for tonight. I looked at their website but need to look again to sign up for updates. I can't remember who on here clued me in on signing up for the Woodside Creamery events calendar, but that's been a great thing too.

                    1. re: travelmad478

                      Thanks for the Woodside tip! If you see someone there who looks like my avatar, feel free to say hello :) .

                      1. re: spyturtle008

                        Not sure I'd recognize you as a South Park character ;-) but I am thrilled to find another Fresca devotee!

                        1. re: travelmad478

                          Oy, I needed to update my profile -- still love the Fresca, though! And, I do pretty much look like that, just a little taller and I'm not *always* carrying an ice cream cone :) .

          2. Don't forget the Fair Hill Inn in Elkton, about 15 minutes from Newark.

            4 Replies
            1. re: MrRuffles

              Just did Mother's Day there. FANTASTIC!!! $30/person brunch that was out of this world. The meal was as follows:

              1.) Sweet pastries;
              2.) Fruit salad (blueberries, pineapple, blackberries, sliced apples, sliced pears and strawberries with a simple syrup);
              3.) Smoked shrimp, smoked scallops, lox, toast points and an herb remoulade;
              4.) Cheese platter (Blue and Mahone) with strawberry compote;
              5.) Vegetable quiche;
              6.) Prime Rib, Smoked Pork Loin and Garlic Mashed Potatoes;
              7.) Profiteroles filled with homemade mint ice cream laced with chocolate sauce and fresh strawberries.

              The meal was wonderful and the service always fantastic. I miss the old place when Tony G. used to own it, but the new owners/staff have taken the Fair Hill Inn to another level. I have already inquired about Father's Day.

              1. re: genevapics

                Just made reservation at House of William and Merry. Thanks for the referrals. Will let you know how it turned out.

                1. re: ansky4

                  Dinner at House of William and Merry was terrific. Small, intimate house with valet parking, upstairs and downstairs seating (we stayed downstairs). We tried 3 appetizers. Duck confit, fried shrimp (with heads) and a mixed plate with dips, croutons, cheeses, etc. All excellent. Mains were duck with smoky beets (delicious), hallibut (moist, outstanding), scallops (sweet, done just right) and one other I can't remember. Server, Steve, was professional, knowledgeable, and knew when to make his presence known and when not. Desserts were three flavors of homemade ice cream from a local creamery, a cheese plate, and one other. Definitely high calibre dining in a casual environment and quality to rival New York and New Jersey best. Thanks for the referral. I heartily recommend William and Merry...

                  1. re: anne Gonsky

                    Glad you liked it. W&M and Fair Hill Inn is the best in the general area.