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May 7, 2008

Beach eats




Off topic, but are there any places I shouldn't miss while I'm visiting Rehoboth Beach next weekend?

Posted by: Stacy | May 7, 2008 9:03 AM


I'm glad you asked, Stacy. Rehoboth is one of my favorite restaurant towns in this area, by which I mean a reasonable drive away. Unfortunately I haven't been there in a couple of years, so my info is almost certainly outdated; but this will at least get you started. I'm hoping readers will tell us where I've gone wrong.  ...


The following is part of a story I did for our 2006 beach guide. Of course, the entree prices, if nothing else, must be way out of date:

Rehoboth Beach is a great restaurant town. There are too many places to list here, but here's a run-down of what's new or almost new this summer:

*Aqua Grill (57 Baltimore Ave., 302-226-9001) has gotten a face lift under new ownership. Enjoy its light grill menu on the patio. The signature dish is a bacon bleu burger. Entrees: $7-$13.

*Claws Crab House, (167 Rehoboth Ave., 302-226-1729) is scheduled to open this summer as downtown Rehoboth's only crab house.

*Confucius (57 Wilmington Ave., 302-227-3848) is where many locals go for seafood. It offers excellent Chinese cuisine. Entrees: $17-$38.  

*Summer House (228 Rehoboth Ave., 302-227-3895) reopens with a new owner and new concept: fine dining food in a casual atmosphere. Entrees: $15-$25.

*Yesterdays (517 N. Boardwalk, 302-226-5444), under new management, now has a beer and wine license and is expanding its dinner offerings of steak and seafood. Entrees: $12-$20.    

In 2002 The Sun sent me to Rehoboth to do a story on its restaurants. Some of these may no longer be in existence, but if they are, they are well worth visiting. 

* Back Porch Cafe, 302-227-3674, 59 Rehoboth Ave., Rehoboth Beach, Del. 19971. Innovative American.

* Blue Moon, 302-227-6515, 35 Baltimore Ave., Rehoboth Beach, Del. 19971. Casual, upscale, eclectic.    

* Celsius, 302-227-5767, 50-C Wilmington Ave., Rehoboth Beach, Del. 19971. French Mediterranean.    

* Chez La Mer, 302-227-6494, Second Street at Wilmington Avenue, Rehoboth Beach, Del. 19971. Classic French.

* Eden, 302-227-3330, 122 Rehoboth Ave., Rehoboth Beach, Del. 19971. Eclectic American with Asian accents.

* Espuma, 302-227-4199, 28 Wilmington Ave. and First Street, Rehoboth Beach, Del. 19971. Mediterranean.

* Fusion, 302-226-1940, 50 Wilmington Ave., Rehoboth Beach, Del. 19971. Fusion cuisine. What else?   

* La La Land, 302-227-3887, 22 Wilmington Ave., Rehoboth Beach, Del. 19971. Eclectic.    

* Red Square, 302-226-7782, 162 Rehoboth Ave., Rehoboth Beach, Del. 19971. Russian food and caviar bar.    

* Zebra, 302-226-1160, 32 Lake Ave., Rehoboth Beach, Del. 19971. New Italian.

(Elizabeth Malby/Sun photographer)


Posted by Elizabeth Large at 11:19 AM | | Comments (28)
Categories: Beach Eats


Dogfish Ale House. Grilled pizza and the best beer south of Downington, PA.

I spend a lot of time at the DE beaches and can recommend Eden in Rehoboth (had our rehearsal dinner there, it was outstanding, unusual menu), Victoria's on the Boardwalk for brunch, Arena's Deli just off Rehoboth Ave for lunch and sandwiches (I love their crab and spinach dip), Summer House has a good menu of everyday pasta/salads/sandwiches/seafood. Go a bit north to Lewes for Striper Bites just off the canal!

Good list! The Back Porch is our favorite restaurant anywhere (try the sweetbreads appetizer and the house coffee with--or instead of--dessert). La La Land is not only eclectic, but fun (specially if the bubble machine is cranking out bubbles).

There is a huge debate among regulars about whether Grotto Pizza is better than Nicoboli's, but we probably don't want to get into that!

When I visited to write the piece for the Sun's 2007 beach guide, we had a very nice meal at The Cultured Pearl, which was scheduled to move to larger digs on Rehoboth Ave.

I second the Dogfish recommendation. It's kid-friendly, too. (Don't know about dogs, despite the name. Ducking and running now.)

Off topic 2 -
Going to the Lyric/Opera next week - need help picking an area restaurant for pre-opera dinner -kinda narrowed it down to Abacrombie, b Bistro or Neo Viccino. Suggestions?

I just read a book by the owner of Dogfish. It's called He Said Beer, She Said Wine (he wrote it with a sommelier named Marnie Old). It was, obviously, a book about beer and wine pairings. I liked it a lot.

I go to Fenwick, not Rehobeth, but if you feel like getting a little bit out of town, I really love Captain Pete's - on Coastal Highway, a mile or so north of the MD line. The food is Greek and so delicious. The Greek wine is strange, though - it tastes like it's been infused with thyme.

My hubby went to Rehoboth last weekend. He liked the beer at Dogfish but he said the bar was like a hole in the wall. Dos Locos has great margaritas and the food is good too. He also said he got the best ribs and buffalo wings in place in the mall called Cluckin Ribz‎.

We ate at Claws in June 2006 after reading the recommendation in the Sun. The price on steamed crabs was reasonable and they were fantastic...tasted good and full of crab meat!

Sorry, the list isn't complete w/o a Dogfish recommendation; interesting food and incredible brews/liquors

Yet another shout for Dogfish Head. I am part of a family of brewers (now multi-generational) and we line up for their special and seasonal brews. If their ginger flavored Pangea is available, match it with anything Asian sounding from their menu -- or buy some and hit up your favorite Chinese take-out.

If you head to Lewes, please try my favorite, Second Street Grille. Service is always on point and the specials are lovely. There is normally a cocktail of the day as well. If you cannot sit in the restaurant, the bar is charming and, on most nights, you can order the full menu.

You should try Jakes Seafood. They have on in town and one out on the highway. The bisque is to die for!!!!

Dined at the Summer House last weekend. While the service was efficient, they need to learn how to make a white sauce. The taste of uncooked flour destroyed my dinner.

Seconding MD Canon's recommendation for the Pangaea. My wife got me a bottle for Valentine's Day (yes, before you ask, she is the greatest wife ever).

We went to the Dogfish Head brewpub last summer, and if I remember right, the food was good, but the beer was better.

Kitpollard, did you have the Retsina wine? Greek wine is often infused with pine resin which, to my palate, tastes like kerosene. I can't stand the stuff, but some folks love it.

There appears to be another Stacy here. I must come up with a different screen name.

(Odd--most Stacys I encounter spell their name Stacey.)

Joining the chorus of praises for Dogfish Head. Their burgers are outstanding, and the beer is indeed better, but not by much. And that's no slam against the burgers... or the beer. The service can be a little shaky depending on when you go.

I refuse to go to any of the fancy places in Rehoboth ever since a snooty maitre'd sneered at us for not having reservations midweek, fairly early in the evening. (Don't remember which restaurant - I think fusion was involved?) Grotto's and Thrasher's will do nicely, thank you very much.

Nantucket's in Fenwick Island is fantastic. Pricy, but it is terrefic all around, from the food quality, the portions, a wide variety of offerings but not too many, and the service second to none.

Cottage Cafe in Bethany wasn;t bad ither.

Dottie, Greece has some of the finest wines and indigenous grapes in the world. I'm not a fan of Retsina either, but there are plenty of other options out of Greece. I've had wonderful Sauv Blancs, Moschofilero, Cabernets and Merlots from there, as well as several grapes native to Greece whose names I can't remember and/or won't attempt to spell. The Black Olive and Pazo both have a bunch of lovely selections.

I like Retsina, but it's a bit of an acquired taste and not for everybody.

That said, I've also had good non-Retsina Greek wines.

Thanks StillAnon and Hal, I am aware that Greece produces some very fine wines, and have enjoyed a few of them. But, as kitpollard said her wine tasted as if it had been infused with thyme, and thyme is a woodsy taste, I just wondered if she'd had a Retsina.

Nage is, in my opinion, the best restaurant in Rehoboth. Very upscale food in a very fun atmosphere. (And there's an outpost in DC, too! Though wild horses can't really make me drive to DC.) The Rehoboth location is undergoing a much-needed expansion so the dining room space will be a little more user-friendly this summer. Really really great, innovative, upscale food.

The Back Porch is also our favorite. The food is excellent and so is the service. Stop and have a cocktail at the bar before dinner. Bee Neild is the best bartender on Delmarva. His classic mixing combines freshly squeezed juices, top shelf liquor and a pleasant good humor.

Dottie - I'm not actually sure what type of wine it was, but pine resin actually sounds about right. I'll have to ask next time I'm there.

I didn't hate it, but I didn't love it either. It was just very...different.

And Shorebilly - I second the Nantucket's recommendation. The food in the tap room there is great, too, if you're looking for something a little less white-tableclothy (but still nice).

WHAT? No one mentioned Planet X?
We're pesceterians / vegetarians. So we need either great seafood or great veggie selection or both. Planet X has always been a good time, we go every year.

The better 1/2 and I always ease into the beach life on the first day with a couple o'bloodys {ies?] or champagnes whilst sitting in those godawful cast iron chairs at Victoria's on the Boardwalk; there's nothing finer than sitting outside overlooking the drink, with a drink at the ready. but we haven't had their food, the place seems too touristy.

Bottom line: the drinks seem colder, the air fresher, life easier, while away at the beach. It's good to be so close by...

I agree the dave the suave about the food at Victoria's. We only ate there once, when someone else was hosting.
It was nothing to write home about.

While we have a side discussion going on about Greek wines, what's with the wine list at The Black Olive? I went there for the first time for a belated birthday dinner, and the prices on the wine list seemed out of sight. My husband spotted one bottle for $1200 and a Nebbiolo was offered for $800. Many wines were $80 or $100 and up. Huh?

Has anyone been to the new Hobbit in Ocean City? I've heard it looks great and the food has changed ?

Has anyone been to the new Hobbit in Ocean City?

Is it finally open? I remember really liking the Hobbit years ago, but then it burnt down.

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About this blog
Richard Gorelick was appointed The Baltimore Sun's restaurant critic in September 2010. Before joining the paper staff fulltime, he contributed freelance criticism and features articles about food to area and regional publications. Along the way, he dispatched for short-distance trucking companies, shilled for cultural non-profits, and assisted in cognitive neurology research – never the subject, always the control.

He takes restaurants seriously but not himself, and his favorite restaurant is the one you love, too.

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