We Love Local: Delaware
Banks’ Seafood Kitchen and Raw Bar
101 S. Market St., Wilmington
302-777-1500 / BanksSeafoodKitchen.com
We love seafood with a water view, even if the water is a river. So meals at Banks’ Seafood along Wilmington’s Riverwalk are extra special. Chef/owner David Banks has a long history with this spot, working almost 30 years with the predecessor restaurants (Harry’s Seafood Grill, then Harry’s Fish Market) before taking ownership in 2018. Dine on Blue Point or Colville Bay oysters at the raw bar, order award-winning crab cakes or Lobster in the Nude (shell removed). There are seafood nachos, snapper cerviche and sashimi selections, plus whole branzino, Faro Island salmon, big eye tuna and more.
5812 Kennett Pike, Wilmington
302-656-9776 / BuckleysTavern.com
Once a private home on a dirt road, then stagecoach station, tollgate, taproom and ice cream shop, the building has seen people come, go and come again since 1817. Today we know the white two-story building with wrap-around porch as Buckley’s Tavern, where Rolls-Royces mix with pickup trucks in the parking lot. The food and the comfortable yet classy atmosphere are satisfying from start to finish. Dig into burgers, potpie or fish and chips. Savor spicy Thai noodle soup or poached pear salad. End your workday on the porch, rooftop deck or by the fireplace with a Dark and Stormy cocktail or the Painkiller, with pineapple, rum, orange juice, coconut and nutmeg.
421 N. Market St., Wilmington
302-543-4474 / LaFiaWilmington.com
What’s not to love about chef-driven restaurants? Especially when a Philly-famous chef like Bryan Sikora (Django BYOB, Talula’s Table) serves up an inventive, seasonal menu featuring small plates that have attracted crowds to downtown Wilmington since 2013. Do a pre-theater dinner (The Grand and The Queen are nearby) or snag the $35 prix fixe, three-course bargain on Wednesdays. Come for the branzino with herbed faro, rye gnocchi with roasted honeynut squash, Long Island duck with cashew-herb puree and so much more. Order a specialty cocktail and see why the sister Merchant Bar opened across the street. The Crow Bar at Trolley Square and Heath Kitchen in Kennett the brand.
42 W. 11th St., Wilmington
302-594-3154 / LeCavalierDE.com
Wilmington is justly proud of the latest version of the famed Green Room in the landmark Hotel Du Pont. The widely anticipated 2020 opening of Le Cavalier (or Le Cav) has been followed by the foodiverse and local foodies alike. Reviews are positive on the thoughtful transformation of the classic space to a more accessible neo-brasserie with a lively bar—try the Hotel Du Pont cocktail of cognac and fino sherry. Chef Tyler Akins created a menu mixing Provençal, North African and Middle Eastern flavors. Of note: onion soup, gnocchi Parisienne with caviar, and Le Big Cav Burger with special sauce. Recent Friday afternoon Holiday Teas were a nod to the grand tradition of this special place.
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