I’m dreaming of a white Christmas ...

Unless there’s red; then I’ll take the Cabernet
December 23, 2022

Ribeyes with mashers and french fries with crabcakes.
Fresh Sussex corn served in simmering clambakes.
Monday night specials with oysters and rings,
These are a few of my favorite things.

Dear Santa, I’ve suffered through yet another year enjoying the good restaurants here in the Cape Region. To add insult to injury, I have to write about it in the paper and talk about it on the radio. I endure grand openings, menu meetings, media events, wine, beer and spirits tastings … it never ends. (Work with me here, Santa. I’m going for the sympathy vote….)

So in light of all that, it just seems right that I get at least a few of my favorite things on Christmas morning. I would love Richard Steele’s haricots verts at Café Azáfrán. Oh, and his veal sausage with cannellinis. I would also like Yolanda Pineda’s handmade tamales and pupusas at Mariachi (fresh jalapenos on the side, please). And while we’re on the subject, the salsa at La Tonalteca, the chili con queso (and face-melting sauce) at Dos Locos, an order of the charbroiled LOH Tide Oysters from Lewes Oyster House, a 32-oz. crowler of Brick Works’ own Drop Trowel American IPA, and Ben’s cleverly crafted cocktails at Drift restaurant.

May I have a La Frieda Burger at Shorebreak Lodge? Also, the Monday-night salmon burger at Summer House (thank you Regan Derrickson for keeping that delicacy on the menu), the Wednesday night burger at Kindle, and of course that Crispy Smoked Yardbird at Bushels Crab House in Lewes. If you’re in a hurry, throw in a bacon cheeseburger from Five Guys with fresh jalapeños, pickles and mustard. (The warming drawer will be under the tree and preheated to 145F. By the way, the tree is in the kitchen.)

It doesn’t really matter which dessert you bring from Harbour in Lewes. They are all amazing. And can you do a touch-and-go at Fins Ale House for a Peacemaker with slaw? Then follow the crowds to Woody’s in Dewey for one of those French Dip sandwiches. Hang a U-turn northward for a bowl of Sawanya Conway’s sublime Green Curry at Sticky Rice in Lewes. (Don’t blink … you’ll miss it.) My expression of childlike surprise will warm your heart when I unwrap a couple orders of tandoori-baked garlic/cheese naan from Raas.

I will share a few secret go-to goodies that would make great stocking stuffers: the lasagna at Pat’s Pizza. The chopped antipasto at Villa Sorrento. The French toast at Sunrise, and the burger with onion frizzles at Blackwall at the Beach. I will be brokenhearted (do you really want that on your conscience?) if I don’t get an order of black ravioli and the brûlée’d cheesecake from 1776 Steakhouse. Oh, and the Lobster Reuben alongside a Thermos full of New England clam chowder from Henlopen City Oyster House.

I hope I’m not being greedy, but will there be room in your bag for an order of meatballs from Ava’s, those amazing Blue Crab Hushpuppies from Drift, the baby arugula salad (extra lemon vinaigrette, please) from DiFebo’s, and the crisp and salty lime wings from Minh’s Bistro?

By the way, Santa, please sneak in a Texas Frito Pie from Cooter Brown’s, a box of Creekstone Farms’ steaks from Diamond State Meats, an order (or two) of Salt & Pepper Shrimp from Confucius, along with one of those unbeatable sloppy joes from The Pond.

I’ll have some goodies waiting for you too: Help yourself to a plate of Patty’s indescribably good oatmeal raisin cookies, a Touch of Italy cream puff, and Mamma Desch’s creamy banana pudding from Chaps Pit Beef.

By the way, Santa, if you see Richard or Oscar, offer my apologies for butchering their song at the beginning of this article.


  • So many restaurants, so little time! Food writer Bob Yesbek gives readers a sneak peek behind the scenes, exposing the inner workings of the local culinary industry, from the farm to the table and everything in between. He can be reached at

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