Some culinary stars are worth the trek
When Mr. Spock flip-phoned Captain Kirk that there was "no intelligent life down here," some might have taken that as a commentary on non-Rehoboth restaurants. But what if Scotty beams you down west of the beach, and you require nourishment? Who y'gonna call?
There is intelligent (dining) life west of Rehoboth Beach. Baywood Greens' head chef Tom Deptula tells me that many people don't know that the golf resort's Clubhouse is open to the public. It's on Rt. 24, just a few minutes west of Coastal Highway.
Keep driving and you'll end up in Millsboro where two of my favorites include the laid-back comfort of Georgia House and Blue Water Grill. At Georgia House, friendly servers deliver homespun entrees like buttermilk fried chicken, Miss Vicky's meat loaf, Texas chili, club sandwiches and Georgia Peach tea. Pair them with seventeen (count 'em, 17!) side dishes. The statistical possibilities are staggering. Across Main St. from Georgia House is the Blue Water Grill. Josh and Jess Wiggins dish up lunches and dinners with reasonably priced sandwiches, seafood, pastas, burgers, ribs and even steamed shellfish. The talented Josh loves to throw an occasional curve into the specials menu that hints of fine-dining fare.
Two gems in the Sussex County Seat of Georgetown are Patty's carryout and JD Shuckers. Patty's made-every-day salads are paired with breakfast and lunch sandwiches and what might be the most delicious cookies this side of Rt. 113. Jamie Davis' second location of JD Shuckers is a bright and sunny spot with standard Sussex fare and a huge bar. Daily lunch specials bring in the locals who toil across the street at Delaware Technical & Community College and in town around The Circle.
Twenty minutes north of Rehoboth you'll find Abbott's Grill. Owner/chef Kevin Reading was the prime mover behind Rehoboth's Espuma and Nage restaurants and he's just as hands-on at this informal Milford eatery with the big friendly bar. The talented Ryan Cunningham, former opening chef at Reading's Laurel Abbott's is now grilling up genuine wagyu beef and well-prepared steakhouse fare at Bonz in the Harrington Casino.
The tiny burg of Milton has come into its own with the popular carnivore magnet Cantina Ultima. Just next door is Suburban Farmhouse where you can nosh, sip and shop an eclectic mix of home goodies and shabby chic. Drop by for a warm cruffin after the Dogfish Head brewery tour. One of the new kids in Milton is A Different Kitchen at Paynter's Mill. Longtime veterans Mary Gaffney and Roy Fowler make ADK a trip worth taking. Wait 'til you try the lunchtime banh mi!
I would be remiss if I didn't mention Karen & Chino Pedemonte's Bon Appetit in Seaford. This tiny storefront has been wowing diners for over 20 years. The menu has a definite French accent, and no detail is left to chance. Feast on chicken Champignon, expertly cooked steaks and country pate amid vintage prints and photos, quietly professional service, candles and fresh flowers. Once you experience Bon Appetit, the drive with be worth it.
This list is by no means comprehensive, but it should tide you over until you beam back up to the mothership. Live full and prosper.