Steak a claim at any number of Cape Region eateries

June 13, 2019

With the opening of the new Zoca Mexican joint in Bethany, my thoughts turned to steak. What does steak have to do with that, you might ask? Well, that’s because the co-owner is also the co-owner and executive chef of Harvest Tide Steakhouse in Lewes. Danio Somoza has been honing his skills at Bethany’s 99 Sea Level since it opened, and he certainly hit the ground running there on Savannah Road in Lewes.

To be fair, everything gets me thinking about steaks, so it wasn’t that much of a leap. Please note: If you’re from Philly, you are probably picturing an elongated sandwich stuffed with thinly cut beef grilled with onions and topped with bright orange cheese from a bright orange spray can.

There is certainly nothing wrong with that. But today I’m referring to actual steaks grilled over flames or pan seared in cast iron and finished in a blazing hot oven.

You can’t just hire a spatula-wielding kid off the street and hang a sign out front that says “Steakhouse.”

Cooking – and serving - the proper steak takes skill and experience. After all, you are asking customers to pay $35 and (way) up for an entrée that cost the restaurant a pretty penny to begin with. So doing it right is not up for discussion. 1776 Steakhouse in Midway has been grillin’ ‘em up for over 27 years. I like it when they wheel out the raw steaks so you can choose your cut. It’s like getting together with a tray full of old friends. Owners Tom, Johnny & Tammy are certainly on their game.

In downtown Rehoboth Beach there’s a spot that you would not think of when steaks are up for debate. Next time you’re in the mood for some live music, drop in to Conch Island Key West Bar & Grill. Sundays are steak night and I promise you’ll be surprised. Back out on The Highway, the center-cut filet is a source of pride for Fork + Flask Executive Chef Sean Corea. This is another guy who knows his stuff.

Toward the end of last year, longtime Cape Region toque Ryan Cunningham brought his steak skills from Bonz in Harrington to The Clubhouse at Baywood. He always has a couple of beefy goodies on the menu, paired with unusual sides like collards, smoked blue cheese fondue or pork rinds. Warning: Never turn down any accompanying sauce when Chef Ryan is in the kitchen!

In spite of Bethany Blues’ reputation for slow-smoked barbecue, they dish up a pretty fine New York strip. It’s reasonably priced and arrives all cuddled up to crispy onions and garlic mashed potatoes. There’s always something green on the plate to make you feel good about yourself.

I’m running out of real estate here on this page, but I would be remiss if I didn’t give proper steak kudos to Chef Lion Gardner at Blue Moon, everybody’s buddy Matt Kern at Heirloom in Lewes and Richard Davis’ beefy dishes at Michy’s. And there are two places in the southern hinterlands that bear mentioning: Ocean City’s Ruth’s Chris installation at Glenriddle Farms and the delightfully French Bon Appetit in Seaford. The menu rotates weekly, but Chef Chino always has steaks on the menu. Recent offerings include a New York strip laced with balsamic and a Black Angus filet decorated with grilled scallions.

There’s more steak out there! So grab your favorite bib and treat yourself to something expensive. After all, you’re at the beach.

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