The restaurants of the Wilmington, Delaware and the Brandywine Valley draw influences from the farm-to-table values of the Pennsylvania Dutch to our north, the seafaring coastal communities of the Chesapeake Bay to our south, and the global connections forged through the corporate offices and busy ports of the city of Wilmington.
James Beard-nominee Antimo Dimeo, Executive Chef at Bardea Food + Drink (a former James Beard Best New Restaurant Award nominee), along with co-owner Scott Stein have now added Bardea Steak to Wilmington's Market Street landscape. Acclaimed Philadelphia chef and restaurateur Tyler Akin, known for celebrated restaurants Stock and Res Ipsa Cafe, has returned to his home town to open Le Cavalier inside the famed and historic HOTEL DUPONT. Influenced by the flavors of North Africa and Provençe, Le Cavalier is a neo-brasserie offering thoughtfully sourced French classics and inventive riffs on French staples paired with natural wines designed to complement our fare.
From the HOTEL DUPONT follow Market Street towards Wilmington's Riverfront and at the corner of 5th Street, directly opposite of one another, you'll find La Fia and Merchant Bar. The pair are owned by Bryan Sikora, one-time chef/owner of Talula's Table (and the toughest restaurant reservation in America, according to NPR). In the kitchen of La Fia you will find another James Beard nominated chef, Dwain Kalup, preparing inventive, seasonal fare with a focus on local and sustainable ingredients. Across the street Merchant Bar is an elevated gastrobar that infuses a chef-driven menu with an original hand-crafted cocktail menu that focuses on high-quality ingredients.
Not to be left out of the conversation, and only a short drive from downtown Wilmington in Hockessin, Delaware, you'll find the House of William & Merry. Here, Delaware Chef Bill Hoffman moved his family and his kitchen into a century-old farmhouse to focus on creative new American cuisine with local, fresh and often foraged ingredients. Hoffman earned a 2022 James Beard nomination for Best Chef in the Mid-Atlantic.
These chefs along with many others throughout Greater Wilmington take the utmost advantage of the bounty of the Mid-Atlantic and its culinary traditions. Restaurants pride themselves on shopping local. Taste for yourself why people are talking about what they ate in Wilmington and the Brandywine Valley.