This is a wonderful charity event for Meals on Wheels, supporting homebound seniors. We got there a little late, but had absolutely no problem parking – they redirected us and even provided as shuttle, even though it was only two blocks away. I must say there are not a ton of young folks here. It was definitely an “older” crowd, so much so, that those of us in our 30s were carded and the guys had no idea they were giving us a compliment. No problem for me – next stand was a bar full of mimosas that were not light on the sparkling wine.
We saw about 6 stands – and quickly devoured everything. Nage was serving some adorable eggplant rancheros with an avocado hollandaise. But in the front room – I loved both dishes from Ivy and Jam. Ivy (out of Dewey Beach) had some of my favorite things all on one page. An Autumn Duck Salad – with duck confit, goat cheese, and wine-soaked cherries severed over mixed greens tossed with a balsamic vinaigrette. The duck was fantastically meaty and the savoriness of the duck was perfect with those wine soaked berries. Jam was the front-runner before we realized there was a second much larger room. Jam was offering their Spicy Shrimp and grits. The grits were creamy and buttery with large chunks of shrimp and spicy pancetta. The fresh herbs really rounded out the flavors. You guys do remember that I love the savory breakfast type. It certainly wasn’t coincidental that the chefs and teams from those two restaurants were competing in a “Chopped”-like competition on stage.
I think a friend of mine had three or four plates of the grits before she realized there were so many bites left to be tasted. We quickly moved on, but not before stopping at this gorgeous Bloody Mary bar supplied by some of my favorite chefs over at Henlopen City Oyster House. This wasn’t my favorite bloody; it was a little watery – I suppose that happens when you are making 60 at a time. It was fun to be able to mix in whatever I wanted – I chose celery, horseradish, Old Bay, and a lime squeeze – I was looking for the Worcestershire sauce, but couldn’t find it.
The food just kept getting better and better. Fins had a ton of Delaware Bay oysters – with all sorts of toppings. My friend loved the sushi from the Cultured Pearl. Neither sushi nor oysters is my best idea of brunch so I kept moving. PoBoy’s on 16 was also there with a fantastic pork shoulder. Pickled Pig Pub had a pork meatball – it was good, but it was not as good as their fish tacos on their menu in the restaurant.
Abbots was one of the best of the day. I loved loved Abbotts Pork Belly and Tuna Poke dish. I didn’t know they existed – but they might be worth the trip to Milford or Laurel. The pork belly was wonderfully pull apart tender, with a crispy crunchy crust. It was served with tuna poke with some pineapple on the side. Both were fantastic – not sure they went perfectly together, but they both went well with the avocado creme.
Both Dogfish head and Salt Air were doing pork belly. Dogfish was salty pork belly with salty grits with flavorless pickled slaw. Blech! Such a waste. Salt Air, on the other hand, AMAZING. They managed to create a one bite app with a marvelous meld of flavors. A little sweet potato cake held a bite of pork belly with fresh tastings. This was my favorite – so much so, that I forgot to take any pictures and I had at least three. I think we all had a few extra plates.
Big Fish Grill had a pumpkin crab bisque. No wonder people drive out to the highway to eat here. This was almost like a cream of crab bisque with a savory, yet sweet pumpkin fall component and tons of jumbo lump blue crab. Hooray for the season of pumpkins.
The only complaint was that there wasn’t much on the sweet side nor the egg side considering it was a BRUNCH. And I think they should do it on the beach, it was packed inside and we were a little like sardines in a can. Overall, what a great way to enjoy new restaurants and help meals on wheels.