Over the course of nearly 40 years, the close-knit Ruffini family have operated five restaurants throughout southeastern Pennsylvania, and Pronto Bistro Italiano is the latest testament to their love of traditional Italian cuisine. Visitors won't find over-processed food full of preservatives and genetically modified additives, but handmade, homey feasts of spaghetti carbonara made with local farm-raised eggs, salads made with organic greens, and sandwiches stuffed with slow-roasted pork and homemade meatballs. Diners can pair morsels of veal saltimbocca tenderloin or earthy eggplant parmigiana with flavorful Italian wines, handcrafted cocktails, or a beer from a list that changes with the seasons. Families gather around cloth-covered tables for dinners of paninis and pasta, while in the low-lit, woodsy bar area, revelers shoot pool, snack on chicken wings from the late-night menu, and pitch a tent for the night.
Duffer’s Pub appeases appetites with delectable bites from an eclectic menu of hearty comfort-food favorites. A lengthy list of sandwiches occupy fingers with bread-bound meat novellas such as the pretzel sandwich loaded with thinly sliced ham and bacon ($7.99) or the chicken avocado, featuring cool salsa avocado and pepper-jack cheese ($8.99). Carnivores can sate cravings with one of five different burgers or a full-size entree of dry-rubbed barbecue ribs that dole out a dollop of plate-bound comfort akin to freshly roasted footie pajamas ($15.99). Starters tempt tastebuds with promises of the town’s meatiest hot wings ($7.99 for a full order) and shareable tapas such as breaded green beans served with a wasabi-infused ranch sauce for dipping ($6.99).
• For $12, you get two games of bowling for two people (up to a $19 value) and two shoe rentals (up to a $5 value; up to a $24 total value). • For $24, you get two games of bowling for four people (up to a $38 value) and four shoe rentals (up to a $10 value; up to a $48 total value). • For $30, you get five admissions to Rock-N-Bowl (up to a $60 value), which takes place on Fridays from midnight to 3 a.m. and Saturdays from 10:30 p.m. to 2 a.m. Rock-N-Bowl is open only to guests 18 and older.
Steps away from the University of Delaware campus, 16 Mile Taphouse sources its frosty, barley-based nectars from the 16 Mile Brewery in Georgetown. Gourmet tavern grub pairs with the popular local brews, such as the Old Court Ale, full of citrusy zing and hints of caramel, or limited-edition batches such as the English Heraldry Series, flavored with notes of foggy weather and a respect for monarchy.
Diners sip wine and ale under lofty ceilings in the tiered dining space, surrounded by rugged brick walls and antique maps. These nostalgic touches pay tribute to the restaurant site's 255-year history; formerly known as The Stone Balloon, this locale was once home to colonial bureaucrats, a world-class 19th-century hotel and restaurant, a dingy 20th-century flophouse, and a 1970s rock ‘n’ roll joint that drew the likes of Bruce Springsteen, Pat Benatar, and Metallica.