Sikar Lounge of Wilmington invites cigar aficionados and occasional inhalers into its private puffing place, home to an abundance of smokes and accessories from top blenders and brands. Precisely humidified in Sikar's cigar cabinets, an array of sticks wait to be toasted and savored, such as a CAO Gold maduro—an arrangement of Nicaraguan fillers trapped inside a dark Brazilian wrapper—or the Romeo y Julieta Reserva Real Love Story, which compels partakers to communicate in iambic pentameter for the duration of their smoke. Patrons can sink into the lounge's leather chairs while watching sporting contests on large flat-screen TVs, accessing email through free WiFi, or admiring the craftsmanship of the facility's cherry-oak finishings while the trusty ventilation system ensures an atmosphere unblemished with loitering smoke clouds. With membership, guests receive a month of lounge access and discounts to invitation-only events that occur every four–six weeks during fall and winter.
The Fordham & Old Dominion story started in 1989 when Jerry Bailey followed his passion for experimental brews by opening Old Dominion, which quickly gathered a loyal local following. In 1995, Bill Muehlhauser opened Fordham, and the two breweries joined forces 12 years later. Today, the company—led by Muehlhauser—remains dedicated to artfully crafted ales, lagers, and sodas with unique flavor profiles. These brews include the Double D IPA with guava and mango aromas as well as the Baltic porter, which combines the flavors of licorice and toffee with a touch of rye.
Owners Eric and Sasha Aber stock their kitchen at Home Grown Café with locally sourced and sustainably produced ingredients when they can. That palate of fresh greens, house-made sauces, and Black Angus beef pairs with eclectic recipes, which have nabbed a slew of awards from Delaware Today, including Best Healthy Fare four of the last five years. Many plates, such as the pad thai with shrimp or shredded chicken tamale turnover, can be converted into filling vegan meals with faux shrimp or seitan. A full gluten-free menu provides options for patrons who have wheat allergies or recently had a tearful falling out with a gingerbread man. The chefs craft sandwiches with proteins including hangar steak or tofu and toppings such as bacon, creole mustard, brie, and chilled duxelle, a rich, buttery sauce of mushrooms.
Beside supporting local farms, the Abers throw their support toward the arts, displaying a rotating cast of local craftspeople on the walls and hosting live music performances four nights a week, including Jazz sets on Sunday.
Thurston's Pub's burgers and sandwiches owe their distinctive flavors to the restaurant's housemade sauces. Without the spicy chipotle dressing that blankets the baja burger or the barbecue sauce that drenches the wings, guests might pay far more attention to the dartboards and flat-screen televisions that line the pub's walls. The reality is that sometimes they must pry their eyes away from their plates if they hope to pay attention to the live sports broadcasts or the waiters politely reminding them to eat their Guinness stews with forks.
In 1989, Jim Kirkpatrick received a winemaking kit from his wife, Carole. At the time, neither Jim nor Carole knew it, but that kit churned out more than just wine—it also produced a dream. When Jim's homemade concoctions were a hit, the couple decided to try their hand at growing their own grapes, and soon moved to a home in Wrightsville surrounded by 3 acres of land.
Just 100 yards from Kreutz Creek, the Kirkpatrick's new location presented the ideal location to expand on Jim's newfound dream. Today, Kreutz Creek Vineyards generates an assortment of red, white, and seasonal varietals. Jim and Carole also use their tranquil grounds to host community events throughout the year, including bonfires and movie nights.
Cromwell's Tavern infuses a casual, neighborhood atmosphere with upscale food and friendly service, crafting a menu of fine cuisine from fresh ingredients. Take flight with the airborne chicken-winglets starter ($10.95), tossed in mild, hot, or Nuclear wing wash to imbue taste buds with radioactive, green super-strength, or jump straight to sinking fangs into the succulent 8-ounce original Cromwell burger ($10.95). The portobello-mushroom salad swathed in balsamic vinaigrette ($12.95) bypasses beefy rounds, and the Sweet Pig and Potatoes ($18.95), which barbecues barnyard bums to strawberry delectability, quells saucy cravings.