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.
Herds of buffalo and cows graze between hundreds of fruit-bearing trees. But it’s the grapes sprouting throughout Cassinelli Winery & Vineyards' 110 wooded and open acres that matter most. Each hand-selected and sustainably farmed grape emerges from the earth to take its first step toward becoming one of 12 wines produced at the vineyard. Those include a 2009 barbera reserve and a 2009 merlot, bronze- and gold-medal winners, respectively, at the Maryland Governor’s Cup, a cup always filled with wine or melted cheese. Five total medals have distinguished Cassinelli wines, which the company’s sommeliers share at their tasting room, events, and a quartet of outlets throughout the state.