Winners of the Best of Delaware award for Best Dude Food in 2010, 2 Fat Guys’ trophy-grabbing burgers embrace savory flavor in a bun-aided bear hug. Each classic cheeseburger begins its life as a half-pound of fresh-ground sirloin before deft chef hands mold proteins into patties and charbroil meat to a diner-specified degree of doneness. To leap across the chasm from regular hamburger to superhero cheeseburger, each handsome hunk of meat dons a cape of american, cheddar, swiss, provolone, or jack cheese. Lettuce, tomato, red onion, and pickles arrive as each burger’s entourage, softening the bite of the incisors and protecting the sirloin from food-blog paparazzi. A carb-conscious establishment, 2 Fat Guys helps diners simultaneously appease burger cravings and Dr. Atkins with bun-free repasts.
The Zagat-rated Back Burner treats taste buds to toothsome, handcrafted dishes made from seasonal and, whenever available, locally sourced ingredients. Executive Chef Kristin McGuigan creates mouthwatering, constantly changing menus for brunch, lunch, and dinner that showcase her dedication to fresh, flavorful, from-scratch repasts. Dinnertime diners may start with the signature pumpkin mushroom soup ($4/small bowl), a guest favorite sure to awaken partakers' inner bowl-licker. Maritime-minded munchers can explore the flavorful fathoms of the sushi-grade ahi tuna paired with Peruvian white sweet potato puree and rainbow chard ($25), and carnivorous cravers can carve into classic 6-ounce center-cut filet mignon ($29) and exotic kangaroo loin ($26) with flame-borne authority. Vegetable aficionados treat tongues to meatless masterpieces such as the opulent eggplant napoleon, sporting gardeny layers of herbed ricotta and mozzarella cheeses, tomato basil sauce, and fresh basil ($19). End an edible excursion by sinking forks and sweet teeth into a dreamy dessert from pastry chef Stephanie Rutkowski's decadent assortment of house-made treats.
When Lois Margolet first opened Capriotti’s Sandwich Shop in Wilmington, Delaware, 36 years ago, she and her brother Alan worked from the second story of a boarded-up building, roasting 10–12 whole turkeys every night and churning out a “real turkey lover’s” sandwich each day. Today, Capriotti’s has expanded across 12 states, each location stacking the same award-winning hot and cold sandwiches, racking up such accolades as The Best of Las Vegas 2012 and Best of Delaware 2012 prizes from the Las Vegas Review-Journal and Delaware Today, respectively. Though the shop is still known for its slow-roasted-turkey creations—such as the Thanksgiving-inspired Bobbie, named America's best sandwich by AOL's Lemondrop.com, piled with cranberry sauce and stuffing—its menu now ventures into the realm of roast beef, italian deli meats with such sandwiches as the capastrami, cheesesteaks, and vegetarian treats, such as meatless chicken and turkey.
The culinary traditions and ingredients of Northern Italy inform many of the dishes at Floga Bistro. Chefs there scatter fennel sausage and prosciutto across regular and gluten-free pizza crusts bound for the rippling warmth of a hearth. They ladle spoonfuls of sun-dried tomatoes, wild mushrooms, and marsala wine cream sauce over tangles of thick, sunshine-hued pappardelle made in-house. With a sharp sizzle, panini presses shut on halved ciabatta rolls hiding rib-eye, caramelized onions, and fontina cheese like the backpack of a totally unprepared secret agent. In the cozy dining room, festive booths and stone accents surround diners, and paintings of cityscapes, flowers, and abstract prints dapple the sage and pumpkin walls.
In Kyoto?s two restaurants, tangy aromas of teriyaki and wasabi mingle with wafts of warm, simmering curry and sweet almond sauce. Whether slicing and molding rolls at the sushi bar or performing at the hibachi grill, Kyoto?s chefs craft Japanese dishes as deftly as they orchestrate fare from China and Thailand. All three locations unfurl a slightly different menu, combining more than 55 sushi rolls and varied meats prepared on the grill, crisped in the katsu style, or tossed with soba or udon noodles so diners can taste the many flavors of Asia without erecting a complex, transcontinental zipline system.
For example, the signature spicy seafood eggplant appetizer combines grilled eggplant, chopped shrimp, scallops, and fish eggs, topped by a spicy mayo. The Kyoto tartar, or chopped avocado, salmon, tuna, and caviar is also topped with the spicy mayo, while the most popular menu item, the Kyoto scallop au gratin, is topped with enoki mushrooms.
A fully stocked hardwood bar, lit by glowing lights and wreathed with strings of flowers, marks the centerpiece of the Wilmington restaurant, whereas hibachi grills, with chefs creating columns of flames as they chop veggies and sear meats, draw attention in West Chester. Each location bathes diners in dramatic blue lighting, and the West Chester location maintains additional atmosphere with a stone wall mural and a small arched garden bridge.
Executive chef Eric Orsetti crafts hearty, modern spins on classic Italian cuisine using fresh ingredients and homemade pastas and sauces. Elegant openers from the dinner menu can silence megaphoned stomach rumblings and include the steamed littleneck clams with sweet italian sausage and ginger-white-wine sauce ($10). Forks sing when sinking into the homemade lobster-and-tarragon gnocchi ($24), fluffy dumplings that come cosseted by a brandy-tarragon cream reduction, diced roma tomatoes, and micro greens that add a splash of color under a magnifying glass. The comforting smoked chili slow-braised short ribs with mashed potatoes and asparagus ($21) inspire diners to pat bellies and chefs' backs.