Now in its third year in business, The Rat Pack Cafe couples classic American fare with an homage to the Rat Pack greats, paying tribute through music, murals, and a hearty menu. Lunchtimers can overwhelm waves of hunger with freshly made specialty sandwiches, ranging from the Political Peter, properly dressed with white tuna, melted american cheese, and a tomato slice woven into a USA tie, to the Chairman of the Board's kaiser roll overflowing with layers of fresh italian roast beef drizzled in handmade bistro sauce. Thwart sandwich stealers with the infamous Copa Room's namesake salad, a lineup of crisp bacon, black olives, hard-boiled egg, and chicken breast lounging on a bed of organic mixed greens. A fountain drink, such as Coke or Sprite, rounds out afternoon meals along with a homemade cookie of choice, served up in black and white, red icing, or danish-shortbread forms. If screaming sweet tooths rebel against lunchtime savories, diners can opt to ditch the main dish and snatch up one dozen jumbo-sized cupcakes baked in one tooth-soothing flavor instead.
The Rat Pack Cafe's red and yellow dining room greets eaters with '60s-esque furnishings and flat-screen TVs. Guests can craft up a cup of joe at the self-service coffee bar backdropped by football-size coffee-bean wallpaper, or tuck away in the corner lounge, filled with black leather couches, plush red carpeting, and a step-by-step mural of the Rat Packers performing secret handshakes.
When patrons step up to the self-serve pumps at Berri Yummi, they fill their cups with the tongue-titillating frozen yogurt flavors that earned the title Best Desserts in Delaware Today?s 2011, 2012, and 2013 Best of Delaware. Though it changes daily, the selection often includes flavors such as peanut butter, white chocolate, and mango, many of which are certified kosher and all of which are high in protein, calcium, and live cultures. Diners are charged by weight, not by flavor, so they can mix as many varieties as they?d like before sprinkling them with any of the over 50 toppings. If the endless options overwhelm patrons, they can call their parents for advice in the VIP room or refer to a list of some of Berri Yummi?s tried-and-true favorite combinations.
Dead Presidents Pub & Restaurant, which was recently ranked one of the Best Bars in America by Esquire, pays tribute to presidential and U.S. heritage with regional pub dishes and American brews. Culinary crews build plates named for former commanders in chief, such as Roosevelt, Jefferson, and Megatron, using steak fillets, barbecued ribs, pulled pork, and seafood. An extensive roster of beers ranges from local and East Coast microbrews on tap to bottled domestic craft beers to special bottles 16 ounces or larger. The bar's softly lit rooms, wood-paneled walls, and hardwood floors provide a sleek lounge area that resounds with murmured guesses about which president was secretly a warlock on Quizzo trivia nights. The pub often celebrates its executive namesakes with special President's Day soirees, which have included costume parties and pig roasts.
From the strains of live blues resonating through its walls to the spicy kick of its habañero Voodoo shrimp, Blue Parrot Bar & Grille recreates the freewheeling, vivacious vibe of a New Orleans nightclub. Guests sip colorful mojitos and hurricanes as they dig into Creole and Cajun specialties, including étouffée, red beans and rice, gumbo, and jambalaya. Live bands primarily capture the gazes of diners, although the restaurant’s decor is interesting on its own. Murals, carnival masks, and posters evoke lively Bourbon Street scenes and Mardi Gras celebrations; outside, a brick patio surrounds guests with fountains, canna plants, and a large mural of a French Quarter–style inn.
In Vallé Cucina’s kitchen, chefs form fresh jumbo lump crabmeat into thick patties, pan-sear them to a golden-brown hue, and drizzle their crispy crusts with beurre blanc. The eatery’s crab cakes have been hailed by Delaware Today as the city’s best for several years running. Vallé Cucina’s classic Italian entrees are held to the same high standard: chefs hand-roll gnocchi and drizzle them with slow-simmered tomato sauce, and accent dry-aged steaks with elegant flourishes such as peppercorn brandy cream sauce and blue cheese. Servers recommend selections from Vallé Cucina’s vast wine list to enhance steaks or Trevi Fountain reproductions.
In 1940, crowds of people would line up outside Tresilla Robino's front door, all awaiting coveted seats in the tiny dining room she had set up in her basement. Today, Mrs. Robino's great grandson replicates her beguiling Italian recipes and maintains a family business that has thrived for more than 70 years. Cooks place hearty meatballs atop tangles of housemade spaghetti and tuck seasoned meat and creamy ricotta cheese into hand-formed pockets of ravioli. The kitchen staff also breads veal cutlets by hand before topping them off with provolone and red sauce, and dusts sweet cannolis with powdered sugar for clear fingerprinting.