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.
Matt Crist, the new executive chef of Union City Grille, crafts lunches and signature dinners of handmade pastas, rich short-rib chili, and steaks seasoned with a house rub. An updated list of hand-selected wines and over 70 craft beers augment dishes that include hand-turned ricotta gnocchi and gourmet burgers. Guests can enjoy fare in the comfortable dining area, or in the eatery's cozy banquet room, accented with a modern fireplace. Sunday "choose your cut" fillet specials allow guests to feast on steaks discounted by the ounce, or pretend they are directing a film starring steaks.
Drawing on his culinary background working in East Coast bistros and stately hotel kitchens, Mile High Steak & Seafood’s Executive Chef David Robinson crafts a rotating menu of upscale steakhouse cuisine. Robinson, a graduate of the Culinary Institute of America, refuses to cut corners with his ingredients, going so far as to fly in fresh seafood and grass skirts overnight from the Honolulu Fish Company. He only chooses aged certified Angus beef for his steak-centric entrees, and he revs up traditional sandwiches and appetizers on the bar menu with high-end items such as shaved prime rib, artisan cheeses, and lobster. These gourmet bites pair palatably one of the bar’s signature cocktails or glasses of wine.
Even in his down time, Robinson keeps his culinary skills sharp, coordinating charity events for the Chester County SPCA and the Brandywine Hospital Strawberry Festival. But even with his busy schedule and impressive resumé, he’s still thankful for landing his “dream job” at Mile High Steak & Seafood.
The Chesapeake Inn is a place for everyone. The Dining Room is great for a nice dinner with family, friends or that special person in your life. The Deck is that fun place with live entertainment, frozen drinks and watching the boats come and go. The Ballroom is great for weddings or special events. 410-885-2040 tel
Within the cozy, plush confines of a 19th-century brownstone mansion, Alfred's Victorian crafts specialty Northern Italian dishes alongside hand-cut pastas. Appetizers rouse tongue-napping taste buds with dishes such as mussels Livorno, baked in a savory tomato garlic sauce ($8), and the three-cheese-topped french onion soup ($6). Pasta patrons can give a toothy salute to the Al Ragu bolognese, which smothers hand-cut tagliatelle in a thick tuscan meat sauce and an even thicker accent ($15), while anti-carnivorous cravings can be sated by bites of portobello Ariana, a savory amalgamation of fresh spinach, melted provolone, and toasted almonds ($17). Pescatarians can launch a table-mounted trident into Alfred's many seafood delights, including cioppino with clams, scallops, shrimp, and mussels ($27).
Since it was launched in 1904, the Moshulu has led a colorful life: sailing the seas of Europe, South America, and Africa, circumnavigating Cape Horn 54 times, and ferrying around all sorts of goods, from lumber and grain to copper ore and nitrate. But by 1975, the Moshulu, tired from the stress of constantly evading sea monsters, was ready to retire. Today, it?s docked at Penn?s Landing, the largest four-masted sailing ship afloat and a restaurant serving the culinary creations of executive chef Anthony Bonett. Bonett matches the extravagance of the luxury liner?s interior with an equally upscale menu of modern American cuisine paired with an extensive wine list.
With 360-degree views of the Philadelphia waterfront and skyline in the background, his staff decorates crisp white tablecloths with plates of North Atlantic jumbo flounder, 9-ounce cuts of filet mignon, and highly praised Hawaiian ahi tuna tartare. Private parties can be held in a tented space, heated and floored with weathered hardwood, or aboard multi-level decks left open to fresh sea breezes and the quiet whispers of passing mermaids.