Pioneering Italians were not only the first to put tomatoes in cuisine, they were also the first people to take photographs of themselves pretending to hold up the Leaning Tower of Pisa. Delight in their inventiveness with today's Groupon: for $20, you get $40 worth of Italian cuisine at Vallé Cucina.
Founded in 1981, Vallé Cucina boasts Delaware Today's pick for best crab cakes from 2007 to 2009, as well as more than 200 wines, specialty dry-aged steaks, and homemade soups, sauces, and dressings. Try a trio of the accolade-winning jumbo lump crab cakes ($13), or sink incisors into World's Best Grandma–nominated pastas such as the gnocchi with gorgonzola cream sauce ($14). Diners can dig in to dishes from the maritime realm, such as fresh mahi-mahi in white-peach-brandy butter ($19), or luxuriate in land-based steaks that include an 8-ounce filet mignon ($26) that can be paired with the Angelina creamy crab sauce ($6) or a single father who likes long walks on the beach. With a full bar and an expansive wine list, which includes wide selection of wines by the glass ($6.00–$8.25) and by the bottle ($21–$480), Vallé Cucina has libations to suit every palette and wallet.
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.