Food & Drink: September Diner en Blanc; Rawlstrom new Vita Nova chef; 2 Stones teases plans for former Arena’s; Casapulla’s closes Red Mill location


Le Dîner en Blanc – Wilmington returns for its 3rd edition on September 25. In keeping with the format of the event, the venue will remain secret until the last minute.

The event will follow all public health recommendations. A  limit will be placed on the number of guests.

Participation comes in three stages: Phase 1 is for members from the previous year, Phase 2 is for new members referred by Phase 1 attendees, and Phase 3 is for people who signed up on the waiting list.

Guests can sign-up now by visiting the official website at

Hosts are Sherell and Michael Flagg, who launched the event in 2018.

Rules include:

  • Dress code: elegant and white only. 
  • Table setting – all white.
  • Guess meet at the assigned departure location and are escorted by a Dîner en Blanc volunteer to the location.
  • Bringing a  picnic basket comprising fine food and proper stemware, and white dinnerware. A catered picnic basket is offered for pickup.
  • Beer and liquor are prohibited. Wine or Champagne is BYOB.

Diner en Blanc started in Paris and is now held throughout the world.

The Wilmington event is affiliated with Dîner en Blanc International, based in Montreal.

Rawlstrom named Vita Nova chef.

Chef William  “Billy” Rawstrom has been named instructing chef at the University of Delaware’s Vita Nova.  

Vita Nova, which always earns excellent reviews,  is operated by the Hospitality Business Management program of the Lerner College of Business and Economics.

Vita Nova has been dealing with Covid-19 restrictions from the state and university. The state curbs are gone, but UD is bringing back inside masking.

Rawlstrom’s restaurant,  Maiale Deli & Salumeria was one of a handful of Wilmington-area establishments featured in the popular Diners, Drive-ins, and Dives show hosted by Guy Fieri.

Maiale is known for its craft sausages, burgers, and other offerings.

Rawlstrom has a  background that includes a bachelor’s degree from Johnson & Wales, a Rhode Island university known for its culinary program.

Rawlstrom said no changes are planned for Maiale.

Two Stones owner has plans for former Arena’s

The former Arena’s on Main Street will be getting an offshoot of  “beer temple”  Two Stones and 2SP Brewing in Newark.

The restaurant-brewery operator is teasing an expansion to the location. 

Two Stones got its start just outside Newark in the Brookside area. Then, in 2020, it moved to a new restaurant and headquarters in Ogletown, just off Routes 273 and I-95.

Two Stones has half a dozen locations and its 2SP  brewery in Delaware County, PA. Brews go to its restaurants as well as package stores.

2SP has been making a splash with its co-branded Wawa beers sold at some of the convenience store’s Pennslyvania locations.

Snuff Mill adding lunch

The popular Snuff Mill Restaurant Butchery and Wine Bar is now offering lunch Tuesday through Friday.

The restaurant in Independence Mall, off Route 202, will offer salads, a burger,  steak frites, and a Nashville hot chicken sandwich, as well as a number of other items from its dinner menu.

Snuff Mill has been drawing positive reviews from diners since its opening earlier in the summer, with reservations a must for inside dining.

Cassapulla’s closes Red Mill location

Casapulla’s quietly closed its Red Mill location off Capitol Trail east of Newark.

The family-owned sub-shop that got its start in Elsmere now has five locations. Family members operate all locations.

Staffing shortage leads to restaurant closing

The staffing shortage in the restaurant industry has claimed one restaurant.

Steak Works Pizza on Silverside Road, north of Wilmington, announced its closing after decades.

The restaurant battled through Covid-19 restrictions only to be confronted by a shortage of workers driven by multiple factors, including extended unemployment benefits and former staff who changed careers. – Doug Rainey

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