Food & Drink: Restaurant Week, James Beard supper, New Mexican spots in Bear, Newark, and Raising Cane’s

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City Restaurant Week will return in Wilmington from April 24 through the 29th.

This time around, 18 restaurants are part of the dining promotion that had not been overwhelmed with participants.

There are a number of dining spots we would have liked to have seen on the roster, but getting the number up to a dozen and a half allows for plenty of variety Not a part of the promotion are chains like Big Fish and Iron Hill.

Three downtown restaurants that have generated national buzz, Quoin, Bardea Steak, and Bardea, have signed on.

It helped the restaurants’ bottom line that the highest-price three-course dinner was raised to $50, rather than $35. It’s tough for a steakhouse or any other upscale place to live with that price point.

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Click here for menus and other information for the event sponsored by Out & About magazine.

Wilmington James Beard dinner on April 23

The James Beard Foundation Sunday Supper is slated for April 23 at The Chancery Market Food Hall & Bar at 1313 N. Market St. (the former Hercules building).

The event – presented by the James Beard Foundation in partnership with Johnson Commercial Real Estate, City of Wilmington, and It’s Time – will feature many of the top chefs in Wilmington, several who are past James Beard nominees.

The evening will open with a one-hour reception followed by a family-style dinner that features a different chef preparing each course. The reception begins at 5 p.m. Dress is Sunday casual perhaps a step above business casual.

Tickets run $200 apiece or $1,400 for a table of eight. Click here for tickets.

Raising Cane’s opening this week

Raising Cane’s is opening its first Delaware location on Tuesday at The Grove, the former College Square shopping center in Newark.

The restaurant’s menu is simple, consisting of chicken fingers, a chicken sandwich, and Texas toast and fries. The name comes from the dog of founder and CEOs Todd Graves. The comapny’s story starts with Graves getting a low grade on a business plan with the professor claiming that selling chicken fingers would not work out.

Raising Cane’s joins Korean chicken chain Bonchon at The Grove.

Those restaurants will later be joined by First Watch, a national chain of brunch restaurants. First Watch has other area locations at the Barley Mill center near Greenville and across from the Delaware Tech Stanton Campus.

Drip Cafe owner to open Mexican food spot in Newark

Drip Cafe owner Greg Vogerey announced via social media a move into Mexican food/

Roja & Verde (red and green) Taqueria will be located next to the Drip Cafe location on College Avenue in Newark. The brunch and coffee spot near the University of Delaware campus has a few Mexican food items on its menu. Vogerey, who emerged as a voice for the restaurant industry during the Covid pandemic, also operates a coffee roasting business.

The flagship Drip Cafe is at Lantana Square in Hockessin.

Machete’s tasty offerings

While on the subject of Mexican food, a new place to check out is La Case Del Machete. The restaurant with a small seating area is at the Salem Center off Route Route 40 and near Salem Church Road in Bear. It enters a crowded market in Bear-Glasgow with sit-down restaurants and food trucks.

So far, i’ve checked out the Birria tacos and, most recently, Tacos al Pastor (pork, pineapple and a big pepper, see photo above). Both were outstanding, with a $10 price for the taco trio, accompanied by chips with refried beans; $15 for birria. Machete also has a taco Tuesday with lower prices.

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