Barbecue and donuts are big news in Delaware, and one newcomer has decided to package them together.
But word on the street also has good eats in Newark, where a West African restaurant just opened, and La Casa Pasta prepares to celebrate its 45th anniversarye.
Barbecue and breakfast
Those who commute via Marsh Road in Brandywine Hundred may have noticed a flurry of activity at the short-lived Rosenfeld’s Jewish Deli and Big Fish Market in Plaza III shopping center.
The concepts are the brainchild of David Wiederholt, who spent five years with the Starr Restaurant Organization in Philadelphia.
The Culinary Institute of America graduate was the executive chef of the Philadelphia Museum of Art and a chef at Buddakan and Barclay Prime, where he undoubtedly deepened his beef knowledge.
He’s putting that skill to good use at 322 BBQ, which is part butcher shop, barbecue joint and deli.
We recently sampled a chicken cheesesteak made with chunks of tender, well-seasoned meat and fresh mushrooms.
Wiederholt’s desire to make the perfect brioche bun led to brioche donuts and a new division.
This is the third operation for the “combo concepts.” The first two are in Mullica Hill and Swedesboro, New Jersey, which explains why the cashier tried to charge tax on a Delaware guest’s order.
Be patient during the opening weeks.
Catch45 opens in Newark
Longtime Delaware diners remember when finding a sushi restaurant was challenging. Today, you can purchase it in supermarkets.
But the state is still woefully lacking in some cuisines, namely West African.
Myra Dorley, a native of Liberia and a Delaware resident since 2014, and Douglas Jones decided to do something about it.
The partners recently opened the 45-seat Catch45 on Capitol Trail to serve Liberian dishes such as pepper soup with fufu—a starchy meal usually made from cassava—or rice, goat soup, grilled fish, chicken wings and plantains.
The owners plan to serve Western breakfast foods and offer catering.
Happy birthday, La Casa Pasta!
La Casa Pasta in Glasgow will celebrate its 45th anniversary on Thursday, Nov. 2, beginning at 6 p.m.
The party is open to the public, and tickets are $45.
The event will feature passed hors d’oeuvres and food stations, including a table for sliders, carving stations, pasta stations and dessert stations with mini cannoli. There will also be live music.
The restaurant has come a long way since Giuseppe and Anna Martuscelli were left as the sole owners of a small pizza place. Their partners pulled out after questioning the location. On New Year’s Eve 1977, no customers stepped through the door.
News Journal critic Otto Dekom changed all that when he raved about the mussels fra diavolo antipasto and lasagna.
Click here for tickets to the anniversary party.
Scrapple, sausage and ham—oh, my!
Equipment delays paused the opening of Helen’s Sausage House at 145 E. Main St. in Newark. Initially planned for Oct. 2, it should now happen later this month.
It’s hard to believe that the Smyrna location opened in 1983; it feels like it’s been part of Delaware’s culinary lore for much longer.
The three-generation operation started with founder Helen Achenbach. Her son, Clifford “Butch” Murphy II, took over in the 1990s. Now Clifford Murphy III has the reins.
Brandywine Restaurant opening team
There’s more good news from The Brandywine Restaurant. Owner Bill Irvin announced that Andrew Cini is the chef de cuisine, Glennon Travis is the general manager and Chris Unruh is the restaurant’s beverage director.
Cini has been in the industry since high school when he was a host at Soffritto Italian Grill in Newark. He’s worked at the Columbus Inn and Domaine Hudson in Wilmington and Stock and Res Ipsa Café in Philadelphia.
Tyler Akin of Le Cavalier owned the Philly spots, and Cini has also helped Akin out over the years.
Cini, who has cooked at the venerable James Beard House in New York, opened Mezze by Del Fresco in the Market at Liberty Place, a Kennett Square food hall.
He also worked at Terrain, the trendsetting eatery in Glen Mills, where he gained banquet experience.
What about Robert Lhulier, Irvin’s partner at Snuff Mill Restaurant, Butchery & Wine Bar? He is a consultant on the project and designed the restaurant space.
Travis, meanwhile, has spent 20 years in the restaurant industry in the United States and abroad.
In 2017, he helped develop a luxury hotel and restaurant in the Catskill Mountains. He also led hospitality operations at Soho House New York and participated in house openings in the United States and Europe.
Most recently, Travis lived and worked in the Hamptons, where he helped launch Christian’s by Wölffer Estate Vineyard, an upscale eatery.
Unruh is a familiar face on Delaware’s dining scene, particularly if you’ve visited Bardea Food & Drink or Bardea Steak.
The Kennett Square native, whose parents were in the hospitality business, has more than 35 years of experience, including positions at George Perrier’s Le Bec Fin and the renowned Park Avenue Café in New York.
RELATED STORY: Taste Kennett Tour showcases town’s culinary diversity
Unruh helped launch The Farmers Daughter in Blue Bell, Pennsylvania, and 1906, Longwood Garden’s full-service restaurant.
He was also a sous chef at Half Moon Saloon in Kennett Square before returning to the dining room.
The graduate of The Wine School of Philadelphia holds beginner and intermediate sommelier certifications.
Irvin said the restaurant will open on Nov. 14 at 2000 Pennsylvania Ave. in Wilmington (next to the train tracks near Union Street).
Le Cav to host Beard dinner
Anderson is the chef and co-owner of four establishments: Metzger Bar and Butchery, Brenner Pass, and Black Lodge in Richmond, Virginia, and Leni in Washington, D.C.
It will be her first time cooking in the Wilmington area. She and Akin will collaborate on the seven-course wine dinner.
Tickets are $195 per person and include beverage pairing and gratuity. Click here for more information.
As a side note, Le Cav will offer a holiday tea starting Nov. 24, and the link also allows you to make reservations for those events.
A salute to spuds
If you love fries, you have a few weeks to enjoy SoDel Concepts’ French fry month in October.
Don’t expect anything resembling the traditional side dish. For instance, NorthEast Seafood Kitchen in Ocean View has featured a mound of fries piled high with pulled beef, shredded fontina and scallions with a side of au jus.
Evidently, if it’s a potato and fried, it’s worth the salute because Matt’s Fish Camp in Bethany has served croquettes stuffed with lobster, covered in crisp panko and finished with a beer-
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