Last week the Delaware Culinary Trail was unveiled with the companion book, “First State Plates: Iconic Delaware Restaurants and Recipes”. Modeled after the popular Delaware History Trail, Delaware Geocaching Trail and Delaware Wine and Ale Trail, the Culinary Trail highlights 24 destinations in New Castle, Kent and Sussex Counties, that are experiences for Delaware residents and individuals visiting the First State. Creating a menu-like road map of some of Delaware’s restaurants, The Delaware Tourism Office chose three Milford restaurants to be a part of the trail including Abbott’s Grill, Georgia House and Grotto Pizza.
“The most challenging part of building the trail was narrowing the field down to 24, which was done with an eye toward representing a diversity of culinary style and geography,” said Linda Parkowski, Delaware Tourism Director. “The restaurants we chose provide an accurate representation of the tastes and traditions of the First State. It’s real people making real food, from local favorites like crabs, scrapple and signature pizza to dishes at fine-dining establishments on par with those found in nearby big cities.”
In the First State Plates: Iconic Delaware Restaurants and Recipes book, Abbott’s Grill in Milford was recognized for owner Kevin Reading’s ability to present creative takes on his cuisine and his ingenuity of recognizing farm-to-table practices “before it became a buzz phrase.” Menu items mentioned in the book included their Fifer Orchard pear salad and apple-scrapple flatbread, bison burger and turkey sandwich made with locally sourced meat and homemade Chicken-and-dumplings featuring pate a choux gnocchi.
“This cements us as part of the culinary landscape in Delaware and tells people that if they come to Delaware they need to experience something that Kevin Reading has prepared,” commented Karen Stauffer,Marketing Manager of Abbott’s Grill. Nage, a restaurant that Reading helped build from the beginning, was also recognized in the Restaurants and Recipes book as a culinary destination in Sussex County.
The recipe included in the Abbott’s Grill feature was their Crab Cake with Sweet Corn Succotash. Following the Eastern Shore tradition of using saltines, it is the imperial sauce that gives the dish a unique twist. The Crab Cake is the one item that has always been a favorite on the menu, since they first opened in 2009, with no plans of being removed anytime soon.
“Being featured as one of 24 Iconic Delaware Restaurants is a real honor,” commented Ms. Stauffer. The book featuring all of the restaurants chosen by the Delaware Tourism Office can be purchased at Abbott’s Grill in Milford for $25. “We hope that people pick up the book and start to experience all the great places to dine around the state.”
Abbott’s will switch to their spring menu the week of March 21st, utilizing asparagus, strawberries, blueberries, rhubarb, peas, and artichokes. The menu will feature a change of soups and salads, focus more on fish entrees and replace some of their heavier, starchy and wintery items.
Individuals can also participate in the Culinary Trail program by downloading a passport at the Delaware Culinary Trail website, http://www.visitdelaware.com/culinary. By collecting codes at 15 of the 24 restaurants – five in each of Delaware’s three counties – participants will receive a copy of “First State Plates” as their prize. The book can also be purchased through the Delaware Tourism Office website.