After what felt like an endless drive to Rehoboth from Brooklyn – it took a full hour to get out of Brooklyn and through Staten Island to New Jersey – my friend Leslie and I were famished, thirsty and eager to begin our vacation in earnest. My parents had already eaten so Leslie and I stopped at Lupo di Mare in the cheerful yellow Hotel Rehoboth for dinner before even dropping our bags at the house.
Choosing to dine at the bar, we were immediately charmed by the youthful bartender. Why? He carded us and it actually made it seem sincere. Charming.
“What is soppresata?”
“Do the pastas come in half portions? What do they cost? Half price? What is the full size dish is an odd number?”
“What does this mean? Should I get this? Will I like this?”
These are only a few of the many, many questions our dining neighbors squawked at our patient bartender while my friend and I considered the menu and ordered drinks.
The food? It was fine. Good even. I remember liking the gnocchi that accompanied my chicken about three times as much as the chicken itself, but the details are long gone. Blame the cocktails, the wine, the long drive or just Vacation Brain.
Henlopen City Oyster House is a great new-to-me spot. Taking the place of one of Rehoboth’s long-past-its-prime restaurants, the owners of HCOH stripped the decor down to the bones, making the space modern, bright and uncluttered.
Well, other than the issue of beer storage. They could use more of that.
This a popular joint so bring your patience, as well as your appetite for interesting craft beers and a wide variety of oysters.
Again we chose to eat at one of the restaurants bars. Our server Amy was well-aware of the menu options that would suit my gluten-free friend, including a superb crab cake with zero filler. Nothing in it but huge hunks of crab, some herbs, probably egg, salt, pepper and the butter the cake was sautéed in. Terrific.
By the way, Yelp reviewers of HCOH who describe the restaurant as expensive clearly haven’t been to NYC or DC. The menu is reasonably priced.
Fun flashback: I blogged about a previous restaurant in this space years ago here.
Stay tuned for Part 2 of Rehoboth Eats which will include corn slathered in mayonnaise and cheese, sushi, a brief trip to Lewes and one very awkward serenade.