Margo and I really enjoy finding and patronizing good restaurants wherever we travel. Not necessarily always fine dining, either. One of the first things we do when we travel somewhere new, we ask around about where the good restaurants are.
The DelMarVa beaches are very familiar territory for us though. Margo has been going there with her family since the 70's. I've been going up with Margo since we met in 96. We've had a lot of time to explore and try out the restaurants in the area. Here are the ones that we hit while were in the area for vacation this year. Typically we eat in the condo for breakfast and lunch and then go out for dinner.
Most of these are in Rehoboth. For us, Rehoboth is easier to get around in than Ocean City is, so we spend more time there.
La La Land, Rehoboth - Kind of French styled but with a lot of world/fusion influences in the food and with large portions. We typically end up taking enough home for lunch the next day. Normally I get their cream of crab soup which is awesome. Their drinks are really good too. They have a hidden back bar that doesn't really start getting busy til the other restaurants close.
Galaxy 66 Grille, Ocean City - We don't go here that often, because it's way down on 66th St in Ocean City. They do have a real nice rooftop bar and dining area though. This last time we ate inside though. Normally they're really good, but this time the food wasn't really done that well (my fish was a little overcooked, as was Margo's steak). I was disappointed this time. Will give another chance next year though. They do have this fantastic dessert though...it's a beautiful chocolate mousse inside a chocolate box. Sized for two. We couldn't eat it all anyway...very tasty but big.
Fusion, Rehoboth - One of our new favorites. Tried it for the first time last year. Food's really well presented. Lots of seafood. Many Italian style dishes on the menu this season. We went three times this year so far. Their "House Cosmo" is basically a Cosmopolitan but the liquor is colored and layered red, white and blue. Nice.
Grotto Pizza (several locations) - Our old standby and a Delaware institution. We ate Grotto a couple times too, including on the way home. We also usually take a couple frozen pizzas home to go (there's two in the freezer now). They're the only place where I'll eat a plain cheese pizza. I don't know what it is about it, but to me it's as close to perfect pizza as I can imagine.
Nicola Pizza, Rehoboth - A Rehoboth institution. Home of the Nic-o-boli, which is kinda like a calzone, but with ground beef, mozzarella, sauce and pizza toppings inside. Great stuff. Usually I get mine with pepperoni and black olive. Margo gets hers with sweet peppers. Actually, we didn't eat in there on the vacation week. We did run in and get 6 plain frozen ones to go. They're at home in the freezer.
Vine, Rehoboth - A new place on Rehoboth Ave next to the fire station. It's a wine bar, mostly. Very small. Interesting wine list. Our server said "cloying" in describing a particular wine. Good appetizers and small-plate kinds of items. The antipasto plate was very good. Didn't try the entrees. Will go back.
Patsy's Bethany Beach - Casual gourmet dining, whatever that is. One of my favorite places, but I don't get there as often as I'd like because in-season parking in Bethany sucks. Very laid back front-porch dining. Caribbean/southern food. We get the conch fritters all the time. Pretty seafood oriented there and everything I've had there was fantastic. Sundays, they have an amazing homestyle fried chicken that knocks my socks off.
Shag, Rehoboth - New for this season. I can't find a URL for it yet. It's where Zeus used to be, next door to Planet X. It's a funky 60s/70s theme decor. The menu's small and the prices are really low for as good as the food is. We didn't get around to trying this place until really late in the day, but the kitchen was still open. We had a broiled scallop and sun dried tomato alfredo that was to die for. They also have a back bar that is full of funky retro atmosphere and night life. They have Harvey Wallbangers on the bar's drink menu. Will definitely be back.
Fager's Island, Ocean City - We used to go here for Margo's birthday all the time. It's been a few years since the last time though. Fine dining upstairs (I tend to dress up a bit here). Pricey but excellent, excellent food with great service. Classy place. They're on the bay side with large windows in the dining area overlooking the bay. At sunset, they play the 1812 Overture timed to end with the sun setting. Downstairs is kind of a beach/parrothead bar. It's nice to go down there and hang out and have fun after a nice dinner like upstairs.
Dos Locos, Rehoboth - Mexican food. Family friendly. Big, loud. Inexpensive. Margaritas by the pitcher. Good food though. Kinda on par with Chevy's and Rio Grande in the DC area. They had a chorizo fajita which I haven't seen around home though. Pretty good. Gets crowded though.
Cultured Pearl, Rehoboth - Probably my favorite place for sushi anywhere. Great selection and very fresh well prepared fish. They're in year 3 of the new location and they're still fine tuning the restaurant space. Their rooftop dining area surrounded by a koi pond is probably one of the best dining spaces in Rehoboth though. Extremely popular. Reservations run out quick.