The story of the Wilmington riverfront is one of transformation and is one of the most fascinating redevelopment stories in the tri-state area. The once deserted industrial park has become a bustling and hybrid mix of employers, retail shops, swank apartments and condos, and of course, restaurants. The recent opening of the Penn Cinema IMAX theater—a Delaware first—is creating quite the buzz and brings a new level of long-awaited entertainment to the area. It’s no wonder that sophisticated urbanites are flocking to the up-and-coming cosmopolitan mecca.
The riverfront offers something for everyone but, perhaps, there is no group better served than the food enthusiasts. Delaware’s dining landscape has changed significantly over the last decade, with more dining options, an expansion into ethnic cuisine, and the emergence of some of the area’s best chefs making the First State a serious contender on the culinary scene.
Abutting the Riverwalk, Harry’s Seafood Grill—part of restaurateur Xavier Teixido’s famed Harry’s brand—has become the riverfront’s premier dining destination and deservedly so. For Delawareans, the name Harry’s has always been synonymous with sophistication and quality and that same stellar reputation that began with flagship Harry’s Savoy Grill extends to the more casual but no less polished waterfront eatery. Executive Chef David Leo Banks’ menu emphasizes fresh and innovative sea-to-table offerings and a forkful of the much-lauded crabcakes will leave no doubt as to why these award-winning wonders are perennial favorites. Those who prefer to slurp their dinner will delight in the extensive raw bar just as imbibers will be bowled over by the 70-plus available wines and variety of martinis.
Whether it’s a leisurely, Mad Men-like two-hour business lunch, a romantic dinner, weekend cocktails, or late-night noshing, this waterfront darling is the place to be.
Iris McCarthy is a freelance food writer and blogger in the Greater Philadelphia region with a passion for writing and food culture. Iris lives in the Philadelphia suburbs, but spends much of her time eating, working and playing in the city. When she’s not attending local food events, scoping out new ice cream spots to satiate her sweet tooth, or covering the Philly food scene, Iris can be found checking out the latest community theaters and museums. Follow Iris as she dines around Philadelphia and the surrounding suburbs on her popular food blog The Palate Princess and via Twitter @PalatePrincess.