…for special occasions, regular evenings out and guilty pleasures? Here’s what we found out.
They’re culinary masters at their own establishments, but when the chefs set aside their knives and the workday is done, where are they dining? We talked to several local culinary artists, and here are some of their favorites, along with some confessions.
Where do you dine for…
A regular evening out: Home Grown, Mikimotos, Two Stones.
Guilty pleasure: Philly food trucks like Tyson Bees or Yumtown.
—Joshua Keating, Delaware Park Race Track and Casino & At The Rail Wine Bar and Grille
A regular evening out: Pinto bean burritos with every pickled pepper that El Diablo has available. And sushi and a beer at the Whole Foods bar.
Guilty pleasure: Anytime I head down to the shore, I always look forward to stopping at Helen’s Sausage House.
—Bryan Crowley, Cantwell’s Tavern
A regular evening out: I am a big fan of Drip in Lantana Square. Drip is doing great things with sustainable, organic and locally-sourced ingredients. But that isn’t why I go there. Delicious food and coffee in an unpretentious environment is. The Root Beer Espresso Shake is life changing. It will make you a better, more charming and attractive person.
Guilty pleasure: Royal Farms’ fried chicken. As a culinary professional, nothing feels more wrong than late-night fried chicken from a gas station.
—Eric Huntley, Redfire Grill & Steakhouse
Special occasions: Usually on mine and my wife’s beach week for our anniversary we go to see Chef Andy Feeley at Eden.
Guilty pleasure: A large chocolate turtle milkshake from Woodside Farm Creamery.
—Chef Bill Hoffman, The House of William and Merry
Special occasions: The House of William & Merry, Domaine Hudson, Amuse & Espuma.
A regular evening out: Okura and Chesapeake Inn.
—Patrick A. D’Amico, Harry’s Savoy Grill
Special occasions: Typically for special occasions I tend to visit Amis in Philadelphia. The style of Italian food that they offer is incredibly comforting to me, but the fact that they offer a number of ingredients that you can’t typically find a lot of in other restaurants makes it that much more special. I think Marc Vetri does a great job at his restaurants keeping Italian food simple and really letting the freshness of the ingredients shine through.
A regular evening out: A typical evening out for me away from the restaurant usually consists of going to a farmers market, or a farm such as Pete’s Farm in Westtown, Pa., then bringing everything home and preparing a meal for family and/or friends. There’s something very relaxing about cooking at home, enjoying the company of great people and great food.
—Jeff Matyger, Taverna Rustic Italian
A regular evening out: Masamoto in Glen Mills. I love the vibe at the sushi bar; they always have my favorites: Uni with quail egg and Toro. It’s nice to watch the young men work hard and rock out the rolls.
Guilty pleasure: Herr’s Barbeque Potato Chips. What can I say? Except that if I add an Italian hoagie, it’s the best bad thing for the heart that I can eat.
—David Banks, Harry’s Seafood Grill
Special occasions: House of William and Merry—chef’s tasting menu at the bar with house Manhattan.
Guilty pleasure: Crab bisque at Nutter’s Sandwich Shop.
—Eric Aber, Home Grown Café
Special occasions: All special occasions are at Harry’s Seafood. Hands down. Top notch.
A regular evening out: Taverna in Newark. Always perfect food. Best new restaurant in years in northern Delaware.
—Michael Stiglitz, Two Stones Pub