The Brandywine Restaurant at 2000 Pennsylvania Ave. in Wilmington, Delaware, will open on Tuesday, Nov. 14.
“The menu is complete, the décor is impeccable, and the cocktail and wine list is exceptional,” said owner Bill Irvin, also an owner of Snuff Mill Restaurant, Butchery and Wine Bar in the Wilmington suburbs in a statement. “We’re looking forward to serving our guests.”
Irvin, who’s opened multiple Baltimore restaurants, was inspired by the elegant department store restaurants of his youth—establishments that catered to well-heeled society patrons.
However, Andrew Cini, chef de cuisine, and culinary consultant Robert Lhulier have reimagined the classic dishes to excite the 21st-century palate.
Examples include the following:
· Oysters Rockefeller with nuoc mam (fish sauce), Thai chili and green onions
· Lobster vierge, a Mediterranean sauce made with tomatoes, olive oil and tarragon
· Parker House rolls with everything bagel seasoning
· Jumbo lump crabcakes with avocado tartar sauce
· Salmon in puff pastry with béarnaise sauce
· Chicken vol au vent in puff pastry
· Steak Diane with trumpet mushrooms
· “Royale” with cheese, a burger with “Brandywine sauce,” lettuce, pickles and onions
· Beef Wellington for two
Lhulier, a partner at Snuff Mill, helped design The Brandywine Restaurant’s 1,700-square-foot floor plan and kitchen, and Salisbury, Maryland-based Fisher Architecture created the blueprint.
Stephen Mottola was the interior design consultant. Among the unique appointments in the 40-seat dining room:
· Custom wallpaper from Asia featuring cranes on a salmon-colored background
· A barrel-vaulted ceiling painted in a steel blue that shines like silk
· Rich chocolate-colored crown molding with recessed up-lights
· Mid-century modern pendant lights
· Cozy banquettes
· An underlit white Corian bar resembling quartz (lighting changes hue)
· A wall of antique mirrors
· Custom linens and tablecloths
Along with Cini, the opening team includes general manager Glennon Travis, who’s opened Soho House locations, and beverage director Chris Unruh, who has worked in some of the Brandywine Valley’s finest restaurants.
The Brandywine Restaurant—which has no link to The Brandywine Room in the Hotel du Pont—will initially open for dinner and soon add lunch. Brunch will begin in January 2024.
The dinner hours are 4:30 p.m.-10 p.m., Tuesday through Thursday; 4:30 p.m.-11 p.m., Friday and Saturday. Happy hour is 4:30-6 p.m., Tuesday through Friday. The bar is open until 1 a.m.