Did anyone else know that Wilmington, Delaware had such a solid food scene? Because we sure as hell didn’t! Located downtown at 620 North Market Street, this innovative Italian gem is nothing sort of amazing.
At Bardea, co-owners Scott Stein and chef Antimo DiMeo use local ingredients from farms and purveyors to offer traditional staples with a truly inventive spin.
Start your meal off with an order of freshly baked bread. This board comes with house cultured butter, evoo and icelandic flaky salt. The sauce game here is out of control so you definitely want the extra carbs on hand to soak up said goodness.
Case in point, their avocado. You could hate avocado and still lose your sh*t over this dish. Preserved in a yuzu butter and served with pineapple mostarda and chicarron, this starter will straight up blow your mind. Who knew avocados could be so exciting?
We typically get a tartare as well, but they were sold out that evening so we tried a new dish instead. Pictured below, you have charred octopus with blackberry, saffron, and horseradish milk. Think unbelievably tender and delicious – the texture was out of this world!
We were tempted to get their burrata pop tart as well, but we wanted to go HAM on pasta so we reluctantly practiced restraint. Their ricotta gnocchi is so phenomenal, we couldn’t resist getting it again. Served in a magical tomato and shiso sauce, these fluffy morsels of deliciousness epitomize comfort.
Their mezze penne and calamarata are both fantastic, but we wanted to try something new so we went with their chitarra. Served in a bonito crema with veal cheek pizzaiola, these noodz had a unique flavor profile. Was it our favorite dish out of the bunch? Probably not, but it was definitely one of the more interesting combinations.
For those of you looking to get away for the weekend (if you’re based in the DMV area), Wilmington’s pretty awesome. We have another food post from here going live soon so definitely make sure to check back! Can’t wait? Le Cav’s up next…