Unsure what to get at Le Cavalier? We gotchu, nom fam! Located inside the historic Hotel Du Pont, this restaurant was recently taken over by the amazing Tyler Akin.
Chef-partner Akin’s the epic restaurateur behind Philly restaurants Stock and Res Ipsa Cafe. Inspired by the flavors of North Africa and Provençe, expect to enjoy French classics, both traditional and reimagined.
Their dinner menu’s divided into two sections: petits plats and grand plats. We had the following 3 appetizers to start, and each one was exceptional in its own right:
- soupe a l’oignon: French onion soup, gruyère, comté, raclette
- hen of the woods mushroom: crispy rice, carrot, dill, pomegranate
- lobster tails: lobster butter, champagne vinegar
It’s hard to pick favorites, but if we absolutely had to, it’d be a tie between the French onion and lobster tails. The soup was glorious. The broth was deep and rich with a thick layer of bubbling cheese on top. It was perfectly seasoned, flavorful but not too, TOO salty – it was easily one of the best French onion soups we’ve ever had the pleasure of enjoying.
The lobster was exquisite as well. They really knocked it out of the park with the sauce so make sure you have some bread on hand to sop up that goodness.
For mains, we got their steak frites and branzino. Both were delicious, but we definitely favored the latter. Seasoned with blistered herbs, calabrian chili and pistachio dukkah, this head-on fish came with a small side of sautéed pea shoots. The steak was lovely as well, but the sauce was on the more peppery side so make sure that’s something you enjoy.
Side bar: we absolutely loved that they served their fries with mayo. We used to visit Europe quite a bit back in the day, and that’s something we fell in love with. Who knew the aforementioned flavors worked together so beautifully? And if you’re making a face, don’t knock it until you try it!
No meal’s complete without dessert so you know what’s up next! There were two options listed…so we got both: the tarte au fromage with macerated blueberries and mint, and their chocolate-rye cake, made with hazelnut butter icing and raspberries.
The chocolate-rye cake was the more interesting option, at least for us because we had never had that flavor profile before. It wasn’t overwhelmingly sweet, and the rye, complemented by the hazelnut, really came through. The raspberries added a beautiful tartness and subtle acidity to the dessert which we loved!
Anyways, that’s a wrap for our latest dining experience at Le Cavelier. We hope you enjoyed reading about this Wilmington gem. If you missed our review on Bardea, click here to read about yet another Delaware must try. We’re back on schedule with posts so make sure you check back soon for more delish food recs. Sending you guys big e-hugs – until next time!