Friday, September 28, 2007

Beach Eats: 1776 Restaurant

By Erin and Xani

On our last night at the Delaware shore, the BCD family went out for a fancy meal at 1776 Colonial Club Restaurant and Steakhouse in Rehoboth, DE to (belatedly) celebrate our parents' 35th wedding anniversary. Mom, Dad, and Xani had eaten there in summers before but this was Erin's first trip. Unfortunately, this visit would be our last: our waiter nonchalantly mentioned that our evening there was the last night the restaurant would be open, FOREVER! Oh no! The family is/was such a fan (and you'll see why below), and we are so sad that the restaurant had to close.

But anyway...1776 is another rare find in the sea (pardon the pun) of typical beach eats. It is an upscale steakhouse with traditional steakhouse sides and fancy desserts.

Of course, we started out with cocktails, and everyone got their "usual": Xani got a Dirty Grey Goose Martini, Erin got a Tom Collins, Mom got a Vodka Tonic, and Dad got his classic drink: Johnny Walker Black on the rocks with a twist.

Then we ordered our first courses:

  • Caesar Salad
  • Brie en Croute with crostini
  • Pumpkin and Crab Bisque

The Caesar salad was good, not amazing, but remember we have incredibly high standards because Mom's secret recipe is the best on the planet (not that we're biased or anything...).

The Brie en Croute (baked brie in puff pastry) was creamy and flavorful, and it was served with some delicious crostini (we wish there had been more on the plate!) and a lightly dressed salad. This dish was definitely a hit.

The bisque was also fantastic - very rich and creamy, with lots of crab (gotta love the eastern shore) and a nice pumpkin flavor. But let's be honest, I've never met a bisque I didn't like...

Then we each got our steaks. Xani got a version of Surf and Turf, with a small 7 oz filet mignon and a crab cake, which came with roasted potatoes. Erin got a strip steak, which came with veggies and mashed potatoes. Dad got a Delmonico steak, served au poivre, with veggies and roasted potatoes on the side. And Mom got the special, called Steak Stephanie, which was a thin steak filled with crab meat and rolled up in puff pastry.

Mom's Dish: Steak Stephanie

Erin's Dish: Strip Steak

Dad's Dish: Delmonico Steak Au Poivre

Xani's Dish: Surf and Turf

Before we discuss the dishes themselves, we must mention that the night before, during our Rosh Hashana dinner where we were eating brisket (of course), we got into a discussion about cuts of beef and where each cut comes from on the cow. Dad gave us all a lesson, using Erin as his model - she's such a good sport ;)

Anyway, each of our dishes was excellent, and it was fun to compare each cut of meat both in terms of flavor and texture. The au poivre sauce on Dad's steak was awesome, and Xani's crab cake was also delicious.

The potatoes and veggies that came with our dishes were rather boring. Ah well.

We couldn't resist ordering a few traditional steakhouse sides as well. We got the Sauteed Mushrooms and Creamed Spinach. The mushroom were absolutely fantastic - they had a light, well-seasoned sauce, and they had such an intense mushroom flavor. The creamed spinach, however, was weird - too liquidy and it had too much nutmeg in it. It's my understanding that you are supposed to add nutmeg when you are cooking dark leafy greens, but only to add that little "something," not to actually taste that spice in the dish. But maybe (probably) I'm just being a snob... (Sorry, no pics of the sides!)

After a (mostly) delicious meal, we got dessert and coffee. We ordered two desserts to share between the four of us. First we got a chocolate brownie with raspberry, chocolate sauce, and ice cream.

For our other dessert, we got the famous 1776 Cheesecake Brulee. The BCD family (minus EP) got this dessert last year and EP has been hearing about it ever since! So, we HAD to get it this time. Oh. My. Goodness. This dessert was so awesome!! It was a slice of cheesecake which was sprinkled with sugar and torched to form a caramelized sugary crust on the entire outside. So unique! (Well actually, it's a pretty simple idea if you think about it, but I had never heard of such a thing before!) The heat from the torch softened up the cheesecake a bit, and made the whole thing absolutely heavenly.

After a couple espressos and coffees, we were stuffed and content. But at the same time, sad to be leaving the beach, and very sad to hear our fancy beach steakhouse was coming to an end. It's unfortunate that such a great place just couldn't make it through the off-seasons and had to close its doors. We'll miss you, 1776 (especially your cheesecake!). (Note that last year for Hanukkah, Xani got a mini torch so we could try to make the cheesecake at home. Now that there's no more 1776, no more excuses!)

But anyway...Happy Anniversary, Mom and Dad! You are an inspiration to us, and we love you!!

Happy eating,

E & X


  1. Love the pic. You both look beautiful! The cheesecake doesnt look so bad either....

  2. what luck you got to eat there once more before it closed! Happy anniversary to the BCD dad and mom!

  3. You're in luck once again! 1776 opened its doors with new owners keeping the same dishes and adding a few more seafood dishes. My wife and I love the restaurant and all of the usual characters. We will be heading back to the "new" 1776 tonight! You are right about the Creme Brulee Cheesecake. Delicious!


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