Distance from Philadelphia: 125 miles
Best Time to Go: Spring/Summer/Fall
Known for: Dogfish Head Brewing, Small Town Charm, Beaches
Where sun, sand, and sea are still the number one attractions — founded in 1631, the town of Lewes, Delaware is an unassuming romantic hideaway. It is a walking town with just about a half-square mile of shops, inns, and eats.
4:00 p.m. Check in to Dogfish Inn, the core reason for our visit, and take in the expertly curated shared space filled with classic vinyls, a small gift shop, and a library filled with all of my favorite books.
5:00 p.m. After getting settled in our room, we met friends at half full, a small restaurant & wine bar on Second Street, where we drank Dogfish Sixty-One, a combination beer that adds syrah grapes to their traditional 60 minute IPA.
5:45 p.m. We run back to the hotel to meet Neal, Dogfish’s marketing guru, and Colin & Carlton — two fishermen from Maine, and honored guests at the evening’s festivities. We head over to Rehoboth Beach for the main(e) event.
6:00 p.m. Officially open to the public on March 7th, Chesapeake & Maine is just another in a long line of innovative ideas by Sam Calagione, the founder and owner of Dogfish Head Brewing. The restaurant concept is inspired by Sam’s summers spent in Maine and Dogfish’s connection to the Chesapeake and will serve seafood fare exclusively from the two regions.
My favorite eat of the evening was the “Smoke in the Water” oysters from Hooper’s Island. Dogfish’s “off-centered” collaboration fed smoked salts to the oysters, giving them a smoky taste at the raw bar. When paired the the Midas Touch Mignonette and Seaquench Ale, I could have eaten the entire tray myself.
FUN FACT: Apparently oysters do not like hops, but love smoked salts.
As a self-proclaimed interior design nerd, I was fascinated by the design of the restaurant — a collaboration between OTTO architects (Girard, One Shot) and Dogfish Head, along with original artwork from Travis Louie, Jon Langford, Tony Millionaire,and Cynthia Consentino. The diving suit and helmet in the captain’s quarters is believed to have been worn by Vladimir Putin himself while spear fishing for choc lobsters, and the nautical signs to the left of the bar spell out “luv to sin”.
11:00 p.m. Between being absolutely full of seafood and having drank a Moscow Mule and a Gimlet courtesy of Dogfish’s new line of spirits, I was asleep by 11 in an amazingly comfortable bed listening to my partner in crime reading poetry from the Inn’s library.
10:00 a.m. After sleeping in for the first time in ages, we wandered over to Lewes’s Second Street where we grabbed a drink the evening prior. Stumbling upon Nectar was surely a divine intervention to round out the trip. Nestled on a side street, the unassuming exterior lead way to a welcoming and artistic cafe. The juices were great, the coffee was strong, and the breakfast options were perfectly on point.
12:00 p.m. Our excursion cumulated in a trip to Dogfish Head Brewery, where we learned about the company’s unique history, the brewing and packaging processes, and saw more and more examples of Sam Calagione’s literary influence. After tasting a few of the latest brews – we began to head home, still swimming in the excitement of the last 36 hours.