1776: Not Just a Steakhouse
What can top great food, specialty cocktails, and a warm ambience? Free and available parking! We found all of those at 1776 Steakhouse.
Located at Midway Shopping Centre, 1776 is a winner of the Best of Delaware Downstate Steakhouse, but they are much more than that.
The establishment has been in existence for 35 years. Previous owners have included Nancy Reagan’s hairdresser. And how it got its name? Every entrée was priced at $17.76. And servers were attired in colonial garb.
Current owners Tom Holmes, Tammy Mozingo (chef), and John Farquhar are in their 15th year together and have worked to enhance the menu to ensure it includes many creative offerings such as seafood, pasta, and more.
As we entered the restaurant, we were warmly greeted by the host and escorted to a cozy corner table for two. Our waiter, Alex, was fabulous, and helped guide us through the selection process.
We started the evening with two refreshing specialty cocktails, a lemon drop martini and pomegranate martini, each served with a side car. We sipped while perusing the menu. Two 1776 classic starters beckoned us.
With over 15 herbs and Asian butter, the escargot was an unusual twist on the preparation that definitely worked. The black ravioli is a must-have, filled with lobster and topped with diced shrimp, crabmeat, tomatoes, and basil in a sherry cream sauce. It is also available as an entrée. Other starters include baked Brie, little neck clams, raw oysters, shrimp cocktail, and scallop chips (day boat scallops thinly sliced and breaded in panko; served in horseradish cream sauce).
Two cups of crab and lobster bisque provided a delightful intermezzo. It was creamy but with an infusion of tomato that gave it a beautiful rosy color and delicious flavor.
For the salad course, Alex recommended the Field of Mixed Greens, which was a lot more than tender greens—dried cherries, walnuts, crumbled gorgonzola cheese, and bacon, all gently tossed in a maple vinaigrette. Our one salad was split into two quite ample portions. (Previously we have had their wedge salad, which is equally delicious.)
1776’s entrées include a variety of steaks, as well as non-beef items like cedar-plank salmon, vodka penne, and chicken Mediterranean. For the meat lovers, you can choose steaks of all sizes from a 6-, 8-, or 10-oz. filet mignon, to their unique barrel (ribeye), Delmonico, New York strip, and a Fred Flintstone-sized tomahawk steak.
The special that evening was rockfish topped with jumbo lump crab. Everything was enticing! We selected two entrees. One was another classic—the Steak 1776 as recommended by Tom Holmes. It is a filet mignon plated on mashers and finished with lump crab sautéed in a cream reduction. Our second entrée was a stuffed lobster tail (also available as a surf & turf or unstuffed). Each entrée was outstanding and perfectly cooked (steak medium rare and lobster not over- or under-done). Delectable!
The restaurant has an extensive wine list, both by the glass and bottle. Many glasses are very reasonably priced between $8 and $10, and the pour is quite generous.
The restaurant also has a wide-ranging selection of beers including Trappist beer brewed by Trappist monks in only 13 monasteries world-wide. And of course, there is a selection of non-alcoholic beverages.
Every course of our meal was exceptional, and the dessert was certainly a highlight. Dessert selections include apple tart, coconut cake, key lime pie, and more. Upon many recommendations, including that of a friend who happened to be dining there, we dove into the crème brûlée cheesecake. It was a thing of beauty, a towering wedge with a golden caramelized exterior and a creamy interior. The combination of these two iconic desserts was scrumptious. With two spoons, we were in heaven!
It is worthy of note that 1776 also has a popular, welcoming bar with a lighter fare menu that includes many of the same starters as the regular menu, plus sandwiches and burgers.
With a menu of classics blended with creative dishes and a variety of great options, the cozy interior, and knowledgeable and friendly service, 1776 Steakhouse is the perfect choice for a special celebration, date night, or a casual relaxed meal at the bar. It is a true gem hidden in a strip shopping center. And remember, free parking! ▼
Leslie and Debbie are longtime fans of the Rehoboth Beach fine dining scene and have been full-time residents since 2009.