Just In Thyme
From the moment we entered Just In Thyme, located on the “forgotten mile” in Rehoboth Beach, we were enveloped in an ambiance that can only be described as warm and inviting. The restaurant’s commitment to preserving its heritage is evident not just in its physical space, but also in the dishes that grace its menu.
We peeked into the fully occupied bar, and we couldn’t help but draw parallels to the iconic TV show, Cheers. The bar exudes a sense of camaraderie that instantly makes you feel like you’re amongst friends, whether you’re a regular or a first-time visitor. Much like the show, it’s a place where you can unwind, share stories, and where “everybody knows your name.”
George greeted us and seated us at a nice table we had already spied near the window. We inquired and found out that John and Leslie Orlando have owned this local institution for 24 years and have lived and worked in the area for 39. (They are also the former owners of Potpourri at the site of what is now Chesapeake & Maine on Rehoboth Avenue.) John is also the chef, and he came out of the kitchen to greet us. Much like the community it serves, John and the entire staff exude a genuine friendliness.
We began our meal with one of Just In Thyme’s specialty cocktails. Leslie selected a New Orleans Old Fashioned, and Debbie chose the Blueberry-Acai Cosmo. Both were excellent. The cocktail menu has a total of 10 specialty drinks, and it was difficult to choose!
The restaurant likes to blend traditional local favorites, newly conceptualized entrees, and twists on classic recipes for a varied and fun menu. For example, you can find traditional appetizers like flash-fried calamari, Delmarva crab dip, and Caesar or wedge salads. We shared two appetizers; the first was baked mushroom caps made with lump crab imperial, fontina cheese, and Old Bay. Tasty and delicious! The second was spicy garlic shrimp, which is also a popular happy hour item. They had a wonderful flavor with a perfect amount of heat.
A haven for both meat and seafood lovers, Just In Thyme boasts an entree menu that showcases the finest offerings from both land and sea. Drawing upon chef John’s influences, you can also choose Cajun specialties that add a burst of Southern charm. The jambalaya has a zesty kick, and the Pork Orleans is a tenderloin served with smoked gouda grits, fried green tomatoes, and Dijon sherry cream.
For our entrees, Leslie had one of their daily specials—short ribs braised and simmered in Dogfish Head chicory stout, served with shaved Brussels sprouts. Rich and delicious.
Another tempting special that day was a stuffed rockfish. However, Debbie selected Seafood Margherita, one of Just In Thyme’s most popular dishes—a mouth-watering combination of shrimp, scallops, lump crab, tomatoes, and fresh basil in a marinara sauce with grated Parmesan over fettuccini. Marvelous!
Since we couldn’t sample everything, we canvased a friendly table of regulars about what they like. They heartily recommended the Pork Orleans and the smoked fish appetizer as two of their favorites among many. The restaurant is particularly proud of their cured in-house fish served with tomato, capers, Bermuda onion, naan bread, and remoulade.
To conclude our meal, we were treated to a dessert tray to dazzle the eyes and satisfy all palates. With difficulty, we selected the chocolate cake with Kalua mousse and buttercream icing. Just yummy!
Do you hanker for pan seared scallops, oysters Rockefeller, or New York strip and filet mignon? You will find them all and more at Just In Thyme. And we found all prices to be reasonable too.
Just In Thyme participates in Rehoboth’s annual Jazz Fest by hosting live entertainment. On Saturday October 14, they will feature Roo Brown; and on Sunday the 15th, Shore Jazz will appear with local favorite Holly Lane. We plan to return that weekend.
If you and your dinner guests are looking for a great variety of well-prepared dishes, served somewhere you will be enveloped in a warm and inviting ambiance, try Just In Thyme! Or find yourself a seat at the bar for that Cheers camaraderie and a chance to unwind.
Free parking is always available. ▼
Leslie Sinclair and her wife Debbie Woods are longtime fans of the Rehoboth Beach dining and entertainment scene and have been fulltime residents since 2009.