1776, Historic and Contemporary All at Once
When the majority of a restaurant’s employees have all been there between one and two decades, and the newcomers are five years in, it says a lot of good things about the restaurant.
In addition, when loyal patrons and visiting Trip Advisor readers keep filling the place, even on a Monday night in September, despite shiny new steak houses opening all over the area, the message is clear: 1776 is not only a Rehoboth landmark but a contemporary go-to for great steaks and fine dining.
Nestled in the Midway shopping center near the movies, the exterior atmosphere belies the upscale décor experience inside. The place has been operating at that site for over 20 years, with a change of ownership and management in 2007. But it’s still the remarkable dining experience I remember from before the turn of the millennium.
The décor has been refreshed more than once, but it still reflects the colonial theme, uncrowded table space, and professional wait-staff that make for a quiet, sophisticated dining experience.
Following cocktails (they make a killer Cosmo), Bonnie and I enjoyed the warm, crusty French rolls with honey butter, while sharing a beautifully presented, fresh wedge salad, with iceberg lettuce topped with Gorgonzola dressing, bacon, tomatoes, and cucumber. I followed up with the French Onion soup, a delicious meat stock and onions, topped with a thick cheese-crusted slice of bread. It’s the traditional French recipe, and following the restaurant’s theme, something Lafayette might have brought here during the American revolution. Okay, its popularity was really established by mid-twentieth century chef Julia Child, but however it arrived in the US, it was delicious at 1776.
Next came the stellar part of the meal. We had been presented with a large tray showing off the cuts of meat available from the chef. It was a difficult choice to make—did we want bone-in Porterhouse, combining a NY strip and a filet, or a solo Filet Mignon or NY Strip? A well-marbled Delmonico or rib eye? There was even a selection of a trio of three-ounce filets individually topped with a cream reduction with lump crab, bleu cheese and demi-glaze, and caramel brandy mushroom sauce.
Making a selection was difficult, but our patient and knowledgeable server, Tamara, guided us. We selected to split the NY strip (medium rare), which was served with mashed potatoes and asparagus—a quintessential steakhouse meal.
The steak was deliciously charred on the outside, tender and succulent inside, served perfectly pink for medium rare. Bonnie and I don’t dine at steak houses too often, but when we do, we expect exactly the experience we had dining at 1776—and we were pleasantly surprised with the menu prices—lower than we expected, and less than some other highly-rated local steakhouses. Yes, it can be a special occasion kind of place, but also perfect for quiet fine dining.
Naturally we had to try the signature dessert, the Crème Brule cheesecake. It was a very sweet treat, and even though we could only manage a bite or two, a great way to end the meal.
But what if you don’t want a steak? 1776 has you covered, with prime rib (king and queen cuts), rack of lamb, cedar plank salmon, lobster-filled ravioli, and lobster and crab au gratin, just to name a few of the selections.
1776 is open for lunch Mondays through Saturdays and open for dinner every night. It’s a fabulous steak house experience that won’t break the bank. And that’s revolutionary. ▼