By the time you read this, you and I may have eaten in several restaurants around town, using COVID precautions. Some folks are carefully social distancing at restaurants and others are still waiting a while to venture out for inside dining.
But humor me, on the first Friday in June we had our first restaurant meal since March. That’s not usually the lead to a restaurant feature article, but these are certainly not usual times.
It was the first time in three months we ate restaurant food, on restaurant plates, plated by restaurant people. It was glorious. I didn’t realize how much we missed the dining out experience.
We were celebrating our 10-year anniversary by dining at the same restaurant we dined at 10 years ago for our first romantic dinner date. It was also three months since we had haircuts, hair dye, plucking, or manicures, but it was a glorious night nonetheless.
SoDel’s Lupo Italian Kitchen is where the magic first happened for us and where magic happened again. We were warmly greeted outside by a lovely, chatty hostess who showed us to our table in the nearly empty restaurant.
With only a handful of people in the place, we did a happy dance the entire time. We were so thrilled to be waited upon. We worked hard to remember our manners as I pushed her elbow off the table and she reminded me to put my napkin in my lap.
We quickly noticed our favorite menu item (branzino) wasn’t on the menu, so we ordered wine while deciding what to order. I “settled” for the swordfish and Diane ordered the Shrimp Arrabbiata.
We nibbled the focaccia dipped in olive oil and groaned in pleasure. We used the focaccia to swirl the plate of the Caesar salad. We ate every bite of our food and stole bites off each other’s plates.
We’re coming back, of course, for the Wednesday night One-half Price Pasta, and we’ll dine at home once more with the Thursday night Carry-out Wine Dinner for 2—a bottle of wine, one salad, two entrees, and one dessert for $45. What a deal. And dine in on Friday with half-price bottles of wine.
I especially love Lupo for its house-made pasta (all pasta styles are made right in the restaurant) and locally caught seafood. Now is a great time to see what local fisherpersons have been successful catching.
And if—like me—you love Italian wines, Lupo’s cellar is extensive. In fact, the restaurant was the 2019 recipient of the Wine Spectator Award of Excellence.
For those readers still preferring to dine at home with carry-out from Rehoboth’s stellar restaurants, you can order carry-out online at the Lupo website. From starters like Grilled Artichoke and Old School Meatballs, to entrees catching my eye like Lobster Bucatini or Pork Milanese, the menu is large. And there’s a huge selection of beer and wine to go as well.
So, our post-lock-down dining out was a grand success. The food was outstanding (as always at Lupo), but the hospitality was the real star of the evening. Thank you to Lupo and all the other restaurants. With all the bows to COVID, and the precautions that must be taken, your continued hard work to feed our bodies and souls is truly appreciated.