Shorebreak Lodge: A Gem on Wilmington Avenue
The bar: a harbinger of things to come. Usually, a restaurant bar is off to the left or the right. Not this bar. It is immediately in view, indeed the first thing you see when you enter. And with good reason. The bar is beautiful. Gorgeous lighting; an attractive layout of liquor. I thought “this restaurant is going to be good.”
Boy, was I right. Shorebreak Lodge is a top-notch restaurant. Nestled among the tree-lined Wilmington Avenue, its windows are elevated from the street below, allowing for a sense of privacy, while giving the patrons an opportunity to view the bustling Rehoboth crowds. And that’s not all. The inside offers an attractive blue-and-white color scheme and an eclectic set of chairs and tables, creating a comfortable atmosphere.
The staff adds to the ambience immeasurably. We were seated by the bartender, Brian, and attended to by the professional, friendly Stephano. The bar produced an excellent Cosmo, and more treats were in store. We were serenaded by a fellow patron, who sang the praises of the food and staff quite vociferously. At first, we thought (laughingly) that she was on the restaurant’s dole. But no, she was merely a restaurant regular, eager to share with us her love of Shorebreak. Not only was she a hoot, but she made it into the review!
But I digress; let’s get to the food. As satisfying as the atmosphere was, and as good as Brian’s Cosmo creation was, the food was even better. The appetizers’ aromas announced the serving of the dishes when Stephano brought them out. Sally got the Lamb Lollipops and the fresh, vibrant ceviche, while I got the Wild Mushroom Bruschetta. Sally loved the ceviche and took some home. Alas, no taking the lollipops home. They were eaten right down to the bone, so tender, juicy, and tasty. I am generally not a fan of bruschetta…what can be special about bread and a topping? Well, I learned my lesson. This bruschetta had the most delicious mushrooms I’ve ever tasted on top of the perfectly prepared bread. It was just the right thickness; toasted yet soft. I caught a hint of balsamic in the mushrooms; the dish was gentle but assertive. It was delectable.
Thankfully, the music played over the speakers was there to establish mood, not detract from the dining. Although it would be difficult to detract from this meal. For her main entree, Sally got the pork chop, an outstanding cut of meat with an apple chutney glaze. Another winner. I ordered the surf and turf, an appetizing combination of short rib and day-boat scallops. The short rib was perfectly done, with a veal demi-glace, so tender it practically melted on the fork. The scallops were simply amazing, beautifully caramelized, cooked to perfection. Compliments to the chef!
No review of Shorebreak Lodge would do it justice without mentioning a particularly superb menu item: the unbelievably good risotto. The star of some dishes, it is also served as a side. I could make a meal just from the risotto.
Finally came the desserts. Sally chose the chocolate cake, boasting a rich combination of cake and frosting, soft and creamy and melting in her mouth. I had never tried pineapple upside down cake before. Now was the time to be adventurous. I was not at all disappointed. Perfect on the outside, perfect on the inside.
I asked Stephano who is responsible for these delicious menu items. General Manager Sean Pusateri has created many of the dishes and has used his 30 years of restaurant experience to perfect them. You can find classic seafood preparations on the menu that were created by the original executive chef, Rob Stitt, founder of Shorebreak in 2011. These recipes have been the foundation of Shorebreak and are still prepared in the same way by their kitchen team, Dimas and DeWayne. Their sauces are made with fresh herbs, they serve only fresh produce, and their seafood is locally sourced. Their desserts are homemade by a local baker. The staff provides suggested pairings of their impressive wine list with their dinner choices.
Shorebreak is in season 12. Kate Wall took over ownership of Shorebreak in 2017 and the new regime is going into its seventh season. Kate has shepherded this fine restaurant well, while maintaining the particular charms and quality we experienced. The restaurant is indeed top-notch, and the people, the menu, and food show that. We certainly enjoyed every moment of this dining experience. All I can say is, bravo! ▼
Michael Gilles is a playwright, actor, and director from Milton, and a regular contributor to Letters from CAMP Rehoboth.