DiFebo's is a few miles south of Rehoboth Beach on Rt. 26 (Garfield Parkway), less than a half-mile inland from the Bethany Beach totem pole. They offer a not-so-traditional Italian menu (which they are famous for changing just when you decide you like something). This place has some problems and some good points too, so enough chit-chat.
A soon as possible after sitting down, order the Asian Dumplings. I know this is an Italian restaurant, but you're going to have to trust me on this. They are moist, firm and fully packed (not unlike myself, actually...), seasoned with a ginger/soy dipping sauce and paired with a bright and spicy peanut slaw. The other appetizers are good, especially the calamari (salty, fried crispy and begging to be dipped into Bobby's red sauce (they call it marinara). I've also had the Caprese (topped with a roasted pepper) and the Bruschetta du jour. They always have something unusual to slather on that crispy, garlicky crostini.
I like DiFebo's take on the ubiquitous "wedge." (Does anybody NOT serve a wedge?) Rather than the traditional iceberg, tomatoes, bacon bits and chunky bleu cheese dressing, DiFebo's serves it up with romaine topped with arugula, gorgonzola chunks, pine nuts and (get ready) candied figs. I've also had the House of Greens and the Caesar Salads. Both generously portioned, cool and crispy. A fun thing to order for "the table" is the Antipasto. Very Italian, meaty and cheesy.
You can get their gnocchi piled in a big bowl covered with that red sauce (not too sweet, not too thick...they call it "Big Bob's Sunday Gravy"), or "caprese" style with mozzarella, ricotta and fresh basil leaves. My preferred dining companion loves the "Airline" Stuffed Chicken Breast, a straightforward preparation with chevre (goat cheese) and roasted peppers, perched high atop the house mashers with bright green, firm broccoli. On my last visit, they didn't have their (famous) roasted Veal Chop, but they do like to rotate the menu and hopefully it will be back. Other goodies include the Abruzzi Fish Fry (think Italian Fish 'n' chips with some shellfish thrown in for fun. One of the problems with this place is that they regularly change the menu. It's like a constant experiment. Several times we have gone there for a specific dish or dishes, and we are told (in no uncertain terms) that it is no longer available. Because the menu does vary so much, I don't want to spend too much of your time on things that might disappear, but be sure to call if you liked something before. Can it be that they are mistaking the fact that they are one of the few "sit-down" restaurants in Bethany Beach (and crowded by default) for thinking that they are perhaps better than they are?
DiFebo's has a pretty extensive lunch menu, but the lunch service is ridiculously slow. In a hurry? They are set-up for take out, and you can by-pass the often-spotty table service at lunch. Lunch includes the stuffed Italian Hoagie, a variety of Cheesesteaks and some of the dinner offerings (such as the crabcakes, ravioli, gnocchi and chicken parm) served in lunch portions,
DiFebo's recently took over operation of the ill-fated and always-on-the-edge "Den" restaurant at Bear Trap Dunes Golf Club (a couple of miles down Central Ave., south of Rt. 26). They call it "DiFebo's Bistro on the Green." I have heard mixed reports such as haphazard service and kitchen problems, but I'll tell you more about it when I make it there next. If you get there "''afore me," please post your thoughts below for all of us to share.
DiFebo's original location is at 789 Garfield Parkway on the north side next to Grotto Pizza. They also offer an interesting "Dinner to your Door" delivery that they call "Family Style." Be sure to call off season, as their hours vary (302) 539-4550. (L., D., Bar) Price Range: Moderate+.
The Bistro on the Green is located at 7 Clubhouse Dr., in the main Bear Trap Dunes clubhouse (drive south from Rt. 26 on Central Ave. It's on the left). They offer a Sunday Brunch year 'round, and are open every day (call to make sure!). (302) 537-6100. Click here for the menu. (B. (Sundays), L.,D., Bar) Price Range, Moderate +.