Overall Food Service Noise Bathrooms Value

1776 Steakhouse

/ Updated on March 25, 2017
Overall
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Service
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Value

When I first published this article in 2009, I know I annoyed 1776’s hands-on co-owner Tom Holmes by comparing him to Ruth’s Chris Steakhouse, and he told me that he doesn’t compare himself to them. But Tom, I beg to differ: At your $37 and $43 price points for the New York Strip and the Porterhouse (beautiful cuts of meat and worth every penny, by the way), you are indeed placing yourself squarely in the realm of the Ruth’s Chris’, not to mention the Palm restaurants, Peter Luger’s, Chops in Atlanta, Morton’s and all the rest. And, like it or not, people will expect that level of culinary expertise and service, even here at the beach. Happily, if my recent experiences are any indication, you are doing that very thing.

A few of the updates below don’t include any new pics because that would have certainly given me away to Tom, veteran bartender/co-owner Johnny Farquhar or Head Chef/co-owner Tammy Mozingo. I try very hard to remain objective and getting recognized isn’t always a good thing. But it’s all good news! The high points at 1776 have remained the same over the years, and one of them is the simply delicious Black Ravioli. The ebony-hued pillows of pasta are still bursting with shredded lobster in a light sherry sauce and topped with diced crab, shrimp, basil and tomatoes. Another positive is The 1776 Wedge. Though we all know the Wedge has “been done,” 1776’s is one of the most generous wedges I’ve seen around here and sports all the required toppings.

UPDATE! Yet another visit in late summer 2016, and all is well at 1776 Steakhouse. The service was perfect, and the steaks were perfectly cooked. I always try to recreate my “Ruth’s” experience when I go there (sorry, Tom for using the “R” word), and from the cool, crispy wedge (with extra gorgonzola, please) to the tender porterhouse (with a splash of Bearnaise), I realized that I can now just motor up to Midway to get my steak fix. Tom and Tammy Mozingo (head chef and business partner) were both on hand and watching the store. For a special occasion or just a quiet and relaxing meal, 1776 is now a Foodie Pick Hit. I uploaded some new pics in the gallery, so scroll to your heart’s content.

When a restaurant sets entree price points in the high $20s to the mid to high $40s, they set the bar very high. So my previous article and this one both are written with that in mind. The menu at 1776 requires that they be held to a higher standard.

The 1776 Crab and Lobster Bisque is again nicely spiced and loaded with shellfish, as it has been for so many years. I duplicated one of my previous meals there, and that included the signature dry-aged New York Strip (at $37). Though it was presented slightly over temperature, it was still well within spec and was delicious. I got the baker rather than the mashers this time, and the vegetable du jour was not the green beans that had been so flaccidly sad on my previous visits. Given my recent experiences there, I can only hope that the mashers and vegetables are back on track.

I love the baked brie appetizer, and I’m happy to report that it is again warm and buttery with flaky pastry surrounded by a shimmering lake of Raspberry Champagne reduction. The Steak 1776 (a filet topped with lump crab and a cream reduction) also seems to be back in the proverbial saddle, and the crab (though it was winter) was plump and fresh. I so hope this is a trend, as that dish has been a staple there in Midway for many years.

Experienced restaurateur Tom Holmes snapped the place up with his former business partner in the fall of 2007 just minutes before the auctioneer’s gavel was to fall (I was there for the auction that never happened). They expanded, preserving the colonial “look” and the steakhouse ambiance and quality created by the expert cheffing of none other than Irish-born and trained steakmaster himself, Phil Lambert. Phil has been gone a long time (he now keeps members happy over at Kings Creek Country Club). Head chef Tammy Mozingo and bar manager Johnny Farquhar are now partners with Holmes, and through it all I assume that is still the case.

Three 2016 visits brought us to the conclusion once again that 1776 is still hitting the jackpot with the food. I genuinely hope things remain at that level of quality at 1776! It’s a heck of a long drive to Ocean City for a pilgrimage to Ruth’s, and Rehoboth needs a steak restaurant of that caliber, where every meal is guaranteed to please. OK, Tom. I’m just teasing you now.

The Creme Brulee Cheesecake, a vestige of Chef Phil Lambert (now slingin’ hash and whippin’ up great steaks at Kings Creek Country Club), is still wonderful, though apparently you now have to ask them to brulee the cheesecake. Ask! It’s worth it.

Resort restauranting is a relentless job, and most restaurants around Rehoboth Beach really have no choice but to deliver on what they promise. But I have to call ’em as I see ’em, and I see 1776 as the great restaurant. They’ve had their ups and downs, but they’re still here and that’s saying something. I had the pleasure of spending Christmas Eve there in 2016, and every moment was sublime. A post-prandial shot or two of Grand Marnier was the perfect stocking (and foodie) stuffer.

1776 Steakhouse is in the Midway Shopping Center, just to the right of the theaters, directly across from the Tanger Midway outlets. Affable bartender Johnny (one of Rehoboth’s elder statesmen of mixology) presides over a busy happy hour with regular specials. Do call for reservations (302) 645-9355, or use the link above to book through Open Table. Click here to see the Dinner Menu at 1776. (L., D., Bar) Price range: Expensive +.

(Click here to make reservations at 1776 through OpenTable!)

Off-season Specials & Hours

Specials & Moods change quickly. Always call a restaurant first.

pp = per person.
BOGO = buy one, get one.
Bloody = bloody mary.
domestics = American-made beers (e.g., Bud).
imports = foreign beers (e.g., Heineken).
Rails = non call-brand alcohol.
Prix Fixe = one set price.
Mains = entrees.
Margs = margaritas.
Chix = chicken.
AYCE = all you can eat.
Lite = Miller Lite
drafts = draught beer.
Early Birds = arrive before a certain time.
Apps = Appetizers.
bottles = beer in a bottle.
à la carte = order off the menu (no prix fixe).
crafts = micro/artisanal brews (e.g., Old Leghumper Lager)

Midway Center
(302) 645-9355

OPEN TABLE logo copycrenh for specials
Sunday
Open 4-9
Happy Hour at the bar 4-7
$2 beers and
specials on selected apps/
cocktails
Monday
Open for Lunch
11-3
Happy Hour
at the bar 4-7
$2 beers and
specials on
selected apps/
cocktails
Dinner 5-10
Tuesday
Open for Lunch
11-3
Happy Hour
at the bar 4-7
$2 beers and
specials on
selected apps/
cocktails
Dinner 5-10
Wednesday
Open for Lunch
11-3
Happy Hour
at the bar 4-7
$2 beers and
specials on
selected apps/
cocktails
Dinner 5-10
Thursday
Open for Lunch
11-3
Happy Hour
at the bar 4-7
$2 beers and
specials on
selected apps/
cocktails
Dinner 5-10
Friday
Open for Lunch
11-3
Happy Hour
at the bar 4-7
$2 beers and
specials on
selected apps/
cocktails
Dinner 5-10
Live music 7-10
Saturday
Open for Lunch
11-3
Dinner 5-10
Live music 7-10
The Rehoboth Foodie

About the Author

"My goal is to promote Rehoboth Beach dining while remaining honest and impartial. I don’t gush unless a place deserves it, and I don’t pull punches, either. With so many good places to eat around here, it just doesn’t make sense to waste the calories — or the money — on anything less." View all articles written by The Rehoboth Foodie

Add Your Comment
  1. Barbara Dorsey says:

    Love the picture of the ravioli. Besides the steak it is my go-to menu item. Strange, the last 2 times I had it the sauce seemed so sweet. The last time too sweet it kinda ruined the dish for me. Super bummed! Where did that savory sauce go? Has there been a recipe change? I absolutely cannot salt my food for health reasons and usually things taste so good there is no need. In fact it peeves me when I cook and Season the dish and then someone without tasting it, dumps salt all over it. Seen it at restaurants too.

  2. Barbara says:

    I eat here fairly often, they have a very reasonable Happy Hour. Last time I was there I ordered the mussells and the appetizer portion of the black (lobster) ravioli. Very good. Recently had the steak 1776 which is filet with crab, asparagus over mashed potatoes. On spot perfect as usual. I have to disagree with the Foodie over the lobster and crab bisque. I expected to see a creamy smooth soup and this looked like a tomato based chowder. I passed it off to my friend who thought it was good. Beware the escargot, they call it asian butter but I have one word for it: curry. That should be on the menu. Also our server who was very polite was not informed about some of the sauces on the specials. I think the servers should be asked to taste new menu items. I wish 1776 would change the house wine brand from Liberty Creek to something a little better. For such a price point there should be no peeling or chipped paint on the doors of the entrance and the bathrooms.

  3. Char says:

    Hubby and I went to 1776 for the first time last night to celebrate our 11th wedding anniversary and we were NOT disappointed. This was hands-down one of the best meals we have ever eaten. The black ravioli and scallop chips are not to be missed. Hubby was over the moon with the prime rib, and I have never had filet that was so melt-in-your-mouth tender. I can’t wait to go back!

    • Char says:

      We went back again on Saturday 11/8/14 for dinner to celebrate a friend’s birthday. Again, the place hit the nail on the head. Glad I made reservations, the place was JAMMED and the people behind us were told it was a 30 minute wait (and that was at 6:45). At one point the line was so long to get in that the front door could not be closed. My friends gave it a 9 out of 10 because the chairs were uncomfortable to sit on, lol, and one of them had to send his steak back because it was just a tiny bit not cooked enough. The restaurant gave the birthday boy a wonderful piece of Key Lime pie on the house.

  4. Leslie says:

    We had been to 1776 a few years back and thought it was so-so and not worth the expense. Well – thanks to Foodie and some other positive comments we tried it again last night. The meal was fantastic! The price of a glass of wine was not exorbitant (like so many other local restaurants). We had the black ravioli as an appetizer. I don’t know how it could possibly be any better. A wonderful sauce chock with seafood over delicious black pillows. We also got the 1776 steak. Again, a wonderful sauce with several pieces of lump crab meat over a perfectly cooked filet. I totally cleaned my plate. Also nice warm rolls were served. Our waitress was great – and we also chatted with the owner. Another big plus is we could talk to each other without raising our voice. The decor is very cozy and welcoming. We will definitely be going back!

  5. Connie says:

    We ate at 1776 tonight for the first time. The food was absolutely wonderful. We will return. We both got the Steak 1776. We loved the combination of the filet and the crab in the reduction sauce. The meat was so tender, it just melted in our mouths, and it had such a delicious flavor. The baked potato was done to perfection. Service was impeccable. I will be back at 1776. Since the place was packed and there was a line when we left, I guess a lot of other people agree with me that the food and service is wonderful. The worst part is the parking situation. The movie goers had usurped ALL of the parking spots. We had to park all the way to the other end of the shopping center towards Rehoboth. Whoever owns the lot, should have a certain number of spaces reserved for restaurant patrons. It is unfair to have one business enterprise force others to park so far away.

  6. J&Tina says:

    We had dinner over the holidays at 1776 and everything was quite nice. The restaurant wasn’t very crowded, and it was a weekend, but I guess that’s part of beach dining. Our anniversary is approaching and we WILL go back.

  7. Rich says:

    We had a large group dinner at 1776 in early June and I couldn’t have asked for better service or food. The members of the group had the rack of lamb which everyone loved; some had the surf and turf which was a filet (all cooked as oedered)and a crab cake and enjoyed by everyone that ordered it or salmon which was tasty as well. Eric was our waiter and handled the goup expertly. Everyone in our party was so complimentary that we will definitely go back.

  8. Samantha says:

    My husband and I went to 1776 last night, and we had an absolutely wonderful dinner. I was a little nervous after reading the review, but was pleasantly surprised. The Black Ravioli appetizer was fantastic, my Steak 1776 was cooked perfectly, as was my husbands Rack of Lamb. Our desserts (Banana Coconut pie and Cheesecake Brulee) were also delicious. Our waiter was lovely, and made some excellent recommendations as to which wine and beer would match up to our orders. We’ll definitely be back!

  9. T&T says:

    Well, foodie, its about time you updated this review. My wife and I gave 1776 2 chances over the last year and the food was simply not up to what they charge. We too drive to Ocean City and Ruths Chris when we want a good steak.
    When we were just vacationing here many years ago, 1776 was the place to be. It has fallen down and don’t seem to be much concerned about it.

  10. The Cranky Gourmet says:

    What has happened to 1776? Is it bad management or an incompetent chef?
    I had the opportunity to dine at 1776 with friends this past month and would say to anyone-don’t waste your money. Run to a real steak house like Ruth Chris etc.
    The only bright spot on a dismal dinner was indeed the “Black Ravioli” ($11)it was a great appetizer! However it went downhill after that.

  11. Ira says:

    What has happened to the food at dinner? Overcooked slimy vegetables, mealy crab imperial, overspiced. Have been before and it was never like this prior. Tammy always did a great job and we complemented her but now something is amiss in the kitchen. Too many cooks now? Vegetables should be crip-tender not cooked to mush. One dish I had looked like someone had scraped all the plates onto mine and it was for the garbage. Sorry if I sound brutal but the prices charged do not merit the food’s poor quality. Lunches are far better than dinner.

  12. Jessica says:

    I actually asked the chef/ owner Tammy once what went into the escargot and she told me it had 14 ingredients mostly dried spices. It is one of my favorites

  13. Kris says:

    We were totally disappointed in our steaks at 1776. I actually rememeber saying that a Hickman’s prime tenderloin and strip steak grilled at home would have been preferred. I thought it was overpriced for the quality. We were “hovererd over” by two servers. The salad was excellent, but overall, no plans to return there.

  14. Chris Berg says:

    I have always enjoyed my visits to 1776 and the food has been wonderful each time. I would agree with the wine “expertise” comment above – I do think you’re pretty much on your own to make the best decision for your palate. I recommend trying the escargot. If I recall, they coin it as having an Asian flare but to me it just tasted like Worchester or A1, but delicious nonetheless!

  15. Jessica says:

    1776 has always been at the top of our list for the past three years. I beleive it is the only steakhouse in our area that serves dried aged beef! Comparing it to outback is like comparing the cultered pearl sushi to the sushi you get at giant food store. Unless you have a refined palette as I do you couldn’t possibly understand the skill and love that goes into each dish that’s served. Speaking as someone whose family has owned a restuarant 1776 is tops in the area. Chef Tammy Mozingo is incredibly creative as well as charming…FYI I brought a friend to dinner with me who had nut alleries as well as dairy & gluten issues and Chef Mozingo prepared an awesome meal suited just for her and she loved it!

  16. Jim says:

    Bad service; worse, inexpert wine selections; and medicore food (except for the steak).

  17. k.J says:

    Just ate at 1776 based on your review, and we were not disappointed. I started with the Black Ravioli dish which i think may be one the best dishes i ever had –well put together! I had the Filet which was as good as i have had and my partner had the delmonico which i thought was good but my Filet was better. Service was outstanding(Phil who has worked there forever)
    Overall, one the best restaurants in the area.

  18. Jenn says:

    We completely disagree with the 2 comments already made.

    Every time we have the opportunity to visit 1776 we are thrilled with the incredible food, many options including the bistro menu, drinks, atmosphere and especially the service!

    We’ve eaten at steak houses all over the country and have always felt that 1776 is always in the top two. Especially since Tom & Bob took it over, and revamped the restaurant a few years ago.

    Yes, it’s a bit pricey, but not when compared to the steak houses mentioned above. Plus every entree on the menu is excellent. The seafood is incredible, even though you never think they would be equal.

    Keep up the great work!

  19. Mark says:

    I may have been expecting too much. I was expecting a Mortons/Ruths Chris experience but we got just a shade over Outback. Black Ravioli was fantastic but after that everything else was mediocre. Between us we ordered a filet and a NY strip, both average. Had to send the baked potato back because it would not melt butter. Béarnaise sauce was tasteless and the succotash was canned. Should have driven to O.C. for Ruths Chris.

  20. Rose Shinn says:

    Considering the cost, 1776’s food and service are mediocre at best. I have been to many steakhouses and 1776 doesn’t even come close.

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