Overall Food Service Noise Bathrooms Value

Shorebreak Lodge

/ Updated on May 31, 2016
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(Click here to make reservations through OpenTable.com.)

My goal at RehobothFoodie.com is to promote Rehoboth Beach area dining. But people will only return here if the articles are objective. I try hard to do that, often returning to a restaurant multiple times before writing about it. I thank the many (many) thousands of weekly site visitors for their continued clicks of confidence.

It is true that most (not all, but most) of our restaurants here in Rehoboth Beach are pretty much OK. If they weren’t, the short and intensely competitive summer season would kill them off. (Survival of the fittest and all that.)

All this chatter is leading up to the latest revamp of this review of Shorebreak Lodge. Serendipitously, the launching of the new redesign of RehobothFoodie.com has coincided with yet another reinvention of Shorebreak’s menu. Much of the concept (as with this website) has been tweaked somewhat, so the following article is a combination of several recent visits, the most recent of which is late in the season 2014. On each of these visits I have been pleasantly surprised, though I expected no less from veteran restaurateur Rob Stitt (chef/owner/founder of the original Eden on Rehoboth Avenue), co-owner Matt Sprenkle (veteran Rehoboth Beach/Dewey bartender and surfer-of-note), and their partner John Wallden.

On my first follow-up visit early this season, I managed to escape detection. (In my Yankees cap and huge sunglasses, I looked like an unfortunate cross between Ice Road Truckers and Jackie O.) Disguises notwithstanding, the Arugula Salad was delicious. However, this crunchy combination of almonds and radishes has been recently replaced by the Baby Kale Salad punctuated by, of all things, fresh blueberries, peaches and pickled onion. I’m sure this won’t last long, as Chef Rob loves his seasonal goodies, but it’s worth the trip downtown. The Fried Oysters have given way to … wait for it … Fried Chicken Skins! This totally unexpected appetizer is reminiscent of the Mexican Chicharrónes (pork rinds), but not quite as puffy. The tasty little gems are drizzled with a surprisingly mild Tabasco lime sauce. This is a must-get.

The Grilled Octopus is still there, and still just as delicious. Scroll through the gallery — I’ve got a pretty good photo in there. (Think of a cross between calamari and chicken breast.) It’s so easy to screw up octopus; cook it too long or not long enough, and you’ve got a plateful of rubber bands. The earlier charred version garnish of preserved lemon, kale and white beans has morphed into avocado, melon, tomato, cucumber and radish. I know it sounds scary, what with all those tentacles and all, but give it a try at Shorebreak Lodge.

The place has been repainted yet again, and this time it’s basic white. And it works! In spite of the huge windows in the front, the room always seemed a bit shadowy and dark. The new paint eliminates that. Shorebreak Lodge is open, airy and totally inviting. Since they are about 30 steps from the Atlantic Ocean, that makes sense.

The Spicy Watermelon Gazpacho with which I have had a 2-year love affair (not without its ups and downs) has resurfaced as Smoked Chili Watermelon Gazpacho. This version is a winner (Rob loves the dish and you never know how it’s going to be presented). It was 100% there in the taste department. Simple, spicy, and refreshingly cool.

Don’t forget! The menu at Shorebreak Lodge changes like the weather in August. So by the time you get down there, some of these goodies might not be available!

In a Foodie tribute to pullets everywhere, we ordered the Thai Chili Wings. I hoped they had survived the cut, and they did. The gently sweet/mildly spicy and savory snap of the Thai sauce kicked them up a multitude of notches, as usual. The wings were nicely done to an appetizing crisp which did not disappear with the addition of the sauce. They are beautifully presented with cool veggies (see the pic in the gallery).

Earlier this season I had the Angus Deckle Steak, and it’s still on the menu. The deckle is the fat-cap part of the rib eye steak. It is experiencing a bit of a renaissance with chefs as other fatty cuts like pork belly continue to be relished by diners. And, like pork belly, it’s all in how you cook it. This was charred to a light crisp on the outside, but still wonderfully moist and slightly pink on the inside. Fat carries flavor, and this one was loaded with flavor. Mashers mixed with mushrooms and vinegary kimchee (think of salt and vinegar potato chips, but without the crunch) gave the plate the acid it needed. This is a beautifully conceived and well-balanced dish and has survived two (perhaps three) menu metamorphoses.

The Pork Belly with Jicama Slaw, egg and peanut dish (I left the photo in the gallery — you’ve got to see this one) has been replaced by a Spanish Iberico Pork “Secreto” Cut, decorated with forest nameko (Relax. It’s a mushroom.) and shaved brussels sprouts. Difficult to locate on the pig (hence the name “secreto”), the thin and juicy steak-like cut is from free range, acorn-fed black Spanish pigs. Sort of a cross between a cured ham and a pork loin chop, this thing is pure bliss. So much so that “pure bliss” is actually printed on the menu.

The Surf & Turf offering is now in the form of braised short rib married to delightfully plump dayboat (big) scallops. These goodies nest atop a bed of risotto laced with pepito pesto. The textural component was expertly represented, with the almost opaque tenderness of the scallops pairing up nicely with the soft, savory umami of the ribs and the slightly acidic bite of the pesto.

You can’t throw a rock in the Rehoboth Beach area without hitting a brussels sprout, but Rob has fought the temptation to simply add it to the sides menu. He has wisely restricted it to cameo appearances in various entrées. The newbie on the sides menu is a colorful Summer Succotash (check out the photo in the gallery). Obviously this one won’t last long, but it’s another must-get and could almost be a main course all on its own. Vegetarians will love the creative and texturally satisfying preparation.

Another new arrival on the menu is one of the best burgers I’ve had in a long time: The Lafrieda Burger with a Pimiento Cheese purée and nice, crunchy shoestrings. Pat LaFrieda’s burger blends are known throughout the country for a magical combination of the flatiron portion of chuck, brisket and short rib from Black Angus cows. In fact, his name is proudly displayed on this and many other menus. At the risk of stirring up the “you like everything” crowd (I don’t — try reading the reviews all the way through, or better yet just ask the chefs who send me nasty emails), this thing is ridiculously good. The slightly chunky but mild purée of cheese did not upstage the one-of-a-kind taste of the burger. Do not miss this one. It’s the new standard against which I will  judge burgers henceforth (I sort of like to proclaim stuff from time to time…).

I just know that some of the items missing from the late summer menu at Shorebreak Lodge will reappear. So portions of the earlier reviews will remain intact below so you can get an idea of what you might encounter on your next visit to Shorebreak Lodge. In spite of the fact that they do very little advertising, and that their two signs are squarely blocked by trees, Shorebreak Lodge has built a reputation on word of mouth and on articles like this one. And it’s working.

On a much earlier visit, local cutie (and Shofer’s mom) ordered the Cheese Plate (now in hiding, but hopefully to return). That particular incarnation featured vintage Van Gogh cheese (creamier than Gouda) and the delightful Beemster XO, the star of the plate. It’s another Gouda-like cheese, but with a completely different personality. Think bright orange extra-sharp cheddar with an attitude. It’s almost impossible to slice it, so it comes off in flavorful chunks. Gruyere topped off this mélange of fromage. Cross your fingers that Stitt has mercy on us and brings it back for another round.

The Edamame Hummus (presently in the form of White Bean and Yellow Pepper Hummus) is gently chunky (thank you for not pureeing the little beans to death!) and delicately spiced. Another veteran Foodie-at-Arms ordered the Chicken Wings with Spicy Peanut Sauce (since replaced by the Thai Chili Wings referenced above). The crunchy peanuts were an amusing contrast against the chicken, and the not-spicy-at-all sauce was reminiscent of the peanut sauce that accompanies gòi cuôn (Vietnamese summer rolls).

I suspect there will always be Crab Cakes on the menu. They are still the largest I’ve seen in the area for the price, and were loaded with crabmeat. The filler kept them firm, but was not overbearing and allowed the fragile taste of the crab to shine through. As of the most recent visit, they are happily ensconced on a bed of that Summer Succotash — a nicely toothsome landing pad.

One of our party ordered the Lamb and Chorizo Meatloaf (mercifully still on the menu!). The deeply savory dish is darkly seared on the outside (lamb likes that) with an ever-so-slightly sweet demi glace that enhanced the unlikely marriage to the Mexican sausage. And it pairs perfectly with the kimchee mash. Yogurt dressing brings a polite nod to the lamb. The two have been paired for centuries.

The other star of the show, hands down, is the BBQ Shrimp ‘n’ Chorizo Grits (now offered as Shrimp & Grits with chorizo and an amazing Tomato Anise sauce). I can’t say enough about this dish. Taste, texture, mouth-feel — it was all there.

Shorebreak Lodge is at 10 Wilmington Avenue, on the south side. Star ratings have been updated to reflect what appears to be a brand new positive attitude in the service department and the consistently creative dishes. Again, their two attractive signs are completely blocked by trees, so look closely. (They’re between Green Man and Royal Treat.)

Stitt, Sprenkle and the rest of the crew have certainly hit their stride. You can make reservations through Open Table directly from your Rehoboth In My Pocket travel app (you DO have Rehoboth In My Pocket, don’t you!?!) or simply click this link and scroll down to Shorebreak Lodge and the OpenTable.com logo which is ripe for the clicking. (302) 227-1007. A sample menu is available here.  (D., Bar with late-night happy hour.) Price range: Moderate +.

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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)

10 Wilmington Ave.
(302) 227-1007

OPEN TABLE logo copycrenh for specials
Sunday
Open at 5
Happy Hour at the bar: 5-7
Monday
Closed til spring 2016
Tuesday
Closed til spring 2016
Wednesday
Closed til spring 2016
Thursday
Open at 5
Happy Hour 5-7! $2 and $5 happy hour bites plus $4 & $6 crafts & $ domestics
Friday
Open at 5
Happy Hour 5-7
Saturday
Open at 5
Happy Hour 5-7
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. Bob says:

    Had a great table for two in the corner at the window. The bar was packed at 530. Grapefruit Martinis, octopus, scallops, and shrimp appetizers and we were in heaven. Service was exceptional. We love this place.

  2. Regina says:

    By far my favorite place at the beach these days! The pork belly and egg ? Breakfast for dinner! The scallops are plump and perfectly cooked every time (my hubby us a fan of their surf and turf). I had an amazing piece of amberjack on Valentine’s Day. And the last time we were in we nibbled off the happy hour menu: nothing disappointed!

  3. Rachel Eats Rehoboth says:

    My husband, friend, and I just ate at Shorebreak tonight for the first time. How have we missed this fantastic gem of a restaurant? Before I mention the food, I must give praise to the capable waitstaff – as professional as any in a high end restaurant, but with a casual and friendly (but not in a TGIFriday’s way) attitude. This is a restaurant for adults for sure, which makes it quite a lovely oasis. Even parents need a break! Now, on to the food – the shrimp and grits, yes! The mashed potatoes with kim chi, of course! The octopus – more please! The dayboat scallops appetizer – seconds! Beets and chèvre – meh, they can’t all be winners. Pumpkin pie cheesecake could have used a sprinkle more sugar, but the chocolate pie with pecans was spot on. Our drinks were strong, the prices relatively reasonable, and a good time was had by all. Will we return? Like waves to a beach.

  4. Teresa says:

    Have always loved Shorebreak Lodge, since they opened. The menu is different from anything else you can get in Rehoboth, and for me, the cocktails are the best in town. For some reason, the eastern shore seems to have been swept by a mania for sweet cocktails that taste like dessert. At Shorebreak I can the perfect Manhattan, or ask the bartender to make me something special. I love that. The octopus is to die for, I get it every time. The re-decoration is an amazing change, it’s gorgeous. I love eating at the bar, it’s so cozy.

  5. Steve C. says:

    Anniversary dinner on May 24, 2013 was absolutely fantastic. We order steamed clams, mushroom bruchetta, strip steak, and the halibut. Every item was a “10”! Great service + great food = a winning combo!

    We been recommending ShoreBreak to our guests and they all have been raving. Keep up the great work!

  6. Kathleen says:

    I took my husband to here for his birthday dinner last night where we met up with some of our other friends. I’ve been wanting to try it based on the reviews I’ve read on here and Trip Advisor. It definitely lived up to everything I read! We started out with some appetizers….the one we tried, the wild mushroom bruschetta was good, but I wasn’t a fan of the huge (almost calamari like) wild shrooms! What I was amazed by (and am eating the leftovers as I type) was my main course – the surf and turf of 2 large sea scallops, an amazing pesto risotto and braised melt-in-your-mouth beef! My husband had the Salmon, two of our other dining companions had the meatloaf over a bed of wow those are amazing mashed potatoes (our friend MADE us try them, they were that good!), someone else had the whole chicken and the last friend had the fresh fish. My husband said, “Have we found our new favorite restaurant?” It was that good! We will definitely return!

  7. Jane Blong says:

    I went back to this restaurant for dinner after reading your review. My friend and I had an excellent meal. I had the short ribs and the roasted beet salad. My friend had the swordfish and arugula salad. We had an excellent server who answered all of our questions and her recommendation for wine was right on. I had been to this location last year when it was Cosmopolitan and I had the worst meal there.
    My only suggestion for improvement would be the decor and the dishes. Perhaps someone could help them with that,but the food is superb.

  8. T&J says:

    Foodie… we’ve been following you since you started this site. We love your writing. We just wanted to tell you that your article about shorbreak lodge is one of the best you have ever written. We know the restaurant is good, but we’re talking about the quality of your writing in this one.
    Despite all the other writing you are doing for other papers and things, you haven’t lost it.
    THanks for doing this. We really needed it around here.

  9. Palma Salerno says:

    I simply LOVE the new menu, look, and staff. 5 stars, One of the BEST resturants in Rehoboth.

  10. Andy says:

    I am in love with Shorebreak Lodge. The very best food I’ve had in Rehoboth since the early days of Salt Air. Rob is a very talented Chef. The Watermelon Gazpacho and Crab and Lentil soups were probably the best bowls of soup I’ve ever had. Mussels with avocado were delicious and so unique. Skate in brown butter with dried cherries was wonderful and such a large portion for an appetizer. Also sampled some sides- the savory tomato bread pudding and cheesy risotto both stood out. On our second visit we had the Monkfish over Panzanella Salad and the Artic Char with cauliflower almond puree, mushrooms and asparagus- both fantastic. Looking forward to many quiet relaxing meals here this fall because I guarantee there will be a line out the door next summer.

  11. Susan R says:

    6 of us had a great dinner last night at Shorebreak. Food was tasty and interesting. Service was knowledgeable, fun, and efficient. Standouts amongst the 6 of us included short ribs and scallops with risotto (“surf and turf”),watermelon salad, kale and leeks, and watermelon gazpacho. Mussels might have been a tad overcooked but were flavorful and the broth was yummy!! We think Shorebreak is a winner and look for a long and successful stint on the RB restaurant scene!!!

  12. John says:

    My wife, KeKe, and I went there [last week].
    We like food out of the ordinary and ordered a very good skate in brown butter sauce and a new twist on Surf and Turf.
    Braised short ribs and huge grilled scallops. The ribs were seasoned just so and the scallops quickly seared like tuna. Grilled outside, cool center.

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