Espuma No More

/ Updated on September 17, 2016

Espuma, Jay Caputo's first and last remaining restaurant in downtown Rehoboth Beach, is now closed. There will be a brand new food/drink-related business moving into that spot, but the Foodie has been sworn to secrecy until all the Tees are dotted and the Eyes are crossed.

Founded in 1999 by Chef Kevin Reading (of Nage, Abbott's Grill and Brick Works fame), Espuma was one of the first to offer downtown fine dining in the off-season. Back in its heyday, the tucked-away eatery on First Street South and its diminutive yet popular bar  (and stellar bartenders) was one of the locals' go-to hangouts for leading-edge cocktails and small plates before small plates were trendy.

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  1. Avatar Anna says:

    I would just like to correct you by stating that no, espuma is not the last remaining operating business. Pilot Town fish co. has been operating it’s doors since January, and continues to do so!

    • The Rehoboth Foodie The Rehoboth Foodie says:

      Anna… before you correct me, you might want to try reading the entire post – or at least the very first sentence where I wrote that it is his last restaurant in downtown Rehoboth Beach.

  2. Avatar Sam Reklaw says:

    We had one of the best meals I’ve ever had in Rehoboth at Espuma in November, 2015. It was a simple salmon dish and it was done to perfection. My three dining companions also said their meals were the best. I am so sorry to hear it’s closed. I was also there on 3 food tours and the food was always good. Where did the Chef move on to?
    I also had one of the worst meals in Rehoboth at Beachside Grill. Six dinners came out and all six were, to some degree, burnt! I’m sorry but the Chef had to know that. Jay offered to have us come back but then he moved on. Now I have heard from a few people that they did not enjoy the food at
    Pilottown Fish Company.
    Hopefully this can be fixed because I live in Milton and we can always use another good restaurant,

  3. Avatar Laurie C. says:

    Every meal I had there was amazing. Sad to hear the news. I wish him good luck.

  4. Avatar Kelly says:

    So… I guess we should have used our $200.00 gift certificate sooner…. Ughhhh..

  5. Avatar Carol says:

    Years ago we had a hilarious experience there while tasting a flight of wines. After enjoying one in particular we asked our server about it- where is it from? With a puzzled look, and a moment’s hesitation, she looked over her shoulder and responded ‘uh, from the kitchen’. Seriously.

    • Avatar William says:

      Sounds like when went to another restaurant that will remain nameless (obie’s) and ordered a 7 & 7…The server responded promptly by asking if that was a “Craft Beer”..lol

  6. Avatar Thomas Jaehnigen says:

    When exactly did they close? We had reservations there for last night and obviously it was closed. No sign on the door. No cancellation of our OpenTable reservation. No call. Nothing.

  7. Avatar William Finley says:

    I’m not surprised at all to hear of the closing of this place closing, actually i shocked that it took so long….
    After seeing how Jay handled his partership in Beachside Bar & Grill, and how he treated the business and his employees, its a wonder that he has not been run out of town long befor this…but he continues to be able to move from restaurant to restaurant…
    Jay is a world class chef (or so i’m told) but not a great businessman or boss, so this reader chooses to give his money to more deserving venues

    • Avatar M. Moreland says:

      William Finley, I couldn’t be in greater agreement to your comments. Last several times there for us, it was really slipped down the hill. On top of that my personal business dealings with Jay are right in line with your comments!

    • Avatar Jay Caputo says:

      I appreciate your comments about me. Perhaps you have not received the complete story about “my partnership” at beachside. We will continue to work hard to take care of our guests at Pilot Town, take care of our staff, and provide for our families. Thank you.

  8. Avatar Peter says:

    I was excited to go have dinner at espuma last year and had one of the most atrocious, hilarious, frustrating evenings at any restaurant in my whole life. We left before ordering our meal.

  9. Avatar Always Hungry says:

    I know Espuma used to be one of the great places to dine in Rehoboth. But in the last several years, it has been beyond disappointing. I feel like Robert Irvine, from Restaurant Impossible, eyeing the dirty light fixtures and the disgusting carpet. Such a sad and prolonged end to what had originally been a great place. What’s with the most recent owner? Disgusting!

  10. Avatar Sandra Curson says:

    I hope it becomes and Indian or a vegan friendly restaurant.

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