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1776 Steakhouse

/ Updated on February 20, 2021

1776 is currently a collaboration among longtime owner Tom Holmes, veteran bartender/co-owner Johnny Farquhar and head chef/co-owner Tammy Mozingo. 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 burst 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.

At the risk of being accused of hyperbole, every time we have been there the service has been perfect. 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. For a special occasion or just a quiet and relaxing meal, 1776 is now a Rehoboth Foodie Pick Hit. In early spring 2021 I uploaded even more pics in the gallery, so scroll to your heart's content.

The 1776 Crab and Lobster Bisque is well-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. Though it was presented slightly under temperature (not unusual in quality steakhouses, by the way), it was still well within spec and was delicious. I got the baker rather than the mashers this time, and the vegetable du jour.

I love the baked brie appetizer. It's 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) is a popular choice with the locals, as the always plump and fresh crabmeat.

Experienced restaurateur Tom Holmes and former business partner Bob Mitchell snapped the place up 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 ambiance and the steakhouse vibe 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. So you can rest assured that your bar sips and kitchen bites are watched over very carefully by actual owners.

The Creme Brulee Cheesecake, a vestige of Phil Lambert is still wonderful and on the menu waiting for you.

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 a great restaurant. They've had their ups and downs, but they're still here, and that's saying something. I've had the pleasure of spending  Christmas Eve there for the last five years, and though the place is packed wall-to-wall, moment is sublime. A post-prandial shot or two of Grand Marnier is 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) and recently added Matt Sprenkle (longtime beach barkeep and restaurateur in his own right) preside over a busy happy hour with regular specials. (Hear Matt's appearance on The Rehoboth Foodie's radio show HERE).

ALWAYS call for reservations (302) 645-9355, or use the link to book through Open Table.

CLICK HERE to see the dinner menu.

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

ALWAYS call for reservations!

Takeout Available.

Open 4-9
Happy Hour at the bar 4-7
$2 beers and
specials on selected apps/
Open for Lunch 11-2:30
Dinner 5-9
Open 4:30 -9
Happy Hour at the bar 4:30-7
$2 beers and
specials on
selected apps/
Open 4:30 -9
Happy Hour at the bar 4:30-7
$2 beers and
specials on
selected apps/
Open 4:30 -9
Happy Hour at the bar 4:30-7
$2 beers and
specials on
selected apps/
Open 4:30 -9:30
Happy Hour at the bar 4:30-7
$2 beers and
specials on
selected apps/
Open 4:30 -9:30
Happy Hour at the bar 4:30-7
$2 beers and
specials on
selected apps/
Open 4:30 -9:30
Happy Hour at the bar 4:30-7
$2 beers and
specials on
selected apps/
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. Avatar Joanne Stein says:

    I really don’t like leaving negative reviews, but I want the owner to see this and step up the game. We dined at 1776 in Lewes last week and were all disappointed. I ordered the lobster tail. It was cooked to the right temp, but seemed to have been soaked in salt – no seasoning other than that. Too much salt. On the side were blanched green beans with NO seasoning at all, nada, not even a pat of butter. Accompanied by bland mashed potatoes, also with no seasoning. One of the other diners ordered the prime rib. The quality did not come close to Ruth’s Chris, and also had NO seasoning on it whatsoever. Not a flavorful cut, by any stretch. So there seemed to be a “cook” in the kitchen that night, rather than a Chef. Did anyone expo and check what was coming out of the kitchen? Is that the standard for this place. I cannot believe so, or it would not have survived all these years. Dessert was good, but seemed to have been frozen, and perhaps from a Cisco delivery? Ugh. I want to love this place, as the atmosphere is “old school” elegant; a nice place for a special dinner. The pianist was excellent, and adds to the wonderful ambience.

  2. Avatar Barbara says:

    Have had a few recent dinners which were mainly wonderful with a few rough spots. Ordered the salmon mid rare and it was served frozen inside, I don’t mind cold but that was too far. Steaks and burgers fantastic, the Brie a no brainer for happy hour. Not training servers in the slow times puzzles me. Recently after being told the calamari was sold out, my friend joked, “Just give me the fried squid” and the server replied that they did not serve squid. Had no clue. Okay…we moved onto the escargot. It is hard for us old farts to get dishes like escargot or snapper soup, and forget lobster thermadour or coquilles st Jacques. We ordered one escargot traditional style or forget it, and a second served either way, the way it is on the menu but preferably traditional. New waiter insisted that it was neccessary to call weeks ahead for that. (That curry preparation is just blasphemy) Advance notice, is simply untrue, we have had it the garlic and butter style numerous times. We summoned a more familiar server and she took care of that with the kitchen. Crime brûlée cheesecake was decadent as I understand was the banana dessert my friend was reluctant to share. We’ll be back.

  3. Avatar Jeanmarie says:

    Just moved here from NYC where we lived 1 block away from the Palm. Needless to say, we know steak. Ate at 1776 and were very pleased. Started with the scallop chips and horseradish sauce which was yummy. Their “barrel” cut filet was delicious. Crab cakes were just ok. Will definitely be back.

  4. Avatar Aaron says:

    Ate at 1776 to celebrate our 43rd wedding anniversary. The atmosphere and service were excellent but the Prime Rib was absolutely awful. My wife nor I ate it! The manager tried to make it right, but it was the worse prime rib that I had ever tasted. Perhaps we hit them on an off nite!

  5. Avatar 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.

  6. Avatar 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.

  7. Avatar 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!

    • Avatar 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.

  8. Avatar 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!

  9. Avatar 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.

  10. Avatar 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.

  11. Avatar 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.

  12. Avatar 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!

  13. Avatar 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.

  14. Avatar 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.

  15. Avatar 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.

  16. Avatar 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

  17. Avatar 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.

  18. Avatar 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!

  19. Avatar 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!

  20. Avatar Jim says:

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

  21. Avatar 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.

  22. Avatar 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!

  23. Avatar 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.

  24. Avatar 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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