Current 99 Sea Level (Bethany Beach) Executive Chef Danio Somoza-Angel, his wife Lauren Gabrielle and his brother Enrique & wife quietly opened their brand new Harvest Tide Steakhouse in Lewes on the Friday of July 4th weekend. Under normal conditions, that would be the kiss of death for a new restaurateur. But these people are professionals, and it went very smoothly. In fact it was a very pleasant evening, as they wisely limited the invitations so as not to overload the kitchen. We would expect nothing less from award-winning toque Danio Somoza. I never rate a restaurant that has been open only a matter or days – or even hours – but this will give you an idea of what they do and how they do it so far.
The Cape Region is SO lucky to now have TWO excellent steakhouses, and I suspect that the Somoza's new Harvest Tide and Midway's 1776 Steakhouse (with well over 20 years in the business) and will raise diners' awareness of the wonder of a properly prepared and cooked steak. Of course both restaurants offer other items, but quality steaks, broiled by professionals, set a restaurant apart from the rest.
Click to hear Danio, Gabby & Enrique Somoza on the June 23, 2018 Sip & Bite Show.
That long-neglected building where Da Vinci's Pizzeria used to be has been completely remodeled, with an open kitchen, a welcoming chef's table facing the open kitchen, and muted colors, allowing the food to play center stage. And it does just that.
We loved the fennel/salami flatbread (code for “pizza” for those who think that calling it flatbread will make it any less fattening). But this is a steakhouse, and one leaves one's diet at home. Generously covered with cheese, the fennel played perfectly with the brightly spiced salami. We also ordered the Cotija Sea Scallops with oyster mushrooms and chili garlic oil. They were sublime and perfectly cooked. Normal people would have stopped at two appetizers, but we have never been accused of being normal: We also enjoyed the Beef Wagyu meatballs with gruyere and crispy potato (reminiscent of potato dauphine). Danio described these meatballs on the radio show (listen to it above) and I have not been able to get it out of my mind. They were worth the wait.
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I love the standard steakhouse 22 oz porterhouse. It's the best of both worlds: You get a small filet (at least 2″ long, or it's a T-bone) on one side of the bone, and a New York Strip on the other side of the bone. It's two – two – two steaks in one! I expected it to arrive at the table ever-so-slightly undercooked (standard for steakhouses, so they can return it to the grill if you find it too rare). But it arrived at the table perfectly to temperature. The meat was perfectly seasoned and as tender as one might expect from a real steakhouse.
There was no way we were not going to order the Wagyu New York Strip. Wagyu is a very expensive style of beef harvested from cows that have been carefully raised and fed very specific items to make the meat heavily marbled with a type of fat that actually becomes a liquid at room temperature. This results in a steak that quite literally melts in your mouth and can be easily cut with a fork. Again: Not cheap! Up to this point, the only steakhouse to offer Wagyu beef on the regular menu is Bonz at the Harrington Casino. So it's nice to see it on the menu at Harvest Tide. Pricy, yes! In fact, the Wagyu steaks actually cost the restaurant as much as we would pay for a regular steak in any fine steakhouse.
I can only say one word about the desserts: Don't miss the coconut cheesesake. It is sublime; topped with lightly toasted coconut. And by no means cloyingly sweet. We loved it.
Scroll the gallery to see some of the goodies.
Harvest Tide Steakhouse is on the Lewes Beach side of the Beacon Motel (where Pig & Publican restaurant is located). The increased diner traffic to that side of the bridge – including that brought in by the newly opened Wheelhouse restaurant – will be beneficial for everyone on that side of the canal.
Danio has some surprises in store for diners, including a wide range of price points. The dinner menu even includes a burger!
Check out Harvest Tide Steakhouse at 401 E. Savannah Road. Call for reservations at 302-644-2600. Their website can be reached by clicking HERE.
Their dry-aged ribeye was one of the worst steaks I have been served in the past 60 years. It was over-cooked (my request was medium rare, warm red center), & there was too much grizzle & stringy fat. Apparently, they serve sauce because the meat is not flavorful. Harvest Tide should send someone to Sammy’s in Mendham, NJ to learn how dry-aged steaks should taste!
Originally I wanted to order the crab legs but was informed by the server they were out of them. That was a major disappointment so I ordered my second choice the New York Strip. I specified it to be cooked medium it was delivered rare, no seasoning at all. They did take it and recooked it but it was still medium rare, again I sent it back, it returned medium but dried out, the steak also had a lot of fat & grizzle it was not trimmed to the standards of a true steakhouse. The potatoes and asparagus were mediocre at best. Sorry, Harvest Tide your food is not even close to 1776’s standards.
Went on Thursday night for their filet special. Service was very slow, had to ask for bread. Waitress was sweet. When food finally arrived, potatoes were cold, but the filet was perfect. They definitely have to get more help if they are going to run a special!!! Probably won’t go back. There are too many other places where the food is good and you don5 have to wait nearly an hour for dinner to arrive.
The girls and I stopped in for happy hour last Thursday and found the experience delightful. First of all, the wine list is marvelous! I would much rather pay $6 for a glass of Wente Morning Fog Chardonnay than $5 at some of the other restaurants around here for a low quality wine on their happy hour menu. Then the coconut shrimp, flatbread, scallops, and wings were equally wonderful. Chef Danio came out to greet everyone.
The only comment I have is about the physical space. The main dining room seems cold and sterile, and too big. The bar is where everyone hangs out and yet it is very tight. The only two pub height tables are near the entrance at the hostess stand. The actual bar can only seat around 12 people. Knowing how we and our friends dine around here, we like apps and small bites either during or after happy hour has ended. But then again, nobody asked for my opinion during the design process. Overall, we are looking forward to returning in the Fall/Winter.
I have to agree with Chuck on the acoustics. They need to do something as it is too loud. We actually did happy hour with 3 couples and the restaurant was not that crowded. But, as more people came in, the noise level increased dramatically. My wife and I are not red meat eaters but we found some of the seafood appetizers to be very good. Also, they do on the main menu have some vegetarian options that sound very good. We will go again.
I have inside information that the Somozas are diligently working to have noise abatement materials installed in the restaurant. So stay tuned.
The Somozas have retained a brilliant acoustician to take care of the sound problem in the room.
I have heard they are installing noise abatement. It is really so nice to see the owners are listening constructively to customers. How many places have you been where the view is if you don’t like it don’t come back. Bravo to them.
Mea culpa. Upon closer examination I saw the restaurant menu linked in. I checked it out and found the prices for the listed items. Great job!
You rock on DANIO! my friend from the past.