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.
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.