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Michy’s Relaxed Dining

/ Updated on December 1, 2019

Michy's Relaxed Dining has been open since spring 2014 – about three weeks prior to the original posting date of this review (many updates and additions ago). Many of the features in the restaurant are creations of Richard and Michelle Davis (the colorful paintings along the right-hand wall are from Michy's talented brother). Then, of course, there is the bathtub. You can see how the rustic farm tables, soft lighting and surprisingly quiet ambiance inspired them to make the last-minute change from Michy’s Kitchen Table to Michy’s Relaxed Dining. And since opening night, the place had been packed with people virtually every night. Weekend reservations rival hen's teeth.

Chef/co-owner Richard Davis is no stranger to Rehoboth Beach, citing Blue Moon, Nage and even the fabled La La Land on his culinary vitae. Classically trained in England, Richard distinguished himself in Ft. Lauderdale as executive chef at Todd English's former Osteria da Campo and YOLO (You Only Live Once). But the siren song of the Delaware coast is a strong one, and now we’ve got him all to ourselves.

The festivities begin with a plate of fresh, yeasty ciabatta nestled up against a ramekin of dark olive oil fragrant with shredded parmesan and spices. Various and sundry paisanos-about-town call that Italian butter, but it’s better than butter. And the enthusiastic servers will happily keep both the plate and ramekin full. I suggest ordering the Edamame to keep you busy while you peruse the menu. Though I would love a bit more salt, it is very good and fun to play with.

Of course the soups are all homemade. The most recent offering du jour was seafood soup. Deeply spiced, with layers of flavor ranging from tomato to the gentle saltiness of the sea. I often pretend to get lost on my way to the rest room so I can see what’s on other diners’ plates. On all three of our visits, every order of soup was returned to the kitchen empty and spotless. Were some of you licking the bowl? I wouldn’t blame you, though I would have loved to have gotten a photo….

Speaking of camera issues, the Chardonnay/Poached Pear and Endive Salad is a work of art. I would love to have posted an image in the gallery [there is one posted now], but endorphin-addled fitness guru Lisa Velasco (owner of the popular Custom Fitness by Lisa in Bethany Beach) attacked the salad like she hadn’t eaten since January. It was half gone and spilling off the plate before I could even focus. She apologized between bites, but that didn’t get me my photo. Of course, if you compare the shadows she and I cast on a sunny day, there’s something to be said for her methods. The girl looks great.

Fortunately the Roasted Golden and Red Beet Salad with Spinach was out of Lisa’s reach (even with her telescoping fork). Sprinkled with pistachios, tangy goat cheese, mint and lemon, the darn thing was the perfect balance of crunch, acid and greenness. We have ordered it three times (as of this writing) and every time it has been delightful.

At this point I usually scribble some thinly veiled snideness about yet another wedge. But I have to say that Richard has managed to rise above the ubiquity of mediocre wedgeness to which we have been subjected over the past few years. His version is a collection of cold and crispy mini-wedges. Generously sized chunks of applewood-smoked bacon add the salty/savory crunch, and blue cheese dressing (with lots of nice crumbles) is everywhere. We have found a few good wedges here at the beach, and this is one of them.

I have to say that the much-anticipated Firecracker Shrimp was not all it was fire-cracked up to be. I anticipated spicy (the word Sriracha is in the menu description), but the crunchy little morsels offered up nothing more than sort of a mayonnaisey dressing devoid of anything Sriracha-like. The scallions and crushed peanuts added a nice textural element, but as much as I admire Davis’ skills, this one needs to be kicked up a notch or two. Or three.

But take heart! The silver lining on that dark cloud is the Szechuan Calamari! Spice lovers, order this dish. It’s a mouth-feel roller coaster of garlic, not-too-hot peppers, crunchy sesame seeds, those wonderful peanuts and scallions. And the lemon mayo shines with the promised lemon. Regulars here at RehobothFoodie.com know how I grouse about fried calamari that is then sogged down with gooey dressings – but somehow Richard manages to keep each piece hot and crunchy. (Hint: he adds the sauces at the last minute.) Don’t change anything about this one, Chef!

I’ve gotten more emails about the Sea Scallops with Wild Mushroom/Truffle & Pea Risotto and Shaved Parmesan than any other dish at Michy’s Relaxed Dining. Yes, I know I used the T-word (truffle) and I know I have made my disdain for truffle oil annoyingly clear, but, like the truffle-oil laced Robiola Pizza at Touch of Italy, there is just the slightest touch of the overly used infusion in this dish. And it works perfectly. Though the scallops should be the stars of the show, the risotto is the bouncy castle on the plate. And together they are an entire carnival. Just keep that truffle oil in check!

UPDATE! We just got back from our 11th visit to Michy's Relaxed dining and I must report that they are as good as ever. The place was packed, and the service was still first-rate. It really makes a difference when the servers are happy and anxious to accommodate. That happens when the management and ownership are happy and willing to accommodate. Sadly, that's a rare combination. That is the case with Michy's. I finally got that Poached Pear Salad photo I promised you, and we ordered the Short Rib Platter yet again. We were lucky; it was about 7:30 and there were only a couple of orders left. People love that dish. I had the crab cake yet again, and I like it. However, I should tell you about the rather unusual preparation, and I have gotten some feedback about it. Some people love it and some people not so much. The crab meat is lightly shredded, held together with a minimum of filling and is lightly spiced. There are no lumps of crab meat, and the flavorful mixture is really more like a crab croquet. So if that doesn't float your proverbial boat, get the short ribs or the beautifully prepared mahi. Take a look at the new dessert photos I posted, too.

On an earlier visit I ordered the Rigatoni Bolognese. I love a well-constructed bolognese, and, up to now, there were only two places in Rehoboth Beach that could pull it off properly. (Regulars here know who I’m talking about.) Now there are three. I place Michy’s version at #2 in my Bolognese Bombshell list, and that’s saying something — because #1 (which shall remain nameless) is the best I have ever had in my life. So if you are at Richard & Michelle’s relaxed eatery and you like bolognese, get this one. Staying in the Italian vein, the Chicken Milanese is also a hit; slightly crispy with panko and accompanied by arugula, mozzarella and tomatoes. Shaved Parm/Reg. tops it off. The chicken was plump and moist under the creamy mozzarella. This one has been ordered twice on our three visits so far.

The Forever Braised Short Ribs dish is one of the most generous portions I’ve seen around here. The two fallin’ off the (thankfully nonexistent) bone ribs are fork-tender with a nicely reduced jus. They share the plate with bits of roasted fingerlings, carrots, a wonderfully caramelized fennel and a little bit of red onion. The combination is a carnivore's dream, as each well-prepared element brings its own special flavor to the table. See the update below where we ordered it yet again. I posted both photos just for fun.

The Bone-In Pork Chop is another must-get for meat lovers. The dish is artfully presented with sweet potato mash separated from the grill-marked chop by a wood-smoked bacon, caramelized apple and fennel chutney. Well, the guy is from England, after all, so there had to be chutney. The three elements are perfectly paired and look as good as they taste. (The mash will remind you of Thanksgiving. Try it.)

Pistachio-crusted mahi mahi (aka el dorado or dolphinfish) leads off the entrée menu. And when Davis says encrusted, he means it: The seared topping on the fish almost looks like a sirloin burger and it is the ideal foil for the moistness of the fish. Talk about texture! It basks happily in a little lake of red pepper coulis with multiple exclamation points consisting of … wait for it … orange slices, Italian parsley leaves and chevre. Put this one over on the must-get list.

Another maritime goodie is the Grilled Swordfish. Swordfish can be risky in a busy restaurant, as it can quickly dry out into something resembling shoe leather. Not this one, however. Michy’s Relaxed Dining’s version is amazingly moist with a relish of toasted coconut, pineapple, mint and macadamia nuts (!) serving as a slightly sweet counterpoint to the fish. Davis gilds the lily with jasmine rice. Another well-thought-out plate that will keep your little taste buds busy.

On our most recent visit I gave the Sirloin Burger a try. There’s got to be some reason why it’s on the menu in a place like this, and I found out why. The huge grilled-sirloin patty is topped with bacon, smoked gouda and a little tangle of onions reduced in balsamic. Fries are often an afterthought in many restaurants, but these were lightly crunchy on the inside and aromatic and creamy on the inside. They were quite good (I got the look when I requested ketchup, but they happily complied). I won’t bore you with my oft-repeated hamburger roll lecture, other than to tell you this one is up there with the best around.

I included a couple of non-menu items in the photo gallery (chocolate-covered strawberries and a selection of amazing English cheeses) that Richard sent over on one visit that involved a birthday. The presentation was simply wonderful and I wanted you to see it. There are also desserts for you to drool over, none the least of which is the best cabernet-laced sorbet I have ever had. It wasn't even on the menu yet, but if it is, get it. Trust your Foodie on this one.

UPDATE! Well, it has been about 5 hours since this review was posted, and we've already been back to Michy's. We sat at the cozy bar with Matt and the gang. We ordered the Lump Crab Cake Salad with baby arugula, cherry tomatoes, balsamic, grainy mustard aioli. The crab cake was generous in size with a great combination of spices, none of which dominated [see a more complete description in the UPDATE above]. We also had the Tuna Sashimi nested atop euro cucumber, wakame seaweed salad, drizzled with wasabi cream. The tuna melted in my mouth, and the balsamic made it almost like a kicked-up ceviche. I just added both dishes to the photo gallery. Feast your eyes.

Michy’s Relaxed Dining is at 19287 Miller Road in the old Ocean Point Grill/Zorba’s/Charcoal Grill space in the Rehoboth Marketplace shopping center with Weis Market, Sherwin Williams and Pete’s Steak Shop. There is virtually unlimited parking.

Check out the menu by clicking here, and you can follow them on Facebook by clicking here.

Call them at 302-227-0999. As of this writing, they are open for dinner only. The bar is adjacent to the totally open kitchen. It’s fun to watch the ballet going on in there, and the cozy bar is quickly becoming the place to see and be seen for those who prefer things calm and … well, Relaxed. (D., Bar). Price range: Moderate +.

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)

19287 Miller Road
(Rehoboth Marketplace Shopping Center by Weis Market)

Hours may be erratic! CALL FIRST.

Open 5-9
Open 5-9
Open 5-9
Open 5-9
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 Lin Schmidt says:

    Perfection! Starting with the (um) Perfect Manhattan, the calamari to die for, the freshly balanced baramundi, and the scallops with the most fantastic risotto we have EVER had, it was a magnificent meal. Add to that Vivian’s great service and you have the perfect (there’s that word again) evening.

  2. Avatar Tom Schwab says:

    My family recently enjoyed a wonderful experience. We were seated before our reservation time, and we had no push to leave. Service was excellent, and food as always fantastic. Every table was full. One of the best, if not the best restaurant in Rehoboth Beach.

  3. Avatar Elliot Pickens says:

    We visited Michy’s for the 1st time this evening, even though we’ve lived in Lewes since 2012. It is an excellent restaurant.

    We posted our review on TripAdvisor. If there’s another, more widely distributed outlet that you can recommend, we will gladly post it there as well.

    Kathy and Elliot

    • Avatar Tom Schwab says:

      Unfortunately we have had the same experience of being pushed out the door. The food is excellent. I keep reviewing the comments hoping for a change in their pushing and offending their patrons.

  4. Avatar Rick says:

    And here I thought the Seinfeld “soup Nazi” was fiction. Like several others we were actually asked to leave because someone else wanted the table. We would have liked a relaxed dinner over conversation with friends, but before the two-hour mark and after a $220+ tab we were essentially shoved out the door. I assumed the waiter simply forgot to ask if we wanted desert and coffee – now it is apparent he was told not to do so. Never again. If that is how you treat customers, find new ones.

  5. Avatar Dara S. says:

    It took us months to finally work a visit to Michy’s into our schedule. That was a mere three weeks ago and we’ve already been back. It’s the kind of place you almost don’t Want to crow about finding, for fear the hoards will descend and there’ll be no reservation for you! We actually love the firecracker shrimp–though the portion is so huge, there need to be at least two or three to share it–the calamari is up there with the best I’ve ever had. Service is about the least obtrusive and most competent around, too.

  6. Avatar Karen says:

    Had my first meal at Michy’s tonight. It is January – – not exactly high season – – and the restaurant promised “relaxed dining.” Our party of 5 arrived a few minutes before our reservation time; we were seated quickly. Meal was very good; no complaints whatsoever about the food or service. Total bill was $300; left a 50% tip. Within 5 minutes of paying the check, we were told we needed to vacate our table because it was “reserved” for another group. The restaurant was half-empty; there were no people at the door waiting to be seated. This is the first and last time we will dine at Michy’s; the “bum’s rush” was completely unnecessary and incredibly rude. I could understand if we were lingering an excessive amount of time, or if we had spent minimal dollars on dinner and alcohol, or if there was an obvious need to seat waiting diners; none of these conditions existed. While I appreciated the dinner, the treatment we received at the end left a very bad taste is our mouths; we will not be returning.

  7. Avatar Libby Stiff says:

    Most of my friends loooove Michy’s. I enjoy the atmosphere and friendly staff. My complaint is it is very difficult to find food presented only with it’s own tastes. There are too many add ons, breading, cheese, nuts, berries, etc. to allow you to taste the food. Case in point, bok choy. Should be lightly steamed. Came limp and soy sauced. But most people like all the add ons.

  8. Avatar Gabi says:

    WARNING: Do not go on a weekend, or other busy night. They will rush you, (see other comment below from another reviewer). We had a 6:30 reservation and were seated at 6:40. WE were told by the server and then later by the owner that we had to vacate our table by 8:00 so we better order. The food came out so fast. The calamari was heavily breaded and tough and one person in our party did not get to eat their main because it was so overcooked and salty. Could not get the server’s attention. By the time someone was found, the others were done and we were fast approaching our “get out” deadline. Also, quite expensive. Not .a great experience

  9. Avatar Mary says:

    I had looked forward to my first dinner at Michy’s, especial;;y after so many of my friends hadmade positive comments. Our party of three arrived at 6:30 for our Friday evening reservation and were seated promptly. We ordered a cocktail and were urger to place our order. We ordered a shared appetizer and a Caesar salad and after stating that we didn’t want to be rushed, we were assured that the chef would time the entrée so we would have sufficient time. Before the special martini was even half finished, the entrée arrived. The appetizers were not quite finished. We ordered our dinner wine and ate our entree. My companion finished her martini after dinner. I don’t mind paying $75 for each dinner, and I had no objection to the food which was certainly good, but I was home in my house by 8:00pm, and hour and a half after I entered the restaurant . This is not what I consider relaxed dining for $225.

  10. Avatar Elaine says:

    Finally got to try this wonderful restaurant last night, which has been on our list since its opening. What a great place! Our waitress was very well informed of the entire menu and was not only very pleasant, but most efficient. The food presentation was as appealing as the entrees themselves. I had the Mahi-Mahi and my husband had the short ribs in addition to the Curried Beef soup.

    The new décor is lovely, seats were comfortable, and the atmosphere was most pleasant. This restaurant is a winner in our opinion and sure to remain!

  11. T&T T&T says:

    Like the confortable bar with the overstuffed chairs. Nice wine selection. I had the burger and loved it.

  12. Alana & Bill T. Alana & Bill T. says:

    We finally made it up from Ocean City to try this place after seeing your nice pictures on the web site. My husband had the short ribs at your suggestion, I ordered the creb cake. and we started with the calamari and the wedge salad. We loved everything. We saw your note that the crab cake is an unfamiliar preparation, but I loved the flavor. The short ribs were to die for and it took two of us to finish that wedge salad. We finished up in the bar with a scoop of the cabernet ice cream (every bit as good as that photo of yours). Thanks for a great review. It was worth the 45 minute drive.

  13. Avatar Robin says:

    after a very underwhelming dining experience here and having one member of the party submit a review, which, by the way, you did not post, I am adding my 2 cents. While I am glad you updated the crab cake review by saying it is more of a crab croquettes, I still say it is without doubt, soggy, mushy and unappealing.
    the wedge salad you rave about was literally three bites for $8 and was dripping in a dressing that was not loaded with cheese, but rather thin and runny and way too much dressing for three bites of lettuce.
    I wonder if this review will show up. just in case it doesn’t, I will post it elsewhere.
    I am not so certain I can trust your reviews anymore. I might give this restaurant a 3 but not 5 stars. We have much better in the area.

    • Avatar mags says:

      Try it again – I’ve been a few times, and it has been (usually) very good. All restaurants have an “off” night…maybe that’s what happened with you. Give it another chance – the staff and owners are always so nice, it’s worth another try. And, no – I’m not affiliated with the restaurant at all, I just appreciate great service and well prepared food.

  14. Avatar Helen says:

    Really am anxious to try this place out. Do they take reservations? Sounds so good. And parking is free

  15. Avatar Catherine says:

    A real gem of a restaurant with great food and service. I had the beet salad with pistachios and goat cheese and calamari with a Siracha batter. Nice portions, beautifully presented and delicious. The Cabernet raspberry and mango sorbet were the perfect finish. Mojo waited on us. He was attentive and pleasant. Kudos to Richard for his creations. The Foodie was spot on with this review!

  16. Avatar mags says:

    Went there last week with friends. It was everything you said and more! The food was wonderful – some of the best I’ve had in the area. But, what really put it over the top was the service! It was fabulous! Highly recommend this restaurant. Perfection!

  17. Avatar Luckymom says:

    Three times there and about to have the fourth meal tonight. Some of the most perfect food we’ve had in Rehoboth. That’s saying a lot as anyone who has experienced all the dining available here would know. Don’t miss it!

  18. Avatar Robgreeneyes says:

    Well, we just finished wonderful birthday meal at micheys. It was Hard to choose what to get. Had the calamari first which was spectacular. The I had the braised short ribs. Awesome flavors like you said. My wife got the horseradish crusted salmon that was also terrific. Thanks always for your writing.

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