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Fork + Flask @ Nage

/ Updated on February 16, 2021

Original chef/owner Kevin Reading's Coastal Highway brainchild Nage has more than earned a place in the annals of Rehoboth Beach dining. The former Sweet Dreams bakery-turned-eatery was the launching pad for many local chefs and restaurants.

LaVida Hospitality Group is headed up by seasoned restaurateur and Cornell graduate Josh Grapski.   Lewes' (and Middletown's and the soon-to-be Myrtle Beach) Crooked Hammock Brewery, the Big Chill Cantina, Big Chill Beach Club and the Taco Reho Truck (soon to open as an actual brick-and-mortar store where Burger King used to be) all reside under the LaVida umbrella. Nage morphed into Fork and Flask several years ago, and Grapski will be the first to tell you that Nage was waayyy overdue for a new look. The black walls and ceilings so popular in the '90s were yearning for light. And the little banquet room with the cute fireplace that appeared when Nage moved into the old Afishionado fish market space proved to be a bad idea, as people stood 3-deep at the tiny bar adjacent to that room. It has now given way to a large 3-sided bar. Associated seating includes booths and attractive farm tables. The black walls and ceilings are gone too. A simple, uncluttered look now prevails, with attractively neutral wall decorations and even a bit of humor (look above the fireplace).

Menus change regularly at Fork + Flask @ Nage, but the recent departure of longtime executive chef Sean Corea will most certainly create even more changes. NOTE THAT many of these photos were taken when Corea was the kitchen boss. Surely some of the presentations will change, so use these as guidelines only!

As of this update, Fork & Flask's menu still contains some old Nage favorites, including their oysters asiago and the crab cake. The list of 11 dishes also reflect small-plate pricing, with standouts including a lobster cobb salad and a very tasty Thai lobster roll (there is a pic of that in the gallery). We also enjoyed the crab croquettes (more of a crab ball – not as liquidy as a regulation croquette, but still quite good). Seafood lovers will enjoy the variety of fish and shellfish in this section.

“Raised” contains a list of nine dishes, several of which you will recognize from the old Nage menu. They kept that delicious onion soup, and the Nage burger (at a new, lower price) and the pork chops. Prices vary from $6 for the cute little bacon Tater Tots to $24 for their popular pork chops up to $36 for an extravaganza of beef tenderloin and braised short rib with a twice-baked potato. Carnivores rejoice!

The Sunday Brunch menu shows a major shift toward tastes and small plates from $5 to $10. Standouts include their baked brie and a homage to fast-food lovers everywhere: a bacon, egg & cheese biscuit, a sausage, egg and cheese biscuit and a scrapple, egg and cheese biscuit. Clever! Take a look att he gallery: They taste as good as they look. Many of the beloved large plates remain on the menu for brunch, including the Belgian waffles, the eggs Benedict (of course) and the great selection of omelettes. Another visit to the Sunday – and Saturday – brunch – with my camera is forthcoming. Note the latest pic courtesy of the kitchen at Fork & Flask: Two of the several Benedict selections for brunch.

The menu changes often! Use these photos and descriptions as guidelines only!

We couldn't resist trying the Caprese Salad: Fresh mozzarella with basil and pesto. It was quite nice, in spite of the absence of tomatoes. It was obvious that the cheese was fresh, and the pesto was mild and delicious. Another slam-dunk is the Smoked Shortribs with a blackberry demi, a saute of wild mushrooms and roasted fingerlings. This is quite possibly one of the best tasting things I have had there. Blackberry demi! Who would'a thought? In soft shell season, the Virginia crustaceans might be lightly dredged and fried to a crunchy golden hue. They have been accompanied by braised greens, a mash of caramelized turnips drizzled with … wait for it … a country ham vinaigrette. I'll now return you to the program already in progress.

One more starter you shouldn't miss is the Baked Oysters Asiago (often on special during Saturday and Sunday brunch). This kicked-up take on clams casino is deliciously cheesy with spinach and mushrooms. They are pretty big, and sold individually. Get a few. You won't be sorry.

Pears and Blue Cheese were meant to be together, so hope that Fork + Flask @ Nage's Pear and Blue Cheese Melt is on the menu. Caramel onion jam (!) works wonders with the blue cheese, and a little arugula side salad adds a bitter crunchiness. Another sandwich not to be missed is the Turkey and Brie melt. Gently sweet ligonberry jam marries quite happily with the creaminess of the ripe brie, and a little arugula adds a fresh, leafy component. Yes, I still mourn the Knuckle Sandwich, but I go back to drown my sorrows in the new offerings.

I can't leave the sandwich department without mentioning the Pork Belly BLT, slathered with chorizo aioli (! again) and their famous tomato jam. If you like bacon (who doesn't?) you'll love this one. I have to admit that the Mac & Cheese is waayyy too “truffley” for me. It's all I can taste. I wish they would back it off a little and let the dairy side of the cheese show through. Same thing with the fries. Consider yourself lucky: I'm sparing you my truffle oil rant. In fact, I'm sick of hearing it myself. Short version: Chefs around here use WAYYY too much truffle oil, which, by the way, has nothing to do with actual truffles. So there.

On my first visit for brunch (again, before the menu change), I had the Pear & Blue Cheese Melt. What an amazing combination of tastes. At first glance, I was a little scared of the Caramelized Onion Jam, but it worked perfectly. Companions ordered the Eggs Chesapeake. Imagine Eggs Benedict built on crab cakes rather than Canadian bacon. The required asparagus and hollandaise crowned it all, as both little stacks proudly perched on English Muffin halves.

At brunch a while ago I ordered the Croque Madame. Far from being just a grilled cheese sandwich (as the name suggests), this vertiginous structure is the quintessential breakfast plate. About a half-pound of breakfast ham is paired with creamy cheese and firmly clamped within a soft, grilled brioche. No, it's not done yet: The entire stack is covered in a velvety mornay sauce containing what tasted like the traditional gruyere and Parmesan. Nope…not done yet: It's all crowned with a sunny-side-up fried egg. Don't want to be bothered with eating for the next couple of days? Get this. It was delicious.

A side of bacon was properly cooked: Crispy and dark with no rubbery fat. I hate eating bacon that isn't well done. It's like eating earlobes. Sorry. It is.

Our companion ordered the Braised Bacon and Eggs. Two expertly fried sunnies peer back at you from atop grilled and crispy croutons and a cool, crisp frisee salad. On the side lurks a braised square of bacon (big enough to be called pork belly). Paprika mayo flavors the croutons. Our two companions ordered the Creme Brulee French Toast with Cranberry Syrup. I will quote one of them: “It looks so simple. Until you taste it. It's delicious.” They both did comment that it was difficult to discern whatever cranberry might have been in the syrup.

NOTE that some of these items might not be on the current menu! F&F's menu changes often! You can use these descriptions as guidelines.

We ordered a plate of Hickman's Sausage Gravy served over Homemade Biscuits “for the table.” Decadent, savory, and loaded with chunks of lean sausage, this creamy gravy hitched a ride on the perfect vehicle for its trip to our mouths: Moist, yeasty biscuits with a buttery crunch on the outside. Of course, mimosas and bloodies were not in short supply.

Fork + Flask @ Nage is located at 19730 Coastal Highway (Rt. 1), in the Shore Plaza with Outlet Liquors and Touch of Italy, directly across from the Tanger Seaside Outlets. There's tons of free parking. Give them a call to check on the hours. They do take reservations. 302-226-2037.

(Click here to reserve a table through OpenTable.com.)

See the current dinner menu.

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)

19730 Coastal Hwy.
(302) 226-2037

Open 4 - 9
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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 Judy Harrington says:

    Without doubt, the best meal and service I’ve had in Rehoboth!

  2. Avatar Richard says:

    Love and respect most all reviews I have read till I got to the comment he made about bacon. To state it just must be eaten crisps as the only way makes me think the man has no understanding of personal taste. Can we not have our bacon our way? Do we say beef can only be well done? And if he can’t deal with pork less done, I’ll bet pork belly is off the menu. Rant done on this small nit.

    • The Rehoboth Foodie The Rehoboth Foodie says:

      I didn’t actually SAY that others should not have their bacon the way they want it – though I did express myself with some vigor…’
      And I love pork belly – nice and seared on the fat side!
      I thoroughly enjoyed your nit picking! I appreciate your following the site and TKS for the note. :o)

  3. Avatar Marty Rendon says:

    Although the old Nage consistently got terrific reviews, I have to confess that I never really warmed up to it. But I gave the spot another look at Sip and Bite’s recommendation of Fork and Flask. I was pleased by the new menu and the friendlier price points on the offerings. The atmosphere is greatly improved and the drinks are creative and enjoyable. I definitely will be returning and look forward to exploring the menu!

  4. Avatar Marty Rendon says:

    Despite the great reviews and inventive cuisine, the original Nage never truly appealed to me. I know I was supposed to like it, but I couldn’t quite warm up to the place. But Sip and Bite encouraged me to take another look after the Fork + Flask transformation. I am glad I did! The atmosphere is much more inviting, the drinks are creative and original, every bite was savory, and the price point was more accessible than its predecessor. I definitely will be returning!

  5. Avatar Catherine says:

    We went to get a bite around 7:30 last Saturday (during the rain storm). The place was packed. Because we had no reservations, we hunted down the last 2 seats at the fabulous open bar. First of all, we LOVED the new look of the place. It’s open, eclectic, warm and inviting. We each ordered a cocktail. Mine was under the “flask” menu- a Cuzco that was filled to the brim, served with a flask that had another portion in it! We ordered the Nage burger and fries, wings, and tater tots. All delicious. Also love the new prices. Even though we were full, we decided to order the Sweet Bites assortment for dessert. Dru personally served us a huge platter of various brownies, cookies, and tarts. Delish! Had leftovers for breakfast the next morning. Jesse was a great bartender, took care of us even though they were slammed. F&F has become our new favorite bar. During the summer, we’ll stick with Crooked Hammock since we live and work East of Rte 1. Great job, Josh and team!

  6. Avatar Nancy Sakaduski says:

    This is one of my favorite local restaurants, with the best happy hour in the area. Consistently great food.

  7. Avatar Bob Biros says:

    Oh my, what a find. We went there for Sunday brunch and are now anxious to go for dinner. Plenty of parking. The food was above excellent. The bathrooms were clean and that tells a lot about a restaurant. The manager came by during the meal to check on us which again is a nice touch. I give Nage high marks all around. My advise to to go there and you will not be disappointed. They also have a take-out store next door….I forget the name. [ed. note: the writer is referring to Root Gourmet.]

  8. Avatar Lynn D. says:

    We took out of town guest to Nage for dinner last Saturday night. Our party of 4 waited 25 min for our reserved table. One member of our party was server his soup 60 min after reservation time. No apologies given no bread offered. The rest of us received our steaks, which were not prepared to requested state of “doneness”, a full 90 min after we arrived at the restaurant. We were not in a state to send them back.
    While we were told that the wait was the result of the table guests in front of us talking for one hour after finishing their meal(maybe it was the delivery time of the food???), service and food quality need to be addressed.

  9. Avatar Jim Doane says:

    My wife Jeannine and I just love Nage, especially their Happy Hour, it is worth a visit for lunch or dinner.

    Jimmy D

  10. Avatar Mike says:

    This new review is SPOT ON!!! This was my go toplace for so long, back in the days when it was smaller, Scottie and Rich kept the vibe going in the front of the house and the food hit the mark every time. then it slipped a little, never bad just not a direct bulls eye, plus service seems to take a bit of a slide. The good news is that these folks are attentive and listen and they have got it right once again I’m happy to say. The Foodie Friday 5 course meals are not to be overlooked, every course was a home run. Dale our waiter was on top of his game, Mark clearly running the front of the house and he’s got the place humming and makes you feel like you are at home, of course Hari’s grooving in the kitchen kicking out food better than ever. If you haven’t been in a while, you MUST go back!!!

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