The original review of this restaurant was written in August, 2011. A lot has happened since then.
How many of you remember Mimi’s Fruit Bowl? The little health-food stand opened almost 35 years ago on the ocean block of Rehoboth Avenue near Louie’s. The owners’ son, Rob Stitt (now sadly passed away), commuted from Pennsylvania to help his mom and dad on the weekends. They eventually moved across the street where Cilantro restaurant now stands, naming the modest snack bar Eden Garden Café. Around that same time, Betsy LeRoy’s Pizza by Elizabeths was churning out Wilmington-style pies next door to the Middle-Eastern-flavored Camel’s Hump (now home to JAM Bistro) over on Baltimore Avenue. After the Rehoboth location morphed into the upscale and jazzy Ocean Club, the now full-fledged restaurateur Rob moved into that space – the home of today’s Eden. By year three, Rob had had it. It sold in two weeks. Washington, D.C. entrepreneurs Jeff McCracken and Mark Hunker not only kept Eden successful, but also spawned JAM Bistro.
After a rather long hiatus, Rob took over the instantly failed Cosmopolitan Restaurant on Wilmington Avenue and turned it into Shorebreak Lodge. In spite of the fact that he never advertised, the restaurant's consistently good food and service quickly had it filled virtually every night. Yet again, Rob got tired of the daily grind, and Shorebreak Lodge was purchased in mid-2017 by business partners Kate Wall and Sean Pusateri.
Shorebreak Lodge1/19 crab cakes2/19 Yup. 10 Wilmington.3/19 creme brulee4/19 grilled octopus5/19 pork belly w/jicama slaw and an egg for good measure.6/19 pork belly & scallops. It will return (I hope)7/19 Szechuan string beans8/19 Shorebreak Lodge9/19 The surf & surf (gotta LOVE those scallops)10/19 Shortrib/scallop surf & turf11/19 The Thai chili wings12/19 Smoked chili watermelon gazpacho13/19 Pork Shank entree14/19 Shorebreak Lodge15/19 Shorebreak Lodge16/19 Shorebreak Lodge17/19 Shorebreak Lodge18/19 Shorebreak Lodge19/19
Kate and Sean kept several of Rob's “core” menu items, but changes in kitchen help over the years has also changed the original recipes. The menu is still divided into “Gather,” “Hunt,” “Fish,” and “Eat.” Some of the stars in Gather include the hummus dip, the wild mushroom bruschetta and the brie & naan. Hunt contains the popular Thai Chili Chicken Wings.
Sadly, the trials and tribulations of restauranting over the last year or so have, like with some other restaurants, taken its toll on Shorebreak Lodge. The Seared Duck Breast and the LaFrieda Burger (assembled with 3 types of beef by LaFrieda Butcher Shop in the Bronx and sold fresh nationally) are still quite good, but many people have written that things can be inconsistent.
Shorebreak is home to some of the best charred octopus here at the beach. Another core item that will not go away, it was this dish that converted me into an octopus lover. On our last visit in late fall 2019, we had the shrimp & grits and of course the dayboat scallops. Scroll through the gallery to see the latest incarnations of some of these great dishes.
Shorebreak Lodge is at 10 Wilmington Avenue, next door to Mariachi Mexican Restaurant and across from Penny Lane. Call for reservations at 302-227-1007. See their hours & off-season specials in the Cheap Eats section.