It’s been a while since my original review of The Buttery was written (December 2007, to be exact!). Of course there were many updates along the way, but a lot has happened since then. Opening chefs Gary & Lorraine Papp moved on to their popular catering/bistro venture and are now the proud owners of their own restaurant, Palate Bistro & Catering in Rehoboth Beach. Executive Chef Aaron Berg has come and gone, and as 2015 drew to a close there was some question among locals if the Buttery would ever return to its former glory. Owners and founders John Donato and Twain Gonzalez had other obligations, and over 20 years owning a restaurant of that caliber is punishment enough for anybody. So fine-dining guru Donato and his partner struck a deal with The Gate House’s co-owner and chef Wilson Gates and partners.
Wilmington natives Gretchen and Chip Gates, along with their sons Wilson and Taylor, brought over 60 years of combined culinary experience to the Gate House, replacing the original Café Azafran at 109 Market Street. Real-world experience in distinguished kitchens such as Jean-Georges in New York City and the Four Seasons in Jackson Hole became evident as the Gate House earned a reputation for high-minded dining in an extremely casual venue.
For well over 20 years, diners could pretty much rely on the fact that dinner (and lunch) at The Buttery would be an elegant yet casual experience, complete with uniformed, hovering servers and perpetually clean silverware quietly replaced on the downlow. After Chef Aaron Berg left, former Bramble & Brine chef/owner Joey Churchman was brought in to to head up the kitchen, but his style never really matched what loyal Buttery fans had come to expect over the years, and he has moved on. (As of mid-2017, Joey is cooking at Stingray in Rehoboth and as of this writing will be cooking at the new Cuvee Ray wine bar in the old Pig & Fish/Sydney’s location.)
As of mid-2017, Andrew Dulaney has taken over the reins in The Buttery kitchen. We have not been back yet, so please stay tuned for a new review asap.
The Buttery is ensconced in a proud old mansion that dominates the corner of Savannah Road and Second Street in historic Lewes. Dine on the porch, inside the dining room or in the pub. (B. (Sundays), L., D., Bar). Price range: Expensive.
Off-season Specials & HoursSpecials & Moods change quickly. Always call a restaurant first.
2nd St. & Savannah
Closed for renovations and possible rebranding til spring 2019