The brand new Thompson Island Brewery in Rehoboth Gateway Center in Rehoboth Beach is up and running! First-time visitors will immediately see the differences – and similarities – to its next-door neighbor, Bluecoast Rehoboth. Thompson Island Brewery is as large as Bluecoast, but has more of a “lodge” sort of feel, with exposed beams and a huge canoe suspended over the main seating area. Makes sense: SoDel Concepts had no intention of competing with the seafood bent at Bluecoast, so Thompson Island is a bit more carnivorous in its look – and on the menu. The SoDel Concepts signature open kitchen is there, affording a great view into where the action is. Corporate Chef and SoDel Concepts Vice President Doug Ruley was expediting during the Media/Friends/Family event we attended. Leave it to SDC to do it right.
The menu is loaded with goodies that people will like. Counter snacks are a bit reminiscent of the little apps menu at Salt Air (created partially by Matt Haley many years ago) with a popcorn mix, deviled eggs and a little ham plate. Sandwiches offers 4 selections, including bratwurst and country ham. One of the little surprises on the menu are the 6 “bowl” offerings with tasties like Thai Chicken, Shaved Collards and hummus.
Little apps include warm pretzel knots (tossed with butter, mustard & beer!), Loaded Tots (which came highly recommended by the staff) and beautifully presented Crab Rangoon (think crab wonton with an attitude). There are 9 apps in total.
Mains are particularly carnivorous with Sloppy Joe Rosotto and meatloaf, but seafood receives its props with clams, blackened catfish and trout.
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The “wood-fired” section offers 7 choices, with the Drunken Half Bird and the Sausage Mixed Grill taking the lead. One of our companions had the Filet Mignon and loved it. I know what I'm getting next time! Chef Ruley went over the top on the sides, with everything from Pork & beans to Kimchee. The candied radishes might be an acquired taste, but give 'em a try and tell me what you think.
We started with the Sloppy Joe Eggrolls (already a Rehoboth Foodie pick hit!), the Crab Rangoon and the Country Ham Plate with pimiento cheese spread and a particularly tasty not-too-sweet cranberry compote. The little biscuits were sublime.
If you are a fan of ales, don’t miss the Thompson Island Loblolly. I loved it, and it’s not too brightly hopped. I had two. So there.
As a fried chicken aficionado, I of course had to check out Doug Ruley’s signature fried chicken. It’s totally different from the chicken dished up at Northeast and the two Matt’s Fish Camps. This is more of a traditional preparation, on the bone, with a crunchy, peppery crust encircling moist and tender meat. I accompanied it with the pickled radishes and the cheese grits. The dish arrives with a little ramekin of honey to sweeten. Another entrée was the Smoked Bird (chicken) with a Thai accent. Wait ‘til you taste this one!
This is just a sneak peek, of course, so I still owe them a couple more visits before I write a full review. But I’ll be posting photos as I go along. So stop back here often for more info!
Thompson Island Brewery is in the Gateway Center near Fresh Market and Bluecoast Rehoboth. Parking is virtually unlimited. They are open 7 days. If you must call, call 302- 226-4467.
See the entire menu HERE.