Opening jitters at Steve and Mike Lucey’s Forgotten Mile Ale House on Coastal Highway between Rehoboth and Dewey Beaches quickly turned to smooth service and pretty good food.
My last 6 visits – three for lunch, three for dinner – the most recent in late August 2016) have been quite successful. The brothers are the owners of Wilmington’s Ulysses Gastropub and Hockessen’s Six Paupers Pub, and have brought their upscale bar and comfort food concept to the old Captain’s Table restaurant location. They have completely remodeled the venerable space, and have repurposed much of the old wood paneling to construct the bar.
The ale house features 14 taps and a large selection of crafts. There is virtually unlimited parking and kids are warmly welcomed.
The menu is divided into several parts: Soups & Greens, Tidbits, Nibbles and Nosh; Flatbreads, Supper Plates, Sandwiches, Tacos and Sides. I admit it’s early on, but I highly recommend the Loaded Potato Soup. Deconstructed, for sure, and quite nice. The ultimate comfort food. The Classic Salad Sampler gives a generous taste of three of their salads, the wedge, the house and the grilled caesar. The wedge part is a particular standout, and this salad with the soup could be a meal.
We got the FMAH Wings, which are available in 6 different styles. Toasted Fall Cauliflower is served with crispy fried capers, a sprinkle of lemon and OO. I am not a lover of cauliflower, but others at the table gobbled it up. Interestingly enough, it appears they are gone from the menu as of early 2016. Was it something I said?
We very much liked the Country flatbread, served an a nice wooden plank with caramelized onions, seared mushrooms and a generous portion of goat cheese.
DO NOT miss that carrot cake.1/17 Roasted cauliflower2/17 A respectful nod to the originals3/17 Mushroom flatbread4/17 Deconstructed potato soup5/17 Salad sampler trio6/17 Short rib grilled cheese. Oh, the sourdough!7/17 Forgotten Mile Ale House8/17 Chix & Waffle-ish9/17 Wings10/17 Buffalo Brussels Sprouts11/17 Cedal Plank pork belly12/17 Meatball Parm Deconstructed13/17 That short rib burger!14/17 Weinerschnitzel with a potato puff and an egg15/17 Forgotten Mile Ale House16/17 Forgotten Mile Ale House17/17
One of the stars of the show (and 100% on the comfort food scale) is the Chicken & Waffle-ish. A nice piece of chicken breast and a waffle meet. They hit it off, and this is the offspring: Spice-rubbed breast encased in sweet waffle batter with pan gravy. Want to warm up on a cool fall night? Get this one. It’s quite good.
Must-gets on the menu are the short rib grilled cheese with tomatoes (elevated to new heights by toasted sourdough and a nice maple chipotle ketchup), the shortrib and gruyere burger with sauteed mushrooms, the deconstructed potato soup (nothing short of amazing), and the salad-sampler trio (a little bit of all three salads on the menu). If they take this one off the menu, the villagers will surely appear with torches and pitchforks.
On our most recent visit, we ordered the Pork Belly On A Cedar Plank, but were met with disappointment – not with the pork; it was perfectly done and spiced, but with the fact that they drizzled mustard overtop of the pork lardons. I do love mustard, but the person who ordered the dish does not like mustard, so he didn’t get what hoped to get. The only silver lining was that I got to eat more of it. Hey guys: it’s an easy fix: Serve the mustard in a little ramekin on the side for dipping! Don’t fall into the all-too-prevalent “truffle oil” trap by assuming that everyone will like a sometimes controversial condiment added directly to the food. Burger King has a point: Have it Your Way.
Another tasty dish is the weinerschnitzel, served with lemon caper gravy, a mashed potato dumpling (VERY good!) and a sunny egg. This one is squarely in the comfort food tradition of the Lynch family’s Captain’s Table concept that kept that spot busy for so many years. The Lucey Boys made a smart move by keeping a similar approach, albeit modernized with the obligatory TVs, a fresh, more timely look and delightful hi-tops ( I love hi-tops so I can keep an eye on … whatever). Points for good presentation go to the brussels sprouts side in a cute iron skillet and that pork belly (hopefully sans mustard in the future) for the visually interesting cedar plank. Scroll through the gallery to see some of the other dishes. I don’t want to reveal everything, you know.
Our most recent server, Christian, was particularly delightful, tossing every little verbal barb I launched right back at me. He was efficient, polite and funny, even though I watched in horror as he was multiple-seated shortly after our arrival. If he was in the weeds, you would never have known it. Now that’s the way it’s supposed to be. The guy’s a pro.
By the way, as a longtime visitor (and now resident) of the Rehoboth area, it was nice to see the original cornerstone laid by Flem & Doris in 1979. It’s immediately to the left of the front door. (I think she would have loved that deconstructed potato soup.) Almost 80% full on a Tuesday night in December, I suspect that the Forgotten Mile Ale House is on its way to becoming a convenient watering hole and eatery for locals and visitors alike.
Forgotten mile Ale House is open from 11 ’til 1 a.m. 6 days (closed Tuesdays, at least in the off season). Call 302-212-2151 for more info. Follow FMAH on Facebook.