Festive holiday dining for 2022

5 festive holiday places to drink, dine

Pam GeorgeCulture, Headlines

Festive holiday dining for 2022

Klondike Kate’s pop-up Sleigh Bar features its own menu for the holidays.

It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas in these tasty Delaware spaces decorated for a festive holiday.

Klondike Kate’s Sleigh Bar in Newark and Blitzen in Wilmington have returned to serve a cup of good cheer.

To the south, Above the Dunes in Rehoboth is debuting a Miracle Pop-Up on Nov. 21. Schellville in Rehoboth has expanded its food and beer offerings, and Benvenuto in Milford has become a lovely Italian village during Christmas.

Sleigh Bar at Klondike Kate's has a waiting list for entry.

Sleigh Bar at Klondike Kate’s often had a waiting list for entry last year.

Sleigh bells ring

Once again, Klondike Kate’s has morphed into the pop-up Sleigh Bar, which has a special menu in addition to Kate’s regular offerings.

Holiday Hummus, for instance, is a mix of green pesto and roasted red pepper hummus, while the Atomic Yule Log is a crisp pile of mozzarella sticks with a “yuletide” marinara sauce.

To sip, try Goose Island IPA, Breckenridge Christmas Ale and Breckinridge Vanilla Porter.

However, it’s the venue’s festive holiday décor, not the food, that will have you humming “Jingle Bells.”

Picture glittery tinsel Christmas balls, nutcrackers, giant candles and barstool backs wearing Santa hats. The showpiece is the sleigh — the site of countless selfies.

The promotion is the brainchild of special events director Nick Manerchia, who saw similar transformations in New York.

Owner Gianmarco Martuscelli felt the concept would attract customers at a time when many students leave college for winter break.

The Sleigh Bar started in 2019. “We experimented that first year, and it was a huge hit,” he recalled. “Every year, we add to it.”

The Sleigh Bar appeals to families, friends and moms who brunch — and then gather in the sleigh for a photo opp. “It’s such a melting pot,” Martuscelli said. “You see kids smiling when they come in. People just love Christmas.”

Festive holiday places to dine, drink

Holiday pop-up bar Blitzen has returned for the fourth year to downtown Wilmington.

Hangin’ with Blitzen

In downtown Wilmington, Blitzen is back for the fourth year. The bar imagines Blitzen’s seasonal den, and this reindeer certainly has style. Credit Delaware designer Dallas Shaw.

This year, the establishment has a second location in Scranton, Pennsylvania —in case you’re visiting friends near the Poconos.

Owner Mike Day, who also has Farmer & the Cow on Market Street, wants to add a food element this year. Meanwhile, the holiday-inspired cocktails remain a draw.

Festive holiday Miracle

On Nov. 21, Above the Dunes in downtown Rehoboth Beach will open Miracle, a Christmas-theme pop-up bar with classic and kitschy décor and seasonal cocktails.

Events will include a Santa Bar Crawl on Saturday, Dec. 3, Christmas trivia on Dec. 10 and an ugly sweater contest on Dec. 17.

The restaurant is in the space previously occupied by Greene Turtle.

5 festive holiday places to drink, dine

After drawing 100,000 people in its inaugural year, Schellville opened over the weekend to rave reviews. Photo from Schellville’s Facebook page.

Who’s Who in Schellville

No doubt you’ll run into someone you know at Schellville, Schell Brothers’ over-the-top winter village in Seaside Outlet on Route 1 in Rehoboth.

The event, which started in 2017, attracts more than 100,000 people. This year, there’s a sledding hill, live entertainment, tree houses, a snow zone, games and a train.

Frosty’s Food Trucks are in the Magical Maze, and you can buy beer from Dewey Beer Co. and Dogfish Head Craft Brewery.

5 festive holiday places to drink, dine

Milford’s elegantly decorated Benvenuto is a perfect place to have dinner with friends, loved ones during the holidays. Photo by Pam George.

Benvenuto to Tuscany!

Festive holiday places to dine, drink

Holidays aside,  crabcakes lovers need to try chef Jesus Gordiany’s at Benvenuto.

This popular Milford restaurant is the perfect place for dinner during the holidays, thanks to owner Lisa Johnson’s eye for detail.

Johnson, who owns Benvenuto with her husband, Walton “Pancho” Johnson, has carefully decorated the dining areas, named for areas in Italy.

There are shimmering Christmas trees, boughs of evergreen, flickering candles and tasteful touches of holiday red.

The restaurant specializes in Tuscan-inspired cuisine, but if you love crab cakes, you must try Chef Jesus Gordiany’s version, which is full of sweet snowy lumps and comes with homemade sauces.

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