Tasty food, fine sax licks and some homemade hooch
The Rehoboth Beach Jazz Festival has come a long way since the idea was hatched many years ago in and around Sydney Arzt’s popular blues joint on Rehoboth Avenue. Headliners now perform on professional stages, and just about everybody in town gets into the act with live music from Sunday brunch to happy hour and from dinner to late-night shows.
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One of the newest events designed to keep the festival on everybody’s mind is the Summer Series. Courtesy of jazz festival mucky-muck Kas Naylor, I was pleased to attend the most recent show at Zack King’s newly christened Delaware Distilling Company in Midway. And the featured performer was none other than tenor sax guy Steve Cole, proudly promoting his brand new CD, “True.” In fact, the big restaurant will play host to several jazz stars during the festival from October 17th through the 20th.
One of the things that sets Delaware Distilling Company apart is the fact that they make their own vodkas, gins and rums. As super-server Crystal guided us through the new menu, Zack made sure we got a taste of his signature spirits (his own recipes, lovingly bubbled-up on the premises). This is the first time I’d been there since the Old Bay signs were pried off the wall, and I have to tell you about the appetizers menu: 15 items! Some of the standouts include the Stuffed Cucumber Duo, Asian Cheesesteak Rolls and the Bloody Mary Seafood Cocktail. I don’t want to ruin the surprise, so that’s all I’m saying. The stars on the entrée menu include the crunchily delicious Cornflake Encrusted Chicken (also available perched on a waffle), the Bison Steak of the Week and the Hogzilla Pork Shank (tender and flavorful with a tomato herb demi – ask me how I know…). Of course there are lighter items too, including a Build Your Own Mac & Cheese. Again, no spoiler alert, but I can tell you bacon is definitely involved.
In spite of the size and layout of the venue, Steve Cole’s band sounded great. (Ask anyone who was there about the keyboard player’s Hammond B-3-emulated solo during “Come to Mama.”) In fact, as he was taking his ride through that classic tune, I was saying the exact same thing to my pork shank. Art imitates life!
So Mark your calendar for the October jazz lineup at Delaware Distilling Company.
The Rehoboth Foodie is the author of the popular iPhone and Android travel app, Rehoboth In My Pocket. Arrive as a Visitor, Live Like a Local! Contact at foodie@CapeGazette.com.