My annual late-summer pilgrimage to Rehoboth Beach, Delaware always includes dining at Summerhouse. That's because this restaurant consistently delivers dependably good American fare, a casual, relaxed atmosphere, and service that makes even a solo diner feel appreciated. My most recent visit on September 4, 2012 continued my run of positive experiences here.
At Summerhouse it's possible to eat well for either a lot of money or a reasonable amount of money. Generously sized entrées, highlighted by steak, prime rib of beef, and some seafood, trend toward the pricey, $28-$30 or more. By visiting during happy hour and ordering smaller plates, however, it's possible to eat well and enjoy variety without busting the budget.
Dining solo, I took a seat at the large bar. Summerhouse also offers table dining adjacent to the bar plus two dining rooms.
For dinner I selected two appetizers plus a side order of vegetables and some comforting Merlot. The glass proved so tasty and generously sized that I eventually could not resist ordering a second one. My first appetizer, locally grown tomatoes and mozzarella cheese, proved adequate, although the cheese was skimpily portioned. A generous topping of tasty balsamic vinaigrette helped offset that shortcoming. The second appetizer, a single large crab cake, proved more memorable. Topped by fresh sprouts and a robust vodka-flavored cream sauce, it left me satisfied. My generously portioned side order of sauteed mushrooms arrived hot but not overcooked. Accompanied by delicious warm bread and olive oil, the items I selected made for more than an adequate meal.
While dining, I enjoyed chatting with some convivial barmates and watching on numerous large screen TVs the U.S. Open Tennis Tournament, three different professional baseball games, and other sports highlights. My server, Jimmy, one of Summerhouse's veterans, consistently and promptly attended to my needs.
Dinner consisting of two appetizers, the side of vegetables, and two generously sized glasses of Merlot set me back all of $28 plus gratuity; Delaware does not impose sales tax. Based on the friendly, attentive service I'd received, I felt positive about leaving a gratuity exceeding 20%.
Travelers seeking an unpretentious, dependable, friendly spot in which to dine in Rehoboth Beach cannot, in my experience, do better than Summerhouse.
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