New Menus, Fresher Look at Hotel du Pont

While maintaining its historic elegance and original charm, the Hotel du Pont has taken on a fresher look that includes enhancements to the Green Room dining experience and new menus for each of the dining spaces.

The menus offer inventive dishes, coupled with reinvented and beloved mainstays by Executive Chef Keith Miller. “Our new menus were developed to highlight our focus on local and regional flavors and ingredients, including partnerships with Cassaday Farms in Monroeville, N.J., and King Farms in Cochranville, Pa.,” says Miller. “Each innovative dish is developed and executed with the quality and elegance you expect from the Green Room but with a modern and approachable interpretation.”

More information on dining and special occasions at the hotel can be found at

New Name & Home for HoneyBee

HoneyBee Seasonal Kitchen and Market has not only changed its name (it was formerly Delaware Local Food Exchange), it has moved to a new home—11A Trolley Square.

With an array of local organic foods aimed at the health- and sustainability-conscious grocery shopper, HoneyBee fits right into the trendy Trolley Square shopping experience. And patrons are usually greeted by a delicious aroma emanating from the kitchen.

For more information on what’s going on at the HoneyBee Kitchen and Market, visit the Facebook page.

Top Chef Contestant Opens Pike Creek Restaurant

One of the more memorable contestants of the hit reality show Top Chef, Fabio Viviani, will open a 140-to-160-seat restaurant later this year in Linden Hill Station, in Pike Creek.
Raised in Florence, Italy, Viviani was charming and charismatic while on the Bravo Network show, earning acclaim from the likes of noted chef and world traveler Anthony Bordain.
Viviani says he is “very pleased” at the prospect of making his mark on the Delaware restaurant scene. His 4,800-square-foot restaurant, to be called Chuck Lager’s Tavern, will feature mainly classic American dishes, elevated by Viviani’s Italian flare. He hopes to begin welcoming patrons to the new establishment by August or September.

Saving the Ninth Street Book Shop

David Teague, a children’s book author and professor in the University of Delaware’s Associate in Arts Program in Wilmington, and Roger Festa, an online marketing professional, are trying to preserve Ninth Street Book Shop, a fixture in downtown Wilmington for more than four decades. Partnering with local art groups and others, the two men envision a place that goes beyond the precepts of the average bookstore, a place that serves the community and offers the patron an experience and not just a sales transaction.
Their efforts began with the retirement of the Ninth Street Book Shop’s previous owners, Jack and Gemma Buckley, who had kept the doors open for 41 years. The Buckleys had been unsuccessful in finding a buyer when they retired in January, and thus had to close the doors.
Teague and Festa are now finding resources and fostering the interest needed to preserve the legacy of Ninth Street Book Shop. Commenting in the Wilmington News Journal, Festa said, “I’m confident in Wilmington. I’m confident in the city. I’m confident in the legacy that was left behind. Whether or not it’s me and David or something else, I know something is going to happen.”

DAM Features Wyeth, Ruskin

Starting March 10 and continuing until May 27, the Delaware Art Museum will showcase works of Andrew Wyeth (1917–2009) alongside Victorian era art critic and amateur artist John Ruskin (1819–1900).
Both men closely observed their natural surroundings to derive artistic inspiration. Ruskin, credited with anticipating the environmentalism movement, noted that the principal role of the artist is “truth to nature,” a role perhaps best demonstrated by the works of Wyeth.
For more information on this and other events upcoming at the Delaware Art Museum, visit

Nicaragua’s Good Neighbors

Wilmington’s Chuck Selvaggio and his nonprofit are improving conditions in the impoverished Central American country

Chuck Selvaggio, a former teacher at Salesianum School and Nativity Preparatory School of Wilmington, traveled to Nicaragua to learn Spanish in 2011. Fortunately, the trip turned into something much more.

He was immediately struck not only by the rampant poverty and the number of homeless youth, but also by the resilience of the Nicaraguan people. Upon returning home, he created the charity Neighbors to Nicaragua in April of that same year, and he recruited friends, family members, and former colleagues to volunteer their time and money to support grassroots organizations working to improve the education and infrastructure of the communities he had visited.

Today, Selvaggio is the executive director of the charity, in addition to working as a full-time massage therapist from his home studio in Wilmington.

Selvaggio and his charity quickly began the process of supporting several Nicaraguan schools by raising money for supplies and medicine. His efforts also resulted in Americans sponsoring children of promise by funding their education, giving a strong chance to worthy students who otherwise would never have had the opportunity to get a decent education.

Selveggio speaking to a group of Nicaraguan children during one of his many visits to the country.

“I have never met someone as selfless as Chuck, and I’m inspired by his amazing example of how one person can make a difference in the lives of so many,” says Michael Lucey, co-owner of Hockessin’s Six Paupers, Brandywine Hundred’s Ulysses Gastro Pub and the Rehoboth Beach Forgotten Mile Ale House. Lucey experienced the deplorable conditions in Nicaragua first-hand on a trip with Selvaggio, and like many others was inspired by his example. As a result, Lucey became a member of the Board of Trustees for Neighbors to Nicaragua.

The scope and focus of the organization has grown since its inception in 2011. Its most recent accomplishment was the completion of a new school on Jan. 30. The project originated with Board Chairperson Alison Warhol, a scrum master in the Technology Department at Barclays Bank. She recognized the need and potential the school could provide to locals ranging in ages 5 to 50. Selvaggio and Warhol oversaw the completion of the school, called Centro de Oportunidad (Center of Opportunity), which will train students in vocational skills, math and computer competency. Along with six other board members, they attended the opening of the school. 

“Our goal for the students at Centro de Oportunidad is to provide them with sufficient basic skills to either continue with a traditional education or to gain employable skills through experience,” says Selvaggio.

In addition to the educational support, the school also will provide lunch-time meals, which for most of the students may be the only meal they receive all day.

The school was completed thanks to a $30,000 donation by Rockefeller Philanthropy Trust, and the annual budget of $35,000 is currently paid by the Matthew Haley Trust.

“Grassroots donations are the lifeblood of Neighbors to Nicaragua, and the growth of our support base determines the continued success of our mission,” says Selvaggio, who explains that no volunteer or board member receives a salary, and all travel to the region is paid for by the volunteers themselves, so all donations go directly to Neighbors to Nicaragua.

The charity will host an Oldies Night concert at Wilmington Elks Lodge, 1310 Carruthers Dr., on Friday, March 2, from 7 to 11 p.m. Tickets are $35 per person, or you can reserve a table of 10 for $350. All proceeds from ticket sales and donations will benefit Neighbors to Nicaragua. Each ticket includes two complimentary alcoholic beverages and buffet style fare. For reservations, contact Sarah Brooks at or call 983-5794. 

For more information on how you can help Neighbors to Nicaragua, visit the website,, or the Facebook page.

Barkitecture Helps Faithful Friends

Barkitecture, Delaware’s premier event for dogs, cats and those who love them, is set for Saturday, March 24, at Deerfield in Newark.

The fourth annual event features doghouses, cat condos, and pet friendly furniture in a jury-judged design competition. Prizes will be awarded and each entry will be sold to the highest bidder.  Proceeds from the auctioned entries will go to Faithful Friends Animal Society, a shelter for animals in New Castle County. Guests will vote for their favorite entry, and the winner will receive the coveted People’s Chews Award.

Tickets can be ordered at the website: The $100 price includes the open bar (beer, wine, soda), light fare and seating for the Live Auction and Pet Fashion Show. The event has sold out the previous four years.

Those interested in entering the competition can find the rules on the website. Entry fee is $40 for students or individuals and $75 for businesses or teams.  Only a limited number of entries will be accepted for each of the three categories, so register ASAP.

Take Your Wine Home?

State Representative Ron Gray, of Selbyville, is the primary sponsor of House Bill 284, which, if passed, would enable all on-premises licensees who sell a bottle of alcohol (other than beer) to place a cap on the bottle and allow patrons to take the remaining contents home with them.

The bill addresses situations in which patrons are incentivized to finish a bottle of wine because it is currently illegal to package the wine with the rest of the leftovers. Gray believes this bill could reduce drunk driving, and ultimately make area highways safer.

Delaware is one of the first states to have recognized this issue. The bill is currently assigned to the House Economic Development/Banking/Insurance/Commerce Committee.

Longwood Grants $1.5 Million to Food Bank

The Longwood Foundation has given the Delaware Food Bank $1.5 million toward the organization’s Creating a Bold Future Capital Campaign. The Food Bank acquired an 80,000-square-foot lot in July of 2016 with the goal of building a new facility to serve the community.

The new facility, at 222 Lake Dr., Newark, will enable the Food Bank to operate more efficiently, grow foods on a 3.5-acre farm, train more people, feed more people, and increase educational/outreach workspaces.

The Longwood Foundation’s $1.5 million gift brings the total raised for the project to $9 million, just $1 million shy of the project’s $10 million construction budget.

For more information on how to help the Food Bank in this endeavor, or participate in other programs, or simply to donate, visit the website at

Shark Tank Idea Comes to Del.

Back in 2014, Evan Lutz learned that 40 percent of edible food is wasted, while 20 percent of the population faces food insecurity. This prompted Lutz to “rescue” fresh produce that supermarkets would normally dispose of and deliver it directly to consumers at a reduced price. He called the new venture Hungry Harvest.

In 2016 Lutz’s idea grabbed the attention of ABC’s Shark Tank, which offered Lutz the chance to pitch his idea for potential shark investment. The Hungry Harvest creator was successful in persuading one shark, Robert Herjavec, to invest $100,000 for 10 percent of his business.

In January, Hungry Harvest deliveries became available in Delaware. For just $15, you can get the “mini harvest” box, consisting of a variety of fresh, superficially rejected (“ugly”) produce, meaning the produce may be smaller-than-average or irregular in shape. To order your “mini harvest” box or view other products, visit, and use code LAUNCHDE to save $5 on your first delivery.