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Bardea Food & Drink in Wilmington puts a new spin on Italian classics

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Bardea Food & Drink, the long-planned Italian restaurant by Scott Stein and Chef Antimo DiMeo, will open this Friday, September 14 at 620 N. Market Street.

The 5,000-square-foot eatery boasts 120 seats and a rectangular bar with 20 stools and outdoor seating. The refurbished building looms over the corner of 7th and Market streets, inside the former location of Kennedy Fried Chicken.

The menu will include “interpretive” takes on classic Italian dishes, with most ingredients sourced from Delaware Valley farmers and food purveyors, DiMeo said.

“Scott and I always try to set ourselves apart from everyone else, and while the perception of Italian food may generally be pasta with red sauce, we are going to purvey a much different type of Italian dining experience with our inspired interpretations of classic Italian dishes,” DiMeo said.

Food and travel journalist Brian Freedman crafted the drink menu, which features craft beer, wine and cocktails developed to match with the entrees.

Stein and DiMeo first envisioned the project five years ago. Their concept was to look beyond “old school, red gravy Italian classics” and contribute something new to Wilmington’s burgeoning night life and restaurant scene.

“We love food and the process of creating innovative, delicious cuisine which our guests can share,” said Stein. “We encourage sharing pastas and dishes for the table so that our guests can try many of our menu items and experience a multitude of flavors and preparations. Antimo developed all of our dishes, but we have an incredible working relationship for collaboration. He dreams up the ideas, and presents them beautifully, then we go to work to figure out how to make them work operationally and how to make everything look gorgeous.”

Proceeds from the first day of sales will go the Wilmington Department of Parks and Recreation.

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