Bardea, Italian Restaurant is Coming to Market Street

Another new restaurant, Bardea Food & Drink, is coming to N. Market Street downtown!

If you’re looking for somewhere new to eat Market Street is becoming a foodies dream come true with a plentiful array of options from casual to upscale to French cuisine at Margaux, to craft burgers at Farmer and the Cow to the coming new Italian restaurant, Bardea Food and Drink on the corner of Seventh and North Market streets. The space was previously Kennedy Fried Chicken and is the latest eatery to open on North Market Street!

Summarized from the full article on DelawareOnline.

Scott Stein and Chef Antimo DiMeo will be opening Bardea Food & Drink, an Italian restaurant on N. Market Street in downtown Wilmington.

The restaurant joins other such newcomers as Stitch House Brewery and Farmer & the Cow, which both opened in March, and Margaux, a French brasserie that’s been in business since June.

Indeed, whereas the restaurant building surge had once seemed almost solely focused on the Wilmington Riverfront, it’s hard not to notice the downtown revitalization movement.

Bardea, pronounced bar-DAY-ah, is the Italian term for “the goddess of food and drink.” The 5,000 square-foot space, which had also once housed an optical store, law firm and other businesses, has been completely refurbished.

“As soon as we walked in, we were blown away. We’re really excited to be a part of Market Street,” says Stein of the space created by Eimer Design of Philadelphia. Renovations costs were not disclosed.

The pair are calling the menu “interpretive Italian,” saying they are remastering classic Italian dishes, but also presenting dishes with their own spins.

The decor includes using some of the building’s original tin ceilings, highlighting a large bank of windows looking out onto Market Street and creating a 20-seat rectangular bar. A high-tech lighted “goddess garden” mural in the main dining room was inspired by the views DiMeo saw daily while he was cooking at restaurants in Italy.

“I felt like it was on the cusp and now the market is ready for us,” Stein says. “This reminds me of Fishtown in Philadelphia. It’s starting to pop.”

The Buccini/Pollin Group, one of Wilmington’s largest property owners, bought the historic 2 E. Seventh St. building that houses the restaurant in 2016.

Bardea will be open daily for lunch and dinner. Stein says they’re hoping to attract families on Sundays, a slow day for downtown businesses, and they may eventually offer brunch.


Italian Roots

DiMeo, who’s from southern Italy and has worked with Chef Gennaro Esposito at La Torre Del Saracino, a Michelin Star restaurant located on the Amalfi Coast, just south of Naples, says fish and seafood will be an important part of the menu.


For the restaurant’s beverage program, Stein and DiMeo turned to Stein’s old high school buddy Brian Freedman, a national spirits, wine, food and travel journalist who writes for Food & Wine and Forbes magazines.

Freedman has ensured that every wine in the restaurant has Italian heritage, though not all of them are from Italy. Some are crafted from Italian grape varieties grown around the world. Freedman also helped to create a cocktail list of remastered classics, including 10 cocktails which will be presented with the restaurant’s own spin.

Bardea will feature a rotating selection of regional craft beers. Glasses of wine will range from about $8 to $12.

Stein and Chef DiMeo say that while their new restaurant will showcase a number of classic Italian dishes, don’t expect “old school, red gravy Italian classics.”

A raw bar will feature freshly shucked local oysters, a small chilled seafood plate and tuna crudo. Cooked dishes include charred octopus with nicoise potato salad and green olive gazpacho, risotto with poached lobster, dayboat scallops with smoked hollandaise and cioppino, an Italian seafood stew.

In addition to sliced meats and imported cheese, the menu also includes thin-crust pizzas crafted from organically milled wheat and rye flour that are baked in an imported oven.

Fresh pasta will be made for the pappardelle with lamb bolognese, but dishes also will use dried Pasta Mancini pastas imported from Italy.

DiMeo says the top-quality pasta comes from hard, durum wheat grown on a family farm in central Italy’s Le Marche region. He says the pastas have an artisanal, textured finish that hold sauces better than fresh pasta.

“People are so educated about pastas now,” DiMeo says. “This is made in the old-school tradition. It really is farm-to-pasta. The flavor of the pasta speaks for itself.”

Bardea also will offer gluten-free pastas. Various breads and other grain products will come from Lost Bread Co., a popular Philadelphia bakery headed by James Beard Award-nominated baker Alex Bois.

Prices at Bardea will range from $6 -$10 for snacks; $10-$15 for 11-inch pizzas; $9-16 for small plates; $15-$17 for pastas, and $15-$29 for large plates.

The opening date is tentatively set for Monday, Sept. 17, though the partners might just open their doors quietly before then. The city is holding a ribbon cutting Friday at 10:45 a.m.


  • 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Monday through Thursday
  • 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. Friday and Saturday
  • noon to 9 p.m. Sunday.

The restaurant will serve lunch every day until 3 p.m., with weeknight happy hour and dinner beginning at 5 p.m.

For more information, call (302) 426-2069 or visit

Contact Patricia Talorico at (302) 324-2861 or and on Twitter @pattytalorico

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