Disclaimer: We visited Le Cavalier, before the newest variant, so our information and experience may be a little dated compared to any new restrictions set by the state or by Le Cavalier. As always, we recommend checking their website and the Delaware website to stay up to date before visiting.
We don’t typically do fine dining. I suppose I don’t have much experience to make accurate assumptions but when I think of fine dining, high bills and small portions come to mind. However, at Le Cavalier in downtown Wilmington, Delaware, even though the menu items cost more than I am used to, the portions are quite generous and the flavors make it more than worth what you pay. We have tried both dinner and brunch there and it had to be at least one of my top 5 dining experiences ever. It was the best in recent memory and may possibly be the overall best if it were possible to remember all of the dining experiences I’ve ever had.
Allow me to share some of the details about our visit.
About Le Cavalier & The Hotel DuPont
It is located right next to the lobby of the Hotel Dupont. It is a luxury hotel that’s been around since 1913. It’s one of the oldest buildings in downtown Wilmington. I don’t know very much about architecture but the hotel website describes it as an Italian Renaissance building. The building displays imported European chandeliers, hand-carved wood, and terrazzo floors. It is a very beautiful building, particularly on the inside. Both the hotel and the restaurant are inside the Dupont Building, which was once the headquarters of the Dupont chemicals company. The company originally started as a gunpowder manufacturer right outside the city of Wilmington, DE. Today, it houses the hotel, the restaurant, luxury apartments, and a live performance venue.
Le Cavalier is described as a modern French brasserie. The menu can be described as French cuisine with North African influences. Before Le Cavalier opened about a little over a year ago, the restaurant before it was called the Green Room. It was a very high-end French restaurant that has been in Wilmington for very many years. Le Cavalier changed the menu to be more affordable and approachable. It’s still pricier than most restaurants I go to but the food is absolutely delicious!
We ate dinner here to celebrate our wedding anniversary and we both ordered the Chicken Provencal. It’s a half chicken served with roasted shallots, herbes de Provence, vermouth, and Camargue red rice. I had to copy the description from the menu because I can’t really explain all the items in the dish except that everything on it was what made this the best dining experience for me in recent memory. The chicken was moist and flavorful. The red rice was maybe the most delicious rendering of rice I have ever had. I’m Asian, so I’ve had many different rice dishes over the years. I think it was maybe the roasted shallots that were cooked in the vermouth? Whatever it was cooked in, I would describe it as savory with the right amount of sweetness. I don’t really like to be overwhelmed with sweetness when it comes to a hot dinner dish but the I think the vermouth worked very well with the shallots.
They also have a pretty extensive craft beer/cocktail and wine menu which I haven’t tried yet. Craft beer is my thing but I’ve been laying off alcohol recently. We did both orders a non-alcoholic mojito cocktail for our anniversary dinner which was pretty tasty.
We also had the opportunity to have brunch there twice, which was great – once by ourselves and another time with family. The brunch menu is very affordable and well priced for a fine dining establishment. They serve many traditional breakfast items like eggs, sausage, and bacon. They also have French toast and crab cakes. I’ve had the two eggs any style served with crispy potatoes and sausages. I think they actually make the sausages in-house. I know I keep saying some of the items are the best I’ve ever had, but those sausages were quite literally the best breakfast sausages I’ve ever had. The crispy potatoes are also quite good. It has the right amount of salt and was definitely crispy to satisfaction. The brunch is quite affordable and I wouldn’t mind making Le Cavelier a regular brunch spot.
In closing, even though I would describe Le Cavalier more along the lines of a fine-dining kind of establishment, I think it’s definitely worth what you pay for it and the beautiful decor and ambiance are a pleasant plus! We recommend this restaurant if you’re in or visiting the area.
Have you ever been? If so, what was it like for you? If not, what’s a restaurant near you that you’ve loved?