Make no mistake about it, chef and restaurateur Jay Caputo is a busy man. Head Chef and owner of the Beachside Bar & Grill in Rehoboth, Jay is also the owner and chef of Espuma (also in Rehoboth) and the soon to be opened Pilot Town Fish Co. in Milton, Delaware. Throw into that hectic schedule the fact that he now has an eight-month old son and you can understand while we were lucky to be able to find some time for him to join host Michael Sprouse for conversation over tacos and beer at Beachside Bar & Grill.
For the record, Jay admitted that he was exhausted, but you couldn’t tell during the interview. He was upbeat, enthusiastic and he seemed genuinely happy to be able to sit for a bit and “chew the fat” so to speak with Michael.
We were there for Taco Night (A.K.A. Taco Thursday). Sous Chef and Beachside manager Jared LaJoie told Sprouse that the special runs all year long, but it’s popularity with the local regulars during the off-season was evident on the cold January evening when we filmed.
Everyone we spoke to that evening raved, not only about the tacos which were high in demand, but also the ambiance and relaxed, fun vibe of the place.
The tacos are indeed rave worthy – robust, spicy and non-traditional with international influences of savory fillings of beef, pork or tuna. But as long as you’re in the mood for eating (and you’re saving money with the taco Night special price of just $3.50 per taco) splurge and try the mouth-watering Brussel sprouts appetizer. These aren’t the over-cooked, funky smelling, alien looking veggies that make children cringe at the mere mention of the name – far from it. This appetizer is a delicate, crunchy and hefty portion of crisped shaved Brussel sprouts topped with a soy reduction, pecorino cheese, rosemary and lime – and they’re out of this world.
Excellent food and specials aside, the atmosphere of Beachside Bar & Grill is warm, fun, relaxing and welcoming. During our visit, the very talented acoustic duo of Jodi Lynn and Carla were live in the main dining area and there was definitely a fun-loving crowd of locals gathered around the bar.
One unique and very cool aspect of the design of Beachside are the walls. Almost every square inch is painted in black chalkboard paint. Hand chalked specials, funny sayings, old movie quotes and drawings cover the walls and it wasn’t easy to resist the urge to grab some chalk and get creative with the décor ourselves.
There’s also a great collection of unique artist created lighting and beach themed metal sculpture all around the relatively small space (which over the years had also served as a gas station, dry cleaners and a running shoes store).
Our big take away from the on location shoot that night was that Beachside was a fun, laid-back place to just chill out, have some laughs, get some great affordable food and have a very good time.
So, if you have a craving for some high-end tacos at a low-end price some Thursday night in Rehoboth, stroll into Beachside Bar and Grill and dig in. Tell them Coastal Cuisine sent you.
And bring a piece of chalk.