Patsy’s Restaurant in Bethany — Key West Seduction at the Delaware Shore

The organic house-made strawberry vodka martini at Patsy's Restaurant (Photo Credit: Adroit Ideals)
The Green Apple Martini at Patsy's Restaurant (Photo Credit: Adroit Ideals)
The Green Apple Martini at Patsy’s Restaurant (Photo Credit: Adroit Ideals)

Patsy’s Restaurant in Bethany Beach, Delaware is a tribute to Key West and Southern-inspired cuisine. Founded by Patsy Dill Rankin and her daughter Robin in July 2000, Patsy’s is a colorful and eclectically decorated eating establishment frequented by the locals in off-season and jam-packed by beachgoers during the summer months. We really do miss Chef Patsy’s extensive PEZ dispenser collection that graced the restaurant’s interior walls a few years ago.

Robin Rankin and Patsy Dill Rankin of Patsy's Restaurant in Bethany Beach, DE (Photo Credit: Patsy's Restaurant)
Robin Rankin and Patsy Dill Rankin of Patsy’s Restaurant in Bethany Beach, DE (Photo Credit: Patsy’s Restaurant)

Patsy and Robin are both classically trained chefs having graduated from L’Academie de Cuisine Professional Culinary School. They spend their winter vacations doing research in Key West in order to bring back fresh ideas for new dishes each season and updates to current menu offerings. Patsy’s crab cakes were served over sweet potato fries when we first frequented the restaurant. Now, they’re served on a celery root and Granny Smith apple remoulade and topped with an herb salad alongside lovely asparagus spears. Either way, they’re the best crab cakes at the beach. Both chefs love what they do and it shows.

The best crab cakes at the beach -- huge chunks of crabmeat in crab cakes at Patsy's Restaurant! (Photo Credit: Adroit Ideals)
The best crab cakes at the beach — huge chunks of crabmeat in crab cakes at Patsy’s Restaurant! (Photo Credit: Adroit Ideals)

Patsy’s is always a regular dinner or brunch stop for us when we are visiting “The Shore.” Daily specials accompany a regular menu that is brimming with outstanding choices. Seduce yourself with some Key West favorites! These two ladies know how to pull together complimentary flavors to produce memorable meals.

It's always a Party at Patsy's Restaurant in Bethany Beach, Delaware! (Photo Credit: Patsy's Restaurant)
It’s always a Party at Patsy’s Restaurant in Bethany Beach, Delaware! (Photo Credit: Patsy’s Restaurant)

When you arrive at Patsy’s during the summer season, the wait might be long, but it’s worth it. Sit on the covered porch in warmer weather to enjoy the pleasant ocean breezes. My husband and I prefer to sit inside the air-conditioned dining room at our “favorite table” for two.

Once you are seated, relax with a house-made concoction while you peruse the menu. Patsy’s attentive wait staff is well-versed in the restaurant’s offerings. It’s comforting to see the same familiar smiling faces over the years in a restaurant’s wait staff and kitchen staff — the mark of exceptional restaurant management and employees who are committed to providing outstanding service. You will find both at Patsy’s.

The refreshing Ruby Red Grapefruit Martini at Patsy's Restaurant (Photo Credit: Adroit Ideals)
The refreshing Ruby Red Grapefruit Martini at Patsy’s Restaurant (Photo Credit: Adroit Ideals)

Quite a number of my photos depict delicious daily specials at Patsy’s, while others showcase items offered on the regular menu. Some specials are repeats while others have made just a few appearances. As an example of a special that became a mainstay, the blackened fish tacos were a periodic offering, and due to their popularity, eventually became a staple on the regular restaurant menu. I will leave it up to you to review the offerings on Patsy’s regular menus and look forward to the changing nightly specials. You will not be disappointed with the selections!

Fabulous Blackened Fish Tacos at Patsy's Restaurant (Photo Credit: Adroit Ideals)
Fabulous Blackened Fish Tacos at Patsy’s Restaurant (Photo Credit: Adroit Ideals)

Since Patsy’s is a creative and environmentally-aware restaurant, the nightly specials will reflect fresh organic and local ingredients that are in season. The chefs pride themselves on the outstanding quality of their fish, meats, and produce. You can be sure that everything is made fresh in-house or it won’t be served.

Two favorite libations are the green apple martini and the organic strawberry martini. The strawberry martini features house-made organic strawberry vodka. There’s an organic blueberry martini as well as quite a number of other seasonal flavors including a lovely green Thai Basil martini.

The organic house-made strawberry vodka martini at Patsy's Restaurant (Photo Credit: Adroit Ideals)
The organic house-made strawberry vodka martini at Patsy’s Restaurant (Photo Credit: Adroit Ideals)
Gorgeous Thai Basil martini at Patsy's Restaurant.  Green goodness.  (Photo Credit: Adroit Ideals)
Gorgeous Thai Basil martini at Patsy’s Restaurant. Green goodness. (Photo Credit: Adroit Ideals)

And one of my most recent favorites is the Ruby Red Grapefruit martini — so refreshing on a hot summer evening. There’s a regal hot pink-hued Cosmpolitan which goes well with the Key West color scheme.

The Cosmpolitan Martini at Patsy's Restaurant (Photo Credit: Adroit Ideals)
The Cosmpolitan Martini at Patsy’s Restaurant (Photo Credit: Adroit Ideals)

The bar is well-stocked, and the wine list has good variety if you are seeking another option from my favorite fruity martinis (you are what you drink, so they say…). Wines are available by-the-glass. Restaurant regulars usually eat dinner at the cozy bar which has a few stools.

Appetizers should be ordered immediately to be enjoyed with your beverages. During the perfectly ripe summer peach season, the chilled grilled peach with herbed cheese and served with herby mixed greens just might contain some herbs from the restaurant’s kitchen herb garden just outside the side window. My husband’s favorite appetizer choice is the plate of crispy conch fritters.

The chilled grilled peach, prosciutto, and herbed cheese appetizer at Patsy's Restaurant (Photo Credit: Adroit Ideals)
The chilled grilled peach, prosciutto, and herbed cheese appetizer at Patsy’s Restaurant (Photo Credit: Adroit Ideals)
The crispy Conch Fritters at Patsy's Restaurant (Photo Credit: Adroit Ideals)
The crispy Conch Fritters at Patsy’s Restaurant (Photo Credit: Adroit Ideals)

Pizzas range from a cheesy tomatoey Margherita pizza and a fresh arugula-topped garlicky white pizza with prosciutto on the regular menu, to nightly specials such as duck confit and sliced pear pizza or a scallop and asparagus pizza. Thinly crusted pies with just the right amount of toppings are a treat — we love them all.

Pizza Margherita at Patsy's Restaurant. Great with a glass of red wine. (Photo Credit: Adroit Ideals)
Pizza Margherita at Patsy’s Restaurant. Great with a glass of red wine. (Photo Credit: Adroit Ideals)
Asparagus and scallop pizza at Patsy's Restaurant (Photo Credit: Adroit Ideals)
Asparagus and scallop pizza at Patsy’s Restaurant (Photo Credit: Adroit Ideals)
Duck Confit and Pear Pizza at Patsy's Restaurant (Photo Credit: Adroit Ideals)
Duck Confit and Pear Pizza at Patsy’s Restaurant (Photo Credit: Adroit Ideals)

Patsy’s salads contain the best local organic ingredients available. My favorite salad, besides Patsy’s House Salad with Granny Smith Apple spirals and goat cheese, is the Key West salad. A sucker for mango, I really enjoy the sweet mango along with creamy avocado and crisp organic greens. Add a succulent crab cake and you’ve got a satisfying main course.

The House Salad at Patsy's Restaurant has an entire green apple in one long continuous peel! (Photo Credit: Adroit Ideals)
The House Salad at Patsy’s Restaurant has an entire green apple in one long continuous peel! (Photo Credit: Adroit Ideals)
The Key West Salad with Crabcake, fresh mango, and avocado at Patsy's Restaurant (Photo Credit: Adroit Ideals)
The Key West Salad with Crab cake, fresh mango, and avocado at Patsy’s Restaurant (Photo Credit: Adroit Ideals)

You’ve got to try at least one of the nightly specials — one of which last summer was the best gazpacho that I’ve ever tasted. It’s rare to find an ice-cold gazpacho with just the right amount of heat and veggies that are still very crispy. Heaven in a bowl.

Summer Gazpacho soup with crunchy fresh veggies at Patsy's Restaurant (Photo Credit: Adroit Ideals)
Summer Gazpacho soup with crunchy fresh veggies at Patsy’s Restaurant (Photo Credit: Adroit Ideals)

It’s hard to choose a favorite entree because they are all delectable. Cuban pork is slow-cooked and so melt-in-your-mouth-good that you will want to take some home. A Butcher’s steak is available on the regular menu and grilled to your satisfaction. A house-made duck confit special captivated my husband and will impress anyone else who understands what goes into this dish. Another special enjoyed by my husband was a spiced lamb, couscous, and chickpeas main course. The lamb was perfectly cooked to rare, and the spices nicely complimented the meat and starches.

The Butcher's Steak at Patsy's -- cooked to your preference (Photo Credit: Adroit Ideals)
The Butcher’s Steak at Patsy’s — cooked to your preference (Photo Credit: Adroit Ideals)
The succulent Cuban Pork entrée with yellow rice and fried plantains at Patsy's Restaurant (Photo Credit: Adroit Ideals)
The succulent Cuban Pork entrée with yellow rice and fried plantains at Patsy’s Restaurant (Photo Credit: Adroit Ideals)
In-house-made duck confit over braised red cabbage (!!!) at Patsy's Restaurant (Photo Credit: Adroit Ideals)
In-house-made duck confit over braised red cabbage (!!!) at Patsy’s Restaurant (Photo Credit: Adroit Ideals)
Lamb cooked rare with chickpeas and couscous at Patsy's Restaurant (Photo Credit: Adroit Ideals)
Lamb cooked rare with chickpeas and couscous at Patsy’s Restaurant (Photo Credit: Adroit Ideals)

For vegetarians, several delicious and filling dishes are available. A stuffed poblano pepper special was a delight for me on one visit, as was a woodsy wild mushroom-smothered creamy polenta dish on a chilly winter evening. Experience Key West warmth every day at Patsy’s.

Creamy Polenta smothered with a Wild Mushroom Medley at Patsy's Restaurant (Photo Credit: Adroit Ideals)
Creamy Polenta smothered with a Wild Mushroom Medley at Patsy’s Restaurant (Photo Credit: Adroit Ideals)
Stuffed poblano pepper and chunky fresh guacamole at Patsy's Restaurant (Photo Credit: Adroit Ideals)
Stuffed poblano pepper and chunky fresh guacamole at Patsy’s Restaurant (Photo Credit: Adroit Ideals)

Fish is a specialty at Patsy’s. Probably the wildest-looking (and maybe most exotic) dish on the menu is the flash-fried Tempura-style whole snapper that’s flown in fresh from Key West. The snapper is a best-seller on the regular menu. I’m a huge fan of bluefish which is cooked crispy on one side, flaky on the other. It’s usually draped with a yummy tapenade of whichever available fresh ingredients inspire the chefs. I’ve enjoyed the bluefish a number of times with different luscious accompaniments and each preparation has been stellar. When offered, a perfectly seared tuna served with a cabbage and carrot salad is a star of the nightly specials.

Whole red snapper is a specialty at Patsy's!  (Photo Credit: Adroit Ideals)
Whole red snapper is a specialty at Patsy’s! (Photo Credit: Adroit Ideals)
Bluefish over black beans and grains at Patsy's Restaurant (Photo Credit: Adroit Ideals)
Bluefish over black beans and grains at Patsy’s Restaurant (Photo Credit: Adroit Ideals)
Seared tuna with a cabbage and carrot salad at Patsy's Restaurant (Photo Credit: Adroit Ideals)
Seared tuna with a cabbage and carrot salad at Patsy’s Restaurant (Photo Credit: Adroit Ideals)

Sundays at Patsy’s Restaurant during high season offer brunch options including the wonderful Southern Fried Chicken served with just-as-tasty accompaniments. The Chile Verde Enchiladas are my favorite brunch entrée. Traditional Eggs Benedict with crispy bacon strips is served over these wonderful herbed biscuits that are crunchy on the outside and oh-so-delicately-soft on the inside. Another example of seductive heaven on a plate.

Summer Brunch at Patsy's Restaurant includes Chili Verde Enchiladas (Photo Credit: Adroit Ideals)
Summer Brunch at Patsy’s Restaurant includes Chili Verde Enchiladas (Photo Credit: Adroit Ideals)
Eggs Benedict and bacon over delicate-but-crunchy herbed biscuits served with creamy cheese grits (Photo Credit: Adroit Ideals)
Eggs Benedict and bacon over delicate-but-crunchy herbed biscuits served with creamy cheese grits (Photo Credit: Adroit Ideals)
The Southern Fried Chicken Special at Patsy's Restaurant (Photo Credit: Adroit Ideals)
The Southern Fried Chicken Special at Patsy’s Restaurant (Photo Credit: Adroit Ideals)

And now for the sweets! It’s hard to make a really good peanut butter pie. Either the filling doesn’t congeal properly and becomes a runny mess, or it’s got chunks of cream cheese in it which take away from the smooth feel of a good creamy pie. Patsy’s is perfect. Her chocolate peanut butter pie is my absolute favorite dessert. My husband favors the crispy cinnamon-y sweet banana crepe dessert affectionately known to us as “The Banana Thing at Patsy’s.” When it’s “Pie Time” at Patsy’s, you will find a super-flaky pie crust filled with fruit-in-season just waiting to be devoured for dessert.

Creamy sinful Peanut Butter Pie for The Food Lover's birthday at Patsy's Restaurant (Photo Credit: Adroit Ideals)
Creamy sinful Peanut Butter Pie for The Food Lover’s birthday at Patsy’s Restaurant (Photo Credit: Adroit Ideals)
The Banana Crepe at Patsy's Restaurant (Photo Credit: Adroit Ideals)
The Banana Crepe at Patsy’s Restaurant (Photo Credit: Adroit Ideals)

Try a chocolate martini for a drinkable dessert and a fine end to the evening. Remember to walk over to the Bethany Beach Boardwalk to make sure the ocean is still there (a joke with me and my husband — we have to check, just in case it decided to leave). Watch the sapphire waves crashing over and over — it’s addictive. And you can view the ocean from the Bethany Beach Boardwalk Cam year-round…to be sure the ocean is still there…. Check it out at bethanycam.com.

Dessert option: The Chocolate Martini at Patsy's Restaurant (Photo Credit: Adroit Ideals)
Dessert option: The Chocolate Martini at Patsy’s Restaurant (Photo Credit: Adroit Ideals)

Patsy’s Restaurant is usually open from mid-March through December with some vacation (and research) time for the staff during January and/or February. Sunday Brunch is served during the high season (Memorial Day – Labor Day) and selected Sundays throughout the off-season such as Easter Sunday and Mother’s Day. Sundays also bring that wonderful Southern fried chicken — did I mention it’s only available on Sundays so get in there and get yours! It’s been voted Best Fried Chicken in Delaware by Delaware Today Magazine.

Be sure to get yourself a souvenir shirt at Patsy’s! It’s based on the famous Patsy’s mural.

New souvenir shirts with the Patsy's mural!  (Photo Credit: Patsy's Restaurant)
New souvenir shirts with the Patsy’s mural! (Photo Credit: Patsy’s Restaurant)

If you are lucky, Chef Patsy will stop out to show you her latest creations — in this case, her freshly baked dinner rolls! And maybe she’ll give you some to take home.

Chef Patsy Dill Rankin shows off her fabulous dinner rolls!  (Photo Credit: Adroit Ideals)
Chef Patsy Dill Rankin shows off her fabulous dinner rolls! (Photo Credit: Adroit Ideals)

Located just behind Patsy’s restaurant, Chefs Patsy and Robin also ran the Coastal Living Market which had the best smoked salmon bagel in Bethany (or anywhere else, for that matter)! In 2014, Chef Robin closed the Coastal Living Market and opened Pie in the same space. Pie offers homemade pizzas and many types of pies, along with cheese and meat plates as well as wine to compliment your meal.

The Smoked Salmon Bagel at Coastal Living Market
The Smoked Salmon Bagel at Coastal Living Market

Visit Patsy and Robin here:

Patsy’s Restaurant
121 Campbell Place
Bethany Beach, DE
302-537-2433
www.patsysgourmet.com

PIE
120 Central Blvd.
Bethany Beach, DE.
302-539-1099

Parking is free during off-season. During high-season, patrons pay a parking fee from 10AM – 11PM (10AM – 8PM in some areas). Click HERE for more information on parking and fees. There is usually free parking in the off season.

The luscious green apple martini at Patsy's Restaurant (Photo Credit: Adroit Ideals)
The luscious green apple martini at Patsy’s Restaurant (Photo Credit: Adroit Ideals)

www.afoodloversdelight.com (Copyright Adroit Ideals 2013)

Print Friendly

D'Artagnan: Premium Meat, Game & Poultry. Buy Now!


Stonewall Kitchen, LLC

About The Food Lover 303 Articles
A Food Lover and Owner of this Site

Be the first to comment