Chef Michael DiBianca - who has Moro, the long-running Mediterranean in downtown Wilmington - is working on his second restaurant in town.
He is retooling the erstwhile Trolley Square landmark Del Rose Cafe (1707 Delaware Ave.) into a modern/industrial Japanese street-food spot called Satsuma Kitchen + Bar. It's targeting an early September opening. It will be open Tuesday through Sunday for dinner.
The name is simply wordplay. "Moro" means blood orange in Italian, while "Satsuma" means mandarin orange in Japanese.
Design includes exposed bricks and a cork floor. The first floor will be the more energetic space, while the slightly larger second floor will be more peaceful. It also will have a roof deck and seating in an alley next door.
DiBianca, a Culinary Institute of America-trained multiyear nominee for the James Beard Award, intends for the whole menu to be shared and is pricing all but larger plates at $12 and under. (Examples: Chicken Wings Yakatori with chiles, soy, scallion and toasted sesame; Berkshire Pork Banh Mi with cilantro mayo and pickled vegetables; Crispy “Kung Pao” Shrimp with red pepper, cashews and chiles; Duck-Duck Disco Fries featuring pulled duck, pickled peppers, avocado and black truffle gravy; Pork Belly with pickled pineapple, macadamia nuts, coconut and spicy soy; and Crispy Calamari with red onion, carrot and yuzu aioli.)
Larger plates (under $20) include Fried Chicken Thighs with wasabi mayo, wasabi tobiko and daikon); Coffee-Braised Short Rib with Japanese eggplant, pickled onion and hazelnut; and Seared U-12 Shrimp with citrus, walnuts, radish and pea shoot.