NorthEast Seafood Kitchen expands

NorthEast Seafood Kitchen, part of the Matt Haley Companies, in mid-April completed a 2,000-square-foot expansion that adds considerable space to both the dining room and the kitchen. “There was a demand for it,” said owner Matt Haley, who also has seven other beach restaurants. “NorthEast has developed such a good reputation, and the community — locals and vacationers — has really embraced us.”

The concept for NorthEast Seafood Kitchen mines the traditional dishes of the New England coast for inspiration, Haley noted, such as seafood-bacon chowder, pan-roasted Prince Edward Island mussels, fried Ipswich clams, lobster rolls and pan-roasted cod with clams, spinach, butternut squash, roasted garlic and herbs — all lolling in a buttery clam broth. Desserts include seasonal fruit crisps and ice cream floats with root beer or sarsaparilla.

The kitchen expansion, Haley said, gives chef Ronnie Burkle more room to make homemade sausages, bratwurst, jams, jellies and pickled vegetables for all eight restaurants, as well as Plate Catering, the catering division.

“Ronnie is one of the state’s most talented chefs,” Haley said. “Not only is he a great chef, but people love him — he’s the nicest guy.”

Diners will have an extra 42 seats in the new space, 14 of which are at a new bar with an enhanced craft beer selection. Cocktails feature spirits from such local distilleries as Painted Stave in Smyrna. (Matt Haley Companies makes its own artisan sodas — even its own tonic water.)

Haley said he is thrilled with the décor.

“We used lots of reclaimed wood, glass and old school tables,” he said. “It’s really beautiful.” The walls feature artwork by local artists and photographers. There are three new TVs in the space so friends can gather to watch sports. NorthEast already has a patio with a pergola and fireplace.

“There are a lot of possibilities for groups in the off-seasons,” Haley said. “I’m really proud of the talented people who work there; they’ve made NorthEast a very special restaurant.”

NorthEast Seafood Kitchen is located at 29F Atlantic Avenue in Ocean View, just outside Bethany Beach, off Route 26. For more information call (302) 537-1785 or visit www.northeastseafoodkitchen.com.