I decided to have dinner at Hieronymus on Market Street in Wilmington. Hieronymus is a local seafood place that has been around for many years. A few years ago the consistency of the food quality dropped but ever since the lockdown started, Hieronymus has gotten its act together and the food has been excellent every time I’ve gone.
The decor at Hieronymus is exactly what you would expect from a seafood restaurant located near the ocean: lots of nautical decorations including the wooden planks that you walk up to the front of the restaurant. The interior is more on the dark side but certainly lit well enough to eat. You can eat in their main dining room, at the bar or in their covered outdoor patio. I noticed Johnny was bartending tonight and as he is one of my favorite bartenders in town, I opted to sit at the bar.
Johnny is famous for his margaritas. I like some of their other cocktails as well, and they have a full bar, decent wine list and decent beer list on top of that, but I am a sucker for Johnny’s margaritas. He puts a couple of additional ingredients in there, salts the glass, and finishes it off with a little Grand Marnier. Not too sweet, not too tart, just right.
Hieronymus is known as a full-service seafood restaurant. You can get an entire steamer platter of clams, oysters, shrimp, mussels and crab legs, or get most of the shellfish individually on their own. They also typically have a couple of species of raw oysters. Tonight, I went with 6 raw oysters. They were a local species (local being within 100 miles) and they were good. If you read my other reviews of seafood restaurants, you will know that one of my favorite oyster sauces is a champagne mignonette. Unfortunately, Hieronymus only has horseradish cocktail sauce and lemon juice. I use the lemon juice generously with just a tiny amount of cocktail sauce on each oyster, and was quite happy.
Many times in the past I will order their she crab soup as an appetizer. Hieronymus is famous for their she crab soup. It is a rich creamy soup with fresh crab and comes with Sherry mixed in to give it that special flavor. Unfortunately, the roux for that soup has a lot of vegetable oil in it that doesn’t agree with me. As long as the vegetable oil doesn’t bother you, this soup is worth the trip.
In addition, you always get a small batch of cheese biscuits with every meal instead of bread. Their cheese biscuits are more addictive than you can imagine. I strongly recommend not getting refills otherwise you will be too full to eat your seafood LOL
Hieronymus always has 4-8 fresh fish on the menu depending on what was available locally that day. I opted for the red drum and was very pleased. Red drum is a whitefish but as its a bottom feeder it’s not the standard choice for many seafood places. However, one of the cool things about Hieronymus is that they have six different ways to prepare all their fresh catch of the day:
- lemon caper
- nut crusted
- herb grilled
Over the years I have tried them all. The Carolina is my frequent choice, but I felt like blackened was the right match for the red drum and I was right.
They often have one or two desserts of the day but it is rare that I get through my meal with room for dessert. After the entrée, I opted for a third Margarita and then called it a night.
They do take reservations via Open Table, and for busy evenings, I suggest booking ahead. As I came on a Wed night, I just walked in with no wait.
Definitely on my list of top seafood places in Wilmington.