Eclipse Bistro is a casual upscale eatery in Wilmington's Little Italy neighborhood, and has been on my list for a few years ever since a trusted friend told me that he loved the place. The only things stopping me from hitting up Ellipse were their limited veggie offerings and a pricey dinner menu.
Now, to be fair, Eclipse's menu prices are not out of line with other casual upscale restaurants, it's just that it's not every night I want to spend $25 for an entree. So, with frugality in mind, I thought I'd hit up Eclipse for lunch, thinking prices would be slashed. They weren't. Well, except for the entrees, but, it turns out, I can't eat those anyway.
The lunch and dinner menus are virtually identical in menu items and prices, with the exception of added entrees and salads to the dinner menu, and entree prices being more expensive for dinner. I thought this was odd, so did a little research on other comparable restaurants' menus, and, nope, this is how fancy restaurants roll. I guess I'm just so used to ethnic restaurants' lunch deals, that I thought this was the norm. And I'm sure Eclipse's lunch menu prices are the reason why there were only three other tables dining for lunch,while some Thai restaurant somewhere was packed.
Long story short, lunch ain't cheap at Eclipse. For lunch, appetizers are $11-$14; sandwiches are $11-$14; Salads are $8-$10; pasta dishes are $16-$17; and larger plates are $13-$18.
And as far as vegetarian items, you're stuck with salads and appetizers, although, I'm sure the kitchen could rework some dishes or make a veggie plate upon request. Service was very professional, if maybe a little slow with water refills, so I'd expect the kitchen to be just as professional.
We started with the blue cheese, fig jam, and caramelized onion flat bread. This quirky combo of sweet and pungent flavors has become quite ubiquitous at restaurants, and there's a reason why; it's awesome! Eclipse's version was on a medium thick, chewy crust. I appreciated the sprinkling of coarse salt to balance out the sweet fig jam.
The panko-crusted fried eggplant with roasted tomato jam and shaved Locatelli was my favorite of the bunch. The eggplant slices were large and filling, and while grease was visible when I cut into the eggplant, the dish did not feel or taste greasy. The tomato jam was not sweet as the name would suggest, but was full of concentrated sun dried tomato flavor. I'm calling on all restaurants to bring back the sun dried tomato!
Look past the fried eggplant, and you'll see my partner's grilled chicken wrap with avocado, Mozzarella, roasted red peppers, and mayo. He thought the chicken was perfectly cooked. He subbed a salad, but sandwiches usually come with a hefty stack of thin-cut fries.
This phyllo pastry with roasted winter vegetables and brie sitting on a pool of port wine reduction was the only loser in the bunch. Not that I mind eating zucchini, peppers, and mushrooms any time of the year, I wouldn't really call them winter vegetables. And that port wine reduction was so sweet, it should only accompany dessert, or, at most, only be drizzled on the pastry. I tried desperately to get each bite of the savory pastry away from that liquid, but it was a lost cause.
And with that, I just ate three of the four vegetarian appetizers on Eclipse's menu. The only things left are salads and vegetable potstickers. Hmm, I guess I could hit up Eclipse's sister restaurants, Dome and Capers and Lemons, for a little variety. And I might just do that. One day.
1020 N. Union St., Wilmington, DE 19805
Mon-Fri: 11:30am-2pm, 5:30pm-10pm