By Vittoria Woodill


WILMINGTON, Del. (CBS) — Amidst a starry Sorrento sky, Bardea in Wilmington exudes an amber glow signaling that it’s time to sit down, relax and relish in their Italian menu.

One so stellar, they’ve been dubbed a James Beard Award semi-finalist for best new restaurant. Bardea is only six months old, but it could be said that for owner Scott Stein and chef Antimo Dimeo, their success was written in the stars.

Six years ago, they were invited to the Beard House, where chefs perform by presenting dinners to foundation members and the public.

“Antimo and I on the train home from the Beard House said, ‘It’s Beard or bust,'” Stein said.

Which makes the win even more unbelievable.

“I was shell-shocked, blown away,” Dimeo said.

It’s a testament to their standards.

“For me, good is not good enough, so we always push it to that next level to make it great,” Dimeo said.

And you will get great from their calamari …

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… the creamy, three-ingredient cacio di pepe …

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… and their signature root vegetable pave.

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Vittoria Woodill