Less than half a mile’s walk from my fantastic accommodations, State Street Inn, I strolled along Kings Highway. On one side, the Governor’s Mansion welcomed me onto unguarded grounds with no security to linger around the lawns and small garden, complete with brick and stone walkways, arbor, and fountain. Once I completed that little diversion, I walked directly across the street for dinner at the brand-new Tavern on Kings.
Formerly Governor’s Café, Tavern on Kings opened in September 2021 after comprehensive renovations, only about a week before I arrived. This American restaurant and gastropub is housed in a gorgeous, sprawling, three-story mansion, the historic Leason House, built in 1857 and supplemented with a tower in 1885. Inside, the honey-colored wood floors, walls, ceilings, fireplace surrounds, staircases, and banisters attest to the building’s age and history, as do the archival photos of what Dover used to look like.
Although the interior is engaging (the bold blue walls are particularly pleasing), I took a seat outside on the gracious wraparound front porch overlooking well-manicured grounds and the brick driveway. It’s the perfect spot to enjoy lots of greenery, a historic setting, perhaps a little chat with the head chef who pops outside every now and then, and a very satisfying meal.
Try This: A fresh lemonade will quench your thirst on a sultry Dover evening. Then you’ll absolutely love the delicious hand-battered fried green tomatoes with tabasco mayonnaise and garnished with arugula, cherry tomatoes, bacon, and pickled onions. For your main course, opt for the mojito grilled chicken topped with Mexican cheese, beans, and pico de gallo, accompanied by roasted potatoes and perfectly grilled asparagus. Conclude your meal with a slice of heavenly lemon-blueberry mascarpone cake.
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