First of all, thanks to Newark 'hounds for your advice. Unfortunately, I couldn't convince anyone to trek to Wilmington (I left my car at home) so we were limited to the Newark area. This is where we ate:
-Iron Hill Brewery: good beers (I had the sampler - I wasn't driving!), a very fresh salad with fresh-cut corn. Appetizers were okay, not great.
-Klondike Kate's: I was a follower here, and skeptical, but ended up liking it very much. Good hummus (who would have thought???) and my entree, penne with kalamata olives, tomato, spinach and feta, was fresh and simple. Had a nice glass of J. Lohr cab to go with it.
-Saigon Restaurant: managed to convince our class of 25+ that they should be adventurous and try Vietnamese, and we were not disappointed. Tried many dishes but the best was the duck in lemon grass - very flavorful.
Again, thanks for your recommendation - they definitely made the week livable!