Joe H

Dayton, OH

15 posts in this topic

http://www.nola.com/...ef_anne_ke.html is an absolutely inspirational story about a great American chef, Anne Kearney. She won the Beard Award for the Southeast in 2002 and then because of a brain aneurisym, walked away from what was then, New Orleans best restaurant, Peristyle. Returning to Dayton, Ohio she took two years off and then eased her way back into the kitchen. Now, she is nominated for a new James Beard Award for best chef in the Great Lakes Region.

Incredible story.

I sincerely hope she beats out the four Chicago restaurants she is running against in her category.

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Rue Dumaine is lovely. Quite a bit more casual than Peristyle, and definitely has an upwind battle to fight in Washington Township. But Annie and her team are fabulous, and the quality gets to the plate.

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This place is less than 20 miles from my parents' house. Who knew? Thanks for bringing this up!

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How kid friendly is it? We're doing a midwestern road trip this summer and had planned to stop in Springfield, OH but Dayton isn't much farther.

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The space is pretty open, and the vibe is reasonably casual--it's in a suburban strip mall. I've only ever been on midweek nights, so don't know what the crowding/noise situation is.

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I sincerely hope she beats out the four Chicago restaurants she is running against in her category.

On a tangential note, there's historical precedent for the Beard Award going to the only of five nominees that's not in one city: witness Vetri being the only Philadelphia restaurant that beat out four other contenders from Washington, DC. - the DC vote got split that year, and all the "non DC" votes went to Vetri. May not be fair, but it's a theory of mine that seems plausible.

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The space is pretty open, and the vibe is reasonably casual--it's in a suburban strip mall. I've only ever been on midweek nights, so don't know what the crowding/noise situation is.

There is a Five Guys next door, too.

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I realize now that I have never posted anything about Dayton, which is a city I typically visit a few times a year for work. That's probably for the best, as it seems like on each trip I find a place that I actually quite like, only to have it close by the time I return.  Having just got back today, here are a few thoughts.

Lily's - Had dinner here last night. In the Oregon District. It's good. I don't think it would particularly stand out in DC, but it's a good solid menu, that does proper cocktails, and has good, quality service. It's new, and assuming it survives, I'll return.

Century Bar - For some reason my client wanted to have dinner at 5:30 last night, which left me out on my own much earlier than I would be normally. I'd passed this place while walking around earlier, and noticed that it billed itself as a "House of Bourbon." Given that a glass of whiskey was pretty much exactly what I wanted, I walked back downtown (this place is located in the downtown, which is walking distance to the Oregon District, but not particularly close to anything else, unless, like me, you're staying at the Crowne Plaza) to check it out. Great looking classic bar. More than 90 bourbons available (apparently every bourbon you are allowed to serve in Ohio). Very knowledgeable bartenders. Also some beers by the bottle and can. I saw them making a few cocktails, but I never asked for the cocktail list.

Oregon Express - Didn't go here this week, but I've been a few times. Quality pizza, and a really good beer list.

Blind Bob's - Many locals have recommended this place to me, and I have eaten here twice. It's fine bar food, but I would say it is essentially the same as eating at the Argonaut in DC. However, on my last visit (in November) we did inadvertently see a heavy metal band who performed a song titled "Cobra Wolf." Given that possibility, you may want to move it up on your list.

Roost - Again, didn't visit it this trip, but last trip had a very nice Italian meal here. Also in the Oregon (I tend to go there as I typically stay at the Crowne Plaza downtown and this is an easy walk). More upscale than any of the other places listed.

Smokin' BBQ - Located right in between downtown and the Oregon. I think this is a quite solid place, and I love the bare bones atmosphere and that I'm always the only person there in a suit.

Lucky's Tap Room - In the Oregon. Food is fine, nothing particularly special, but they do have a very good draft beer selection.

I haven't been since they moved, but I've had several nice meals at Coco's over the years. There's a new restaurant that friends of mine have recommended called Salar. It's in the exact same spot as at least three other restaurants that I've enjoyed in the past, but I can't speak to it other than that it looks nice, and others have said good things.

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Hey, I work with the mother of the Executive Chef at Lily's, and keep meaning to make my way over there, given I travel to Dayton several times a month. Glad to hear it's good! Mariah (the Executive Chef) is a fine young lady, hard worker, and has put her time in in several local establishments, so i'm not surprised...

Also, why have i never posted in this thread before? Some quick hits from outside of the city:

Gyro Palace -- a good, casual stop for greek food (gyros, souvlaki, hummos)

Amar India -- solid Indian food...cetainly the best in the area

China Cottage -- excellent Chinese food, and imho, better than anything i get here in DC. Because of that, I eat here every trip I make (and, as a Jew, I'm legally obligated to regularly consume Chinese food).

The Pub -- surprisingly good Scotch Eggs, and selection of W(h)iskeys from this gastropub chain. Good happy hour deals, too.

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Yeah, I was quite pleased with Lily's. The menu was good, prices seemed reasonable to me (but they are on the high side for Dayton) and I enjoyed everything I ate. I'd definitely hit it up. Salar, across the street, is on my list for my next trip into town.

Most of the business I do in Dayton is in the downtown, so I try not to get a car if possible. As a result, my dining tends to be whatever I can walk to from my hotel.

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If you are in Dayton and have a car, it's worth a 20 minute drive to the lovely little town of Yellow Springs for lunch or dinner at The Winds. Yellow Springs is home to the famously liberal and experimental Antioch University, which has helped Yellow springs maintain a hippie vibe and devil-may-care attitude. Fun place to stroll for a couple of hours. There are lovely biking or walking trails that begin in the center of town, and some nice hiking nearby.

The Winds practiced farm to table long before anyone else around here. The restaurant is attached to a wine store, where you can choose a bottle for dinner. The food is fresh, uncomplicated, seasonal and reasonably priced. Always good vegetarian options. You can be casual or dressed up. Make reservations. The place is small and it fills up.

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DoubleDays Grill and Tavern is an old school, no frills, dank-y (http://youtu.be/VZJXqdFeRNA) restaurant located in a chain mall outside of the city down Rte. 48. The place had a wait to get in at noon on a Thursday, and is clearly a real locals joint given how many times I heard the bartender ask "do you want the usual?" I opted for a side house salad with my turkey ruben and the salad was so large I thought they served me the dinner portion by accident. The ruben was solid and workman-like = bread, turkey, russian dressing, slaw. No silly add-ons like lettuce and tomato. The french onion soup was prepared very well (melted and charred cheese), but the broth was lacking in flavor and tasted just ok. The place has a huge menu, and serves pizza as well. I look forward to a return trip.

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DoubleDays Grill and Tavern is good solid food and definitely a locals place. It's in Centerville which is a little south of Dayton in the same shopping center as Earth Fare.

For another place in Dayton, I would recommend The Pine Club which is old school-no frills.

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I thought I was going to have some new Dayton places to report on from this week's quick trip. Due to multiple flight delays, however, the only place I found still serving food within walking distance of my hotel (besides Arby's) was again, Lucky's Taproom. They have a very good beer selection, the bartenders are great, and the food is perfectly fine. They also apparently play bingo on Tuesday nights, which was fortunately wrapping up when I arrived. 

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I recently had a very good dining experience at J Alexander's Redlands Grill in Dayton, Ohio. My friend suggested it, saying it's a good regional steak and seafood joint. I ordered the Steak 'N' Fries, which also came with a Caesar salad. The salad was great and one of the best Caesar's I've ever had: large, good-looking lettuce, seemingly housemade croutons, ample dressing that was very tasty and had just enough kick. It's a salad worth adding meat to and eating as a main. The Steak was also excellent, a perfect medium rare, served with a melting pat of butter on top. The fries were the shoe-string variety, crispy, and tasty. This was an excellent meal, at a very reasonable price ($24.95).

Service was also great. They use the "team-style" approach where everyone sees every table as their responsibility. Refills were anticipated, sides were remembered, all by multiple staffers.

I look forward to working my way through the menu of this place. (My friend says it's the type of place where everything is good, and I think he's right.)

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