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Dinner in Dayton

  • m

I'm looking for a legendary, well kept secret, dining experience in Dayton. Price is not an issue. Good and cheap or expensive and worth it, either way works.

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  1. It's not a secret, but it is legendary. The Pine Club on Brown Street in the U.D. area. Great steaks! I love the stewed tomatoes and the Red and Blue Cheese dressing.

    1. A legendary but well-kept secret seems likem somewhat of an oxymoron to me; however, in a place like Dayton where the ground sirloin dinner at the Golden Corral is considered exotic, The Pine Club is about as close as you're going to get.

      1. here's mine: PEPITO'S mexican. the original one in north dayton. an excellent old school mexican experience.

        1. I like Mi Terra on Linden Ave for traditional (not tex-mex) Mexican, and Jeet India on Col Glenn across from Wright-State for Indian food. I like C'est Tout on Far Hills for French Bistro, but the only truly legendary Dayton restaurants are the Pine Club for steaks and Jay's (in the Oregon District) for seafood.


          1. Disregard anything but the Pine Club, it is the only one that truly fits your description of 'legendary'. All the other eating places,with the exception of Golden Corral, are good places to go, but the Pine Club is the only true legend.

            1. the pine club is the best steak place.


              my uncle retired as the executive chef at pine club a while back.
              talk about having good meat for the home cook outs.

              1 Reply
              1. re: mustangmike_50

                We live in Columbus and when I asked last year, they told me they buy their meat from Michael's in Columbus, which used to have a retail store and occasionally has truck load sales.

              2. The Pine Club is the best place for steaks. They don't take reservations and everyone has to stand in line even the first President Bush who always ate there. The best ribs are at Old Hickory.

                1. Straying from steakhouses ... Personally, if I had one night to have any meal in the area it would be the Winds Cafe in Yellow Springs. Not a far drive depending on what part of Dayton you are speaking of.

                  If it must be directly in Dayton then yes the Pine Club or, as Niki mentioned, Jay's Seafood in the Oregon District. Can't get much more central Dayton than that. I love it for the atmosphere and the wine list stands up pretty well.

                  1. I agree that the atmosphere and the wine list are the highlights at Jays, and I think the food has improved again. Jay's has been in continuous operation for 35 years, owned and operated by Jay Haverstick. In my opinion, the food declined for a while, but appears to be getting better again. The service has always been good. I love the wine tastings on Friday evenings and Saturday afternoons at Jay's Kitchen Door, right behind the restaurant itself. Joe, the wine guy, is a nice, non-snobby, and knowledgeable guy. Of course, Jay himself is the real inspiration for the wine list.

                    1. Mash: I moved from Dayton six years ago but return regularly for business/family reasons. While I love the town, it has historically been an adventuresome eater's worst nightmare. My opinions:
                      1) I know this borders on blasphemy, but while the Pine Club may be the best steak in Dayton, it is hardly "legendary". They do not even use USDA Prime beef. The quality doesn't even approach the truly surreal steakhouses, like St. Elmo's in Indy. I'm not slamming it, but you have to like dark, clubby places and not expect the world-class steaks some will claim you'll find. The Oakwood Club, about three miles south, has a comparable atmosphere and similar quality beef but their menu has far more variety than the PC, and it's all excellent.
                      2) LVManager--you nailed it. I'd pick the Winds in Yellow Springs. It's the most unique cuisine in the area. The chef can occasionally get a bit too creative, in my opinion, but mostly it's just super. Cool atmosphere, too.
                      3) Haven't been there in several years, but El Meson in W. Carrollton was a very reliable place for tapas with a fun atmosphere. The family runs the place with passion. I'm not a tapas expert, but have rarely ordered anything there (10+ visits) that was disappointing. It's ideal if you're going with a group.
                      Good luck, and please follow up and let us know where you went and how you liked it.

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: Ignatz

                        FWIW I agree with you on the Pine Club. Although it's good, I had a great meal at the Oakwood Club when I was back home in December. I had a surf and turf that, honestly, has yet to be beat here in Las Vegas. The Pine Club will always have a place in my heart but I wasn't at all disappointed with the meal I had at the Oakwood Club.

                        BTW -- I checked out the new menu at the Winds Cafe since it had reopened from winter and I'm completely jealous that I can't eat there now. The menu looks fantastic.

                      2. Hey Mash, have you tried any of the above recommendations yet? Give us some feedback.

                        1. Niki-THANK YOU for saying what I have been thinking. Grew up in Oakwood, get back for family, but will never understand the whole Pine Club thing and while I am at it, Marion's pizza. Sorry folks, had to get that off my chest.

                          With that said, LOVE the Winds, Meadowlark, C'est Tout, the Indian place out by the Dayton Mall whose name escapes me, and Milano's for the subs. Grew up on those. subs If you happen to venture to Oakwood, you must stop at Graeter's ice cream. A Cincy creation but happy there is an outpost. Now if we could get an outlet here in DC....

                          PS, can't comment on the Oakwood Club....um never been there,,,,oh the irony....