In theory, I only review restaurants and avoid grocers and other non-direct service food providers. However, Dorothy Lane Market has an in-house bakery and dessert shop complete with upstairs patio seating at each of its three Dayton locations. The self-billed “gourmet grocer” has a variety of upscale and unusual grocery items attracting people, but its bakery is just as much a restaurant as the places down the street. The market’s in-house assets have proven just as attractive as any other bakery in town. In fact, some of them are better. That said, I think most will count “DLM” as local food, and everyone else can consider it an exception to my rules.
Tarts, cupcakes, cannolis, brownies and cakes, DLM has a wide variety of desert items catering to just about everyone, with a particularly strong menu of international bakery items, from french bread to croissants and Italian desserts. Confections the world over find their way into the Dorothy Lane Market display cases, and you will be shocked at just how close they are to the real thing. Now I’ll admit a real, genuine French croissant is impossible outside the French-speaking world, you’d be amazed at how much a DLM confection will remind you of home. It’s the same with so many different items.
Even the simplest items are just all-around good. There are stuffed pastries with almond paste and chocolate drizzle, there are plain croissants and cupcakes. Even simple chocolate chip cookies. They’re remarkable. I can’t believe it, but a lot of the dessert items here are actually my favorite dessert dishes of any restaurant.
I should also note Dorothy Lane Market has a chief specialty among its desserts: the Killer Brownie. There are a few iterations of this chocolate monstrosity the size of a brick, but some are filled with peanut butter, others with toffee, and still more covered in sweet powder and chocolate chips and nuts. The brownies are so incredibly rich it’s hard to eat them by themselves or in one sitting. You’ll have to come back later. It’s a trait many of the extremely rich desserts have, to their great credit.
The service is remarkable, not only in the dessert section but all over the store. The store effectively relies on local kids and trains them well and a large number of trained chefs provide an effective backbone. I always feel like someone is taking care to make the experience the best. There is so much good to say about Dorothy Lane Market. Its delicacies are only one of the things you absolutely must try when you’re in town.
- Remember, Dorothy Lane Market is an entire grocery store, not just a dessert place. You’ll find a lot of exotic items here to take advantage and cook a meal of your own.
- The market also has an in-house delicatessen, butcher, and coffee shop but I won’t be reviewing those.
- Flagship items include the killer brownies and the baby cakes, but really everything is good.