Opened earlier this year right between downtown Dayton’s central business district and the Oregon District, Serendipity is a low-key wine bar and light cuisine dive along St. Clair street. I like the place for its real sense of refinement; it’s not the kind of place where you feel like you have to dress up to try good wines, but at the same time, the owners of the bistro put a huge amount of effort into making sure everything is creative and top-notch. Downtown Dayton has been hurting for places like this to enrich the nightlife a little, especially with so many wine connoisseurs in this town.
The food menu is compact but has a huge variety of flavors, including a list of pizzas and salads as well as a number of sandwiches and Panini options. The smoked turkey sandwich was excellent, it was served with chipotle mayo, green peppers and roasted red peppers. It had just a little bit of heat, it makes for a great light lunch or dinner, and definitely fresh. On the other hand, the Cuban Panini was also spectacular; it’s got three kinds of meat with spicy mustard and some Cuban seasoning; it’s a different sandwich. Cuban spices are slowly working their way into mainstream restaurants like this.
I was also able to sample one of the items of the day, a delicious pizza topped with a little bit of prosciutto and Gorgonzola cheese and just a hint of pear to really knock it out of the ballpark. The perfect kind of lunch for a couple. Among the desert options are a lemon curd cheesecake topped nicely with raspberry. The apple cinnamon cheesecake has a crispness to it, almost like apple pie. My favorite, though, was the chocolate cheesecake; it’s made with a perfect blend of light and dark cocoa with the texture of a thick mousse. Delightful.
The other big thing that is really endearing about the place is that the service is always good, and always friendly. The bistro is often full of little groups of people, couples or groups of two or three friends. It nonetheless feels very intimate and very welcoming. I know Dayton is full of wine lovers looking for some quality places to enjoy, and this is a good stop to add to the list.
- I really suggest you try dessert while you’re here, as the cheesecakes and other light sweets are especially good.
- I also highly suggest the place for wine lovers. It’s got a decent selection of wines, but most importantly it’s got the finesse without at all seeming like you need to dress or act a certain way to be there.
- Also, I suggest going in the evenings, first because parking is all metered on the street and second because the uncovered patio is most enjoyable in the cool evening.