A highly experimental concept that brings an ever-changing face to contemporary cuisine, Meadowlark is the kind of place you go if you’re looking for a culinary adventure. This American cuisine restaurant offers up a ton of vegetarian dishes, sandwiches, soups, and dishes with inspiration all over the globe. It’s hard to find a restaurant that truly goes out on a limb to really try and make something new. In Dayton, it can seem almost impossible. But step into this little restaurant nestled behind a strip mall in south Dayton, and you won’t regret a thing you order.
Some of the best items on the menu:
- The “Meadow:” It’s Meadowlark’s veggie burger, and it’s not your typical veggie option. It’s got a little bit of everything on it; the description on their menu described it as “whole grain, nut and vegetable burger grilled to a crispy brown,” and in fact this thing is like no veggie burger you’ve ever tasted.
- The “Lark:” A beef burger, this one has quite a new flavor to it; it’s beef and it’s cooked into red wine and topped with some rosemary to add some herbaceous flavor to it. It’s also got a mustard mayo which is good.
- Mahi Mahi Tacos with Poblano Sauce: This option is nice and spicy and very good to go by itself, though I would suggest some water or something to give it a little bit of an equalizer.
- ‘Nduja: This is a very Italian dish which you won’t find at another restaurant in town. It’s a pork spread made with spices and roasted peppers, a very interesting dish. Atop a crunchy bread to give it character.
- Ricotta tacos: Served in a corn tortilla, a mixture of goat cheese, green chiles, capers and sauced with cooked down spicy tomatoes. Serrano chiles give a bit of heat. The dish is served alongside rice with scallions and lemon as well as some refried beans. Delicious!
- Walleye: A crispy fillet of walleye served with steamed vegetables and a creamy sauce. A nice, light meal.
- Blueberry cheesecake: This cheesecake is made extra thick, classic New York style with the texture of Ricotta cheese. The cake is by itself less sweet, but it’s great when served with sweet fruit compote.
- Pork shoulder sandwich: A nice, tender shredded pork on bruschetta. Add in a nice side salad and you have a comfortable lunch.
- Georgia Reuben: A turkey Reuben topped with an Asian slaw and then grilled. It’s actually from Michigan, but this Reuben is a bit lighter than average.
- Chicken salad: This sandwich is great; the chicken salad has the great addition of a little black pepper that makes it especially good. Great with a salad or fries for a lighter lunch.
- Panna cotta: An Italian dessert, it features a creamy gelatinous cream topped with whipped cream and a candied lemon slice. Thick and tasty, a nice summertime dessert.
The atmosphere is great. It’s sort of a minimalist theme, very simple, some small decorations but otherwise a very sleek idea. It’s adorned with artwork from a few local artists too, and it gives the place a very Dayton-centric character. Not what you’d expect from a little restaurant hidden behind a forgettable strip mall south of town. In all though, Meadowlark is one of my favorite, most experimental restaurants in Dayton, and it’s something you’re missing out on if you haven’t tried it.
- A truly unique veggie burger here, and like many other dishes, something you really have to try to believe the experimental nature of the concept.
- If you like interesting apps, try the ‘nduja.
- Also, a reservation is recommended on weekend nights, the word is out about this spot.