Perched high atop Kettering Tower, Dayton’s tallest skyscraper, the elite Dayton Racquet Club is a members-only social establishment with a number of amenities, the most remarkable of which is a restaurant and lounge on the building’s 29th floor. It’s at this exclusive club that Dayton’s elite rub shoulders whether it’s for a gathering of business leaders over breakfast, a light lunch with a source, or cocktails after hours. The Racquet Club is good to its members, and the food here, matching the view, is top-notch.
Racquet Club, really, does just about any kind of cuisine; the breakfasts I’ve had here rival the best diner fare I’ve had, while lunches are more of a bistro concept with sandwiches, salads and light cuisine. Dinner, though, is a complete turf destination, with lamb shanks, pork tenderloin, prime rib and fillet mignon. Some of my favorite dishes from Racquet Club:
- Classic Caesar salad: The dressing is creamy with a light citrus. Definitely best with a little chicken to accentuate it.
- Roasted butternut squash soup: Perfect for a cold day. This one’s actually made with pumpkin seeds and a little bit of paprika and sage. The cream on the top of it really drives the autumn flavor home.
- Thai tofu spring roll: This one’s almost an appetizer, but it’s a vermicelli noodle and veggie roll with a little bit of tofu in it. It’s served with coconut curry, but I’ve tried it with an apricot sauce they sometimes have, and that’s where it’s best.
- Biscuits and gravy: I’ve only had this one at business breakfasts at Racquet Club, but if you’re ever up here for breakfast, go for it. The sausage gravy is extra, extra thick, and every bit of the biscuit is crunchy and buttery. It’s not on the menu for lunch or dinner, though.
- Shrimp Salad croissant: This sandwich is served with a cool seafood salad and a bit of veggie. All of it hits a very light profile.
- Chocolate tart: One of countless desserts offered now and then at the Racquet Club, this tart features a nice chocolate custard. A crunchy graham cracker crust tops it off.
- Burger: The secret to this burger is the combo of crispy onions and a creamy sauce; crunchy and sweet at the same time.
- Old Fashioned: A little spicy, a little sweet, and altogether a great mix! You’ll want a good whisky to go with it. I personally think Knob Creek is my favorite, but the bartender might have better ideas.
- Raspberry tartlets: Simple. Elegant. Appetizers that are often sold for group events.
Service is exceptional, the people are very attentive and the bartenders are great. The food takes a little longer to come out than your average restaurant may typically provide, but I would say the quality is there to match. Of course, with a membership-based club, the people seem to get to know the customers and what they like very well, and they’re attentive. Both the front end and the back end of the house seem experienced. The price is notably higher than many other spots of course, with the membership and all, so that should be taken into account. Also, they don’t let anyone dine here unless they bring a member, so that is frustrating. But really, if you’re looking into membership, I can tell you the food and experience for the dining part of this longtime Dayton holds up.
- So the club is members-only. You have to have someone in your group that is a member to go to either the dining area or the bar, and I haven’t heard of any way around that, except if you come invited as a group, like the local chamber of commerce breakfast.
- There’s an all-day menu of relatively inexpensive fare.
- Kettering Tower has a garage for parking.