1222 E Stroop Rd.
Dayton, OH 45429
websiteKettering is one of Dayton’s biggest suburbs, so it’s no surprise that the things that really thrive among its neighborhoods bring the comforts of home. Chef Candace Rinke’s Hawthorn Grill along Stroop Road is a natural fit for this part of town, with its friendly and approachable menu that focuses on the generous portions of comfort foods in an atmosphere that is friendly to families and gives star treatment to the simple delights, the meat and potatoes of American cuisine. This is a kind of place you’ll want to bring your parents to try.
The menu has a variety of Americana cuisine. Some of my favorites:
- Steak tips and mushrooms: Mushrooms are something of a Hawthorn Grill signature. Here, they are sauteed in a port wine sauce with juicy steak tips and served atop mashed potatoes. A balanced dish. It’s especially great considering the dish is relatively reasonably priced but it’s the kind of dish you would find at a top-notch steak place elsewhere, and the quality is on par.
- The ‘Grill’ burger: This half-pound burger is cooked to order (medium temperature seems to be recommended) topped with bacon, caramelized onions and a white cheddar with a bit of sharpness to it. The burger is huge but just a little bit blackened on the outside no matter how you order it. The corn and red pepper slaw that comes with it also steals the show, the acidity on this one is prominent and it’s fantastic.
- Pesto risotto: A busy dish, this risotto is cooked with homemade pesto, spinach, tomatoes, wild mushrooms and balls of fresh mozzarella cheese. Sounds like a lot, but the risotto has a full flavor and it’s very filling.
- Sauteed shrimp: Large shrimp buttered and served over a bed of cavatappi pasta, with a lemon-dill sauce and spinach. Nice for a half order if you’re less hungry.
The restaurant has a very cozy, classic interior feel, which is definitely conducive to a little bit of an older crowd. Chef Rinke makes a regular appearance among its tables to talk to regulars and introduce new dishes and concepts. The service at the spot is exemplary, it’s definitely geared toward having a slower, more quality dining experience. Comfort food in a comfortable setting — is there anything else you could ask for? The spot also does a Sunday brunch, one of the nice spots in town that offers that.
The Hawthorn Grill is perfect in this corner of Kettering. An elegant concept with a taste for the American cuisine that welcomes families, groups and others. It is a huge credit to the city that places like this thrive, because it just makes the act of dining out so enjoyable. I highly recommend it.
- The lunch and dinner menus often have very different items on them, and I’d advise they might be suited for different crowds.
- Steak dishes are classy and simple, and I highly suggest trying one of them.
- The spot isn’t open Mondays.