1400 Valley St.
Dayton, OH 45402
Amber Rose is a bit of an under-appreciated restaurant just northeast of downtown Dayton that caters to a number of European cuisines, ranging from German and Polish food to Hungarian, Italian and even Russian. The spot doesn’t advertise a ton so it’s not very well known out in the suburbs, but the food you find here is a great ethnic change-up from some of the other things you’ll find in town. Amber Rose offers a lot of dishes that are unique to Dayton, and it’s worth a try.
The dishes are from a wide variety of styles, but in all, I think Amber Rose does a good job of making them approachable. Some of the things I tried:
- Lithuanian Cabbage Roll: An eastern European dish, this cabbage roll is a roasted cabbage leave filled with ground beef, pork and rice. Another dish you don’t find often in Dayton, but it’s great nonetheless.
- Hunter Schnitzel sandwich: The schnitzel is a pork loin crusted in pretzel crumbs and served on a sandwich with lettuce, tomato and a spicy mustard. I’m a huge fan of the mustard, it gives the sandwich a bit of a kick.
- Three Sausage platter: Bratwurst, knockwurst and Lithuanian sausage. A great combo, one is sweeter, the next a bit spicy, and the third a very savory finish.
- Apple cobbler: Cobbler is great, the apples are great and there’s a lot of sweet and cinnamon in the cobbler. Definitely a good dessert.
- Bread pudding: Another good dessert, this is actually made with stale bread as a base and sort of a cream made with milk and eggs, as well as some spices.
- Cheese fries: I tried these, and they’re not on the menu but they weren’t that great. It’s just fries and cheese sauce with bacon bits on top.
- Gorgonzola mac and cheese: The cheese is a bit saltier than your average mac and cheese. Still great.
- Cabbage roll: Filled with spiced meat and pickled cabbage. You know, it works, and it works really well. Few places in Dayton make this delicacy.
- Turtle soup: Freshwater snapping turtle is the basis of this dish. The meat itself is pretty easy to handle, but the mix of spices make the rare dish a reality.
- Ribs: A callback to Restaurant Week, these ribs were a summer barbecue delight served with a blueberry BBQ sauce. Served with a very creamy cole slaw to balance out.
The lowlit interior of Amber Rose is sort of a popular place where groups of people go to eat. There’s a bar but it doesn’t seem to be a very active nightlife spot, so I’d suggest mainly thinking of Amber Rose as a community bar.
Another interesting little tidbit of local lore: Amber Rose is supposedly haunted. The building has been standing for more than a century and you never know — you might be one of the folks who leaves the spot with a story of an experience with “Chickee” as well as a full belly.
In all, I like Amber Rose for its community bar concept and the kinds of food that it brings to north Dayton. It’s well worth a visit, the price points are decedent, the food comes quickly, and the service is good.
- The spot caters and so that’s the way a lot of people are introduced to its food. A lot of great things to try.
- Amber Rose also has a pretty sizable menu of wines and spirits to enjoy with the food.
- A lot of the items on the menu are not found in many other restaurants in Dayton.