5 West Monument Ave.
Dayton, OH 45402
Serving downtown Dayton now for more than a decade, The Wine Gallery sits on the bank of the river as an upscale spot where people like to visit after a show in the arts venues or to enjoy time with friends and try a new glass of wine. It’s a cozy place to bring a group of people, with a patio to enjoy and, nicely, food that is tasty while not breaking the bank.
The menu has a Mediterranean influence and features a lunch of salads, sandwiches and pizzas and a dinner than expands to some seafood, steak and pasta entrees. Generally speaking, the dishes are a little smaller than you might find elsewhere, but the prices are on par so I’d keep that in mind. Some of the things that I liked:
- Sun-Dried Tomato Burger: This burger comes cooked to order and served with fresh mozzarella and sun-dried tomatoes. It’s then topped with balsamic syrup and basil. It’s a very fresh flavor with the tomato kicking forward.
- BLT Sandwich: The sandwich is made with half a dozen pieces of bacon and served on a buttery croissant. It’s absolutely delicious, and well worth a quick bite.
- Goat Cheese and Caramelized Onion Pizza: A thin crust pizza with a liberal amount of goat cheese and mounds of caramelized onions, get this one if you love balsamic vinegar. The combo is awesome.
- Crab cakes: Lumps of crab meat cooked until just a bit crispy on the outside, and still amazing. Recommend getting a side like a salad or a veggie to make for a nice dinner.
- House Salad: Served with your choice of dressing, but the house version is really worth a mention. Mango chardonnay–it’s got the kick of fruit in the fruit but a pungent flavor. I’m a big fan.
Service here is fantastic. The bar is a small operation, and its staff is friendly and it remains a relatively peaceful, low key place both on the busy weekend nights and during the day. That said, I would recommend the place best as either a lunch spot or as a place to bring a group of friends. The mood lighting is bright, and I think that’ conducive to a higher-energy crowd.
This spot is a very cozy one, an intimate feel to a downtown restaurant that has a refined touch you can’t find elsewhere in this area. I definitely liked the place over a few visits, and found I’d happily return.
- The spot does lunch! In spite of it being so close to the core of downtown, I’ve found lunch is a good time to appreciate the place and its food.
- Reservations highly recommended on weekend nights! They do serve walk-ins, but you’d be S.O.L. if they were full, and the inside of the bar doesn’t seat a huge number of people.
- The wine flights are nice, you’ll have an enjoyable time trying some new things.