1061 Miamisburg-Centerville Road
Dayton, OH 45459
website As Dayton’s restaurant world goes, Chef Anne Kearney is the cream of the crop. Cutting her teeth on the business alongside Chef Emeril Lagasse in New Orleans, she settled down in the south suburbs with a French-inspired concept, Rue Dumaine, with a nice upscale feel that has become a favorite in Dayton for years. After some scaling back, she’s re-launched Bar Dumaine, a re-brand of the concept with a bit of a scaled-down feel. The interior of the classic bar feels freshened up a bit and the menu has some very approachable features, setting a James Beard award-nominated chef up to carry her concept to the future.
Bar Dumaine focuses a bit less on the classic French dishes than its predecessor did, with more attention focused on high-quality takes on things a Midwestern audience might like, with things like burgers and sandwiches taking a more prominent place on the menu. Some of the things I liked:
- Burger: At last! A burger on the menu. This one is topped with a nice Gruyere cheese and griddled onions and some potent Dijon mustard. By default, cooked medium well. This one is juicy and has that nice potent forward taste of the mustard first.
- Mussels and fries: Undoubtedly a French classic, the bowl of mussels is generous and the combination of the two things is delightful.
- Mushroom Waffle: Here’s an interesting combination; a waffle topped with sauteed mushrooms and goat cheese. It kind of reminds you of a poutine, though to be sure not one that you’d think to make at home. Very interesting.
- Brussels sprouts: Baked up with bacon and shallots and served as a side dish. I like this one as a side to one of the heavier sandwiches. It can be a bit oily though.
- Pecan Tart: My favorite dessert, it reminds you of the very welcoming Pecan Pie but without quite all the heaviness therein.
- Sorbet: A nice, chocolate experience that has an almost custard-like feel but retains the welcoming airy taste of a sorbet.
The bar has retained that grand interior feel, with a wide-open dining concept with relatively few things to break it up, an extensive bar where great cocktails are made, and a very welcoming staff that is frequently checking back on guests to make sure everything is going well. Chef Anne makes her rounds in the evenings as well to talk to guests and make sure things are going well.
- The lunch crowd is considerably lighter, and some of the prices easier, and so if you’re looking for a relaxed meal this is a bit more low-key.
- On the other hand, the fine dining experience is best saved for evenings, when the restaurant trades the mood for one that is a bit more erudite.
- If you like French cuisine, this is going to be an option you will really want to consider.