The Wellington Grille

A bit off the beaten path in Beavercreek east of Dayton, The Wellington Grille caters to a bit of an older crowd but it’s still filled up pretty easily even on weekend nights. This Americana-style grill and steakhouse isn’t too formal a place to visit, but it’s kept a good reputation as an approachable meal. Perhaps the interior could use a refresh, but the food you have here will be a familiar and comforting thing. This spot has been around for a few years and doesn’t turn a lot of heads, but it’s a good date night spot.

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The Buffet at Monte Carlo

In Vegas, they say it’s all about the buffets. Indeed most casinos on the strip have one, and you can walk right in and eat without gambling. In fact many are comped right to your room. Such is the case with The Buffet at Monte Carlo. Most used by the guests of the hotel itself the place has a plethora of options it serves for lunch and dinner. Of course, this casino was created by MGM as more of a budget option for the strip. You’ll find the buffet matches. In quality, not price.

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Roost Modern Italian

As one of the most upscale dining options in Dayton’s Oregon District, Roost Modern Italian is the favored creation of Chef Dana Downs, one of the best chefs in the city. The spot doesn’t occupy a lot of real estate, but in its short time in operation the restaurant has driven a huge following for its refined menu. The innovative concept takes numerous classic Italian dishes and gives them a contemporary tint with some refinement. It’s not always easy to get in, but there’s a good reason; the restaurant blends European flavors with Midwestern palettes.

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Amber Rose

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.

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Carillon Brewing Co.

Now open in Dayton’s historic Carillon Park, the Carillon Brewing Co. has a whole different take on your traditional brewery concept. The folks here brew their beer in historic fashion — with recipes and brewing styles like they were in the 1850’s. Among the copper kettles, wooden barrels and a lot of interesting history to go along with it. The spot brews it’s own beers using recipes that hearken to the 1850s. But what really drives me here is the food. It’s an excellent assortment of German and European delicacies to match the beers on tap. While the spot is definitely worth going to for a drink, you’re really going to want to eat something when you’re there.

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Giovanni’s Italian Ristorante

Since 1953, Giovanni’s Italian Ristorante has been a staple of the Fairborn community. Offering authentic Italian food and pizza, it serves and delivers to Dayton residents and Wright State University students alike. While pizza brings the students to the business, the rest of the clientele is drawn by homemade pasta and Italian sandwiches. This place is the epitome of the “hole in the wall.” It’s been in its present location on main street since 1984.

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Dorothy Lane Market

In theory, I only review restaurants and avoid grocers and other non-direct service food providers. However, Dorothy Lane Market has an in-house bakery and dessert shop complete with upstairs patio seating at each of its three Dayton locations. The self-billed “gourmet grocer” has a variety of upscale and unusual grocery items attracting people, but its bakery is just as much a restaurant as the places down the street. The market’s in-house assets have proven just as attractive as any other bakery in town. In fact, some of them are better. That said, I think most will count “DLM” as local food, and everyone else can consider it an exception to my rules.

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