While many of Dayton’s best restaurants have found their way into the trendier newer developments, Dominique’s Bistro and Bar sticks with the old-fashioned pedestrian-friendly charm that is downtown Oakwood. Once known as C’est Tout, this spot remains in many ways the same in the capable hands of Chef Dominique Fortin. But the jazzed-up concept of this concept has also allowed its staff to experiment with some interesting and new takes on French cuisine. To be sure, the name may be different, but this is still one restaurant you won’t want to miss.
Conceived in 1983 as a fine dining spot for the Mariemont Inn in northeastern Cincinnati, The National Exemplar is one of the fancy and upscale amenities of the historic Mariemont destination. The National Exemplar is a bit of a formal place and a steakhouse in the evenings, and during the day it’s also a well-known brunch spot with a patio right along the main stretch. A little bit of a historic feel dominates the low lit dining room where you’ll be served top quality steaks and a variety of other American classics.
Dublin Pub is a popular bar and nightspot forming the east anchor of downtown Dayton’s Oregon District, the Dublin Pub is an awesome place, a wide-open but dark interior, and ample porch with a great view of the nightlife nearby, and a huge stage for music. It’s a well-known hotspot.
Along Cincinnati’s eastern edge, Bella Luna has a surprisingly modest exterior which hides some incredibly tasty Italian food. The humble little place serves up a very modern comfortable atmosphere and a very friendly menu. Some of the tastiest items here have garnered the nice little restaurant a mountain of awards. At the 2011 Taste of Cincinnati food festival, they brought home a trophy that explains it all: “Best Damn Dish.” You will undoubtedly taste some of the best damn food in the city. Far from the prominence of other Cincinnati eateries, this place is a far undervalued jewel in the Queen City’s crown.