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.
Something of a new take on the old-fashioned steakhouse, The Chop House is a restaurant with about a dozen locations in the Midwest and South. With a menu of fresh steaks and seafood, and a giant helping of sandwiches and other fare, this restaurant offers over-sized plates and a comfortable interior, and a place where folks come to relax and enjoy the company of friends in a familiar experience. The menu strives to be a quality take on foods you already know and love, but it can be a bit hit-and-miss as far as these go.
As The Banks in downtown Cincinnati has developed, the Queen City’s riverfront has become a hotspot for Reds fans, Bengals fans, and all-around, a place to get some of the best experiences the city has to offer. Of course, the riverfront isn’t just about the nightlife, though. Among the many appeals of downtown, Moerlein Lager House aims to be one of the most visible and iconinc breweries in the storied history of Cincinnati’s German brewing roots. If you’re from the area, it’s hard not to have heard the name.
It’s a furiously growing concept out of Charlotte, and as soon as you step foot into Firebirds Wood Fired Grill, the smell of smoked hickory fills your nose. This concept is a sleek and modern take on the mid-priced steakhouse restaurant, with plenty of comfort food favorites on tap for diners. Like many in this category, you tend to find only one or two locations to a city, but what it offers in quality and experience is above the bar. Firebirds has a great, well-rounded menu of steaks and sandwiches, and its presence seems to complement upscale shopping centers very well.
The hilly Colerain Township of Cincinnati’s West Side is easy to get lost in, but travel the winding roads long enough, and you’ll run across a place like Vinoklet Winery. With an eye on quality dining, this spot makes a line of its own wines and also features many high-end events and music. It’s a serene environment, lost in the foothills, with a warm fireplace and low-lit dining spaces. I can’t think of a nicer place to bring a date.
A classy, upscale dining establishment right in downtown Troy, Ohio, The Caroline seems to be well-known around the little town as a good place to get a quality meal. The Caroline offers a diverse menu of steaks, seafood, burgers and pasta. There’s an extensive outdoor patio and plenty of interior space for couples and large groups alike. It’s a real class establishment, and it brings some classy good cuisine to north Dayton.
Demos has a few locations around Nashville, it’s been a popular purveyor of Italian cuisine for quite some time. With its wide variety of delicious steaks, pasta and seafood available at relatively reasonable prices, this is a nice semi-casual place where you’ll find plenty of families and large groups feasting on delicious dishes on a cheap dime. The real charm of Demo’s is it’s such a people-friendly place; it’s always warm here, the service is always exemplary, and all in all the founding family did its job well; there’s an unmistakably contagious good mood that pervades this place as I come back year after year.
Along the banks of central Tennessee’s Old Hickory Lake, and adjacent to a home owned by country music star Gretchen Wilson, Cherokee Steak House and Marina prides itself as “The steak house of the middle south.” The very southern feel of the locale lends very much to that concept. Since 1958, the Steak House has served “beef from the heart of the corn belt,” giving patrons a scenic view of one of Tennessee’s more beautiful vistas.