12 things you must try at area’s best new sushi bar

Published: Monday, May 15, 2017 @ 6:00 AM

Whether you're in a hurry or are looking for an elegant evening out, these are the top places to get sushi in Dayton.

At the beginning of last year, Sky Asian Cuisine quietly opened on Wilmington Pike.

The restaurant location had been through several different lives by that point. It was originally built as a Perkins, became Starlite Diner and then Sidelines Sports Bar and Grill.

It is a location that has struggled to gain traction over the years.

Sky Asian Cuisine now has more than a year under its belt, and I know I am not alone in saying I hope it is here to stay.

>> RELATED: First Look at Sky Asian Cuisine (2016)

The restaurant has found a lot of fans since opening. The online reviews are glowing and the parking lot is always busy during peak hours.

A few reasons why:

The interior of Sky Asian Cuisine. Contributed photo by Alexis Larsen(Contributing Writer)

THE VIBE

The restaurant’s decor and open floor plan convey a modern, big city contemporary vibe. Two nice sized bars — one sushi and one cocktail — flank the perimeter of the space that seats approximately 120.

On one visit, the music struck a hip chord that went with the decor including tracks from M83 and Empire of the Sun. It was impressive and catchy. On other visits it sounded like elevator music was being piped in bringing the cool factor down several notches.

But you don’t go to a restaurant for the music. The Asian fusion food Sky served up on repeated visits was fantastic (although at times uneven).

>> MORE: The best places to get sushi in Dayton

The bar of Sky Asian Cuisine will have an extensive sake list. It will host a grand opening Thursday, June 30 after extensive renovations to the interior of the restaurant at 4090 Wilmington Pike. MARK FISHER/STAFF

THE DISHES

The lemon grass seafood soup ($5.50) is one of my new favorites. The light broth packs a kick with several generously sized shrimp and a smattering of tiny scallops with cellophane noodles in a tom yum broth. It’s a soup that works regardless of the weather and is an evergreen favorite. It’s light enough to satisfy during summer and packs enough heat to help take away some of the bite of winter.

The coconut seafood chowder ($6) was satisfying and tastes like an Asian version of New England clam chowder with a creamy coconut milk base.

The complimentary salad that comes with dinner is topped with a cool, creamy ginger dressing over very fresh greens punctuated with cucumber and radish. It’s simple, but done right.

The pork gyoza ($6) was served up perfectly pan fried each time we ordered it with a crispy outer shell and deliciously soft, flavorful filling.

There is a long list of appetizers to choose from, but the gyoza, Indian pancake ($5) and crispy calamari ($8) were especially great values for the price.

The snowflake roll ($15) dressed with grilled sea bass, spicy lobster and avocado wrapped in soy bean or and served with an orange mayo and eel sauce is a decadent, creamy option that is as rich and savory as it sounds. Contributed photo by Alexis Larsen(Contributing Writer)

The Kung Pao shrimp ($17) packed a fiery punch with generously sized shrimp served with stir-fried vegetables, peanuts and hot peppers. It didn’t match the pile of shrimp the menu had pictured, but was a tasty dish that hit the spot. A variety of different entrees on the extensive menu include a variety of curries and General Tso combinations.

chicken negimaki ($15) featuring sliced chicken wrapped with crab meat, scallion, mushroom and asparagus with a mango sweet chili sauce is one of several interesting, must-try dishes on the menu.

There are several pan-fried noodle options that range from $12-13 as well as sizable noodle soups ($12-15) made with Japanese udon or soba noodles. Hibachi, teriyaki, fried rice and tempura dishes are also available.

The food isn’t just pleasing to eat, these are pretty dishes that are plated with intent and a create a satisfying visual start to the meal.

>> BEST OF DAYTON: Sky Asian voted Best Asian food 

Sky Asian Cuisine’s Pacific Roll, with yellowtail, lobster salad and fresh jalapeno pepper wrapped with soybean nori and topped with tuna, salmon, black tobiko, drizzled with a creamy, spicy sauce. MARK FISHER/STAFF

THE SUSHI

The menu’s shining star is by far the myriad of choices featured when it comes to the sushi.

There are sushi bar entrees, 16 signature sushi rolls, a variety of raw and cooked handrolls as well as a full list of sashimi.

The snowflake roll ($15), dressed with grilled sea bass, spicy lobster and avocado wrapped in soy bean or and served with an orange mayo and eel sauce, is a decadent, creamy option that is as rich and savory as it sounds.

The seared truffle white tuna ($11) served with yuzu citrus and shaved truffle is a nice way to start any of the meal options you decide to pursue.

Sky Asian Cuisine’s 5th Ave. roll, consisting of salmon, tuna, yellowtail, asparagus, tobiko and dried seaweed wrapped with soybean nori and topped with wasabi olive sauce. MARK FISHER/STAFF

THE DRINKS

The restaurant features a full bar and wine, sake and cocktail lists.

The lychee martini ($8.50) — made with vodka, triple sec, lychee puree, champagne and garnished with a lychee — is a light, pleasant way to kick things off.

>> MORE: New restaurants you must try

Want to go?

WHAT: Sky Asian Cuisine

WHERE: 4090 Wilmington Pike south of Stroop Road, Kettering

HOURS: Monday through Thursday 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. and 4:30 p.m. to 10 p.m.; Friday 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. and 4:30 p.m. to 11 p.m.; Saturday noon to 11 p.m.; and Sunday noon to 10 p.m.

MORE INFORMATION: (937) 949-9883 and www.skyasiancuisine.com

Sky Asian Cuisine will host a grand opening Thursday, June 30 after extensive renovations to the interior of the restaurant at 4090 Wilmington Pike. MARK FISHER/STAFF

Why Winter Restaurant Week is the perfect time to try somewhere or something new

Published: Thursday, January 18, 2018 @ 3:02 PM



Chop House
(Chop House)

Twice a year, every year, Dayton restaurant chefs break out their most unbeatable lineups of dishes that they think you must try.
Restaurant Week is the opportunity to try a number of Dayton’s favorites without emptying your wallet. The 2018 Winter Restaurant Week is Sunday, Jan. 21 through Sunday, Jan. 28.

>> 5 new restaurants coming in 2018 you should know about

“This is a week the restaurants showcase their talents and try out new menu items at a really good value,” said Amy Zahora, executive director of the Miami Valley Restaurant Association. “The restaurants love seeing new faces and participating in Restaurant Week. The last week in January is a slower time for the restaurants and this is a way to support (them).”

>>Best of Dayton 2017 Winners: Food & Dining

Below you will find a sampling of some of the menus being offered next week. We will be updating this list as more menus are announced, so keep checking back!

Please note:  this list of participating restaurants is subject to change and reservations may be required from some participating locations. Calling ahead is recommended for details, hours and reservations (some restaurants are not open seven days a week, for example). For the most up-to-date list and information, visit dineoutdayton.com

>>Best of Dayton 2017 Winners: Bars & Nightlife

WINTER RESTAURANT WEEK PARTICIPATING RESTAURANTS

• Amber Rose

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• Basil’s on Market (Troy)

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• Basil’s on Market (Downtown)

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• Bravo

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• Brio Tuscan Grill

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• Buckhorn Tavern

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• Bunker’s Bar and Grill

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• Carver’s 

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• Chappy’s Social House 

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• Chappy’s Taproom 

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• Chop House

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• Christopher’s

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• Coco’s Bistro

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• Dewberry 1850

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• Dublin Pub

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• El Meson

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• Ele Cake Co. Bistro & Wine Bar

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• Figlio

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• Firebirds Wood Fired Grill

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• Fleming’s Prime Steakhouse

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• Franco’s

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• Hickory River Smokehouse

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• Jay’s Seafood

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• Kabuki

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• La Piazza

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• Lily’s Bistro

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• McGillicutty’s

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• Meadowlark Restaurant

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• Mills Park Hotel- Ellie’s Restaurant

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• Nellys

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• Nick’s Restaurant

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• Packy’s Sports Bar

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• Pasha Grill

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• Roost Modern Italian

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• Season’s Bistro

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• Smith’s Boat House

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• Sunrise Cafe

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• Sweeney’s Seafood

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• The Caroline

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• The Dock

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• The Melting Pot

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• Wandering Griffin

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• Watermark

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• Wellington Grill

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• Wheat Penny

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• Winds Cafe 

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Have you tried this pizza that Daytonians are willing to wait hours for?

Published: Thursday, August 31, 2017 @ 6:00 AM

We look at one of Dayton's best kept secrets--the pizza at Kramers.

There’s no doubting the Gem City loves its pizza, and Daytonians are pretty fortunate to have a plethora of pizza options from which to choose. Whether it’s a chain joint you’re feeling or something a little more local, there’s no shortage of places to go. 

>>Your guide to the best Dayton-area pizza

But when you mention the bar and restaurant Kramers, located at 1018 Irving Ave., people immediately react. A variation of two things usually come up: 1) They serve beer in the classic 40-oz. bottles, and 2) The pizza. While beer, and booze in general, tends to sell itself, it’s tough to fake the funk on food. Though Kramers has had a kitchen serving your standard bar food for decades, it wasn’t until the 1990s that they started serving their now-famous pizza. 

>> Did your favorite make the list? 10 best pizza places in Ohio

Just what is it about this pizza at this 84-year-old Dayton institution? It depends on who you ask.

The pizza is one of the main reasons people come to Kramer's.(Jim Ingram)

>> Cassano’s to relocate, upgrade another of its pizza restaurants

“A lot of that comes down to the sauce,” said manager Jessica Pricci. “One of the things we put in our sauce is 100-percent pure Italian olive oil.”

Others prefer the authentic Italian-style crust.

"I liked their pizza,” said Douglas Shrout, a former Kramers employee. “The salt and crust combo went good with the beer and peanuts.”

Regardless of the reasons, if beer is #1 at Kramers, the pizza is a close second.

>> Your ultimate guide to the best burgers in Dayton

“(The pizza) is everything,” said kitchen manager Matt South. “Take the pizza out of here, it’s just regular bar food. We may not even have a kitchen otherwise.”

Just how popular is this pie? While most orders can usually be picked up in 30 minutes on most nights, Kramers customers have been known to wait up to two hours -- particularly University of Dayton basketball nights -- to sink their teeth into this super cheesy item. 

“Sometimes people will be late for the game,” South added.

>> Dayton named a top 10 city for pizza lovers

And while we’re on the subject, Kramers uses a generous blend of both shredded mozzarella and provolone. They also order their pepperoni from a Chicago-based Italian family who makes their own.

Recently, Kramers did something it rarely does: offer a discount on their pies. Tuesday nights feature $2 off any 16-inch pizza.

But is it the crust or the sauce that’s the superstar? Loyal Kramers patron Chet Cheadle thought he had the answer. 

>>ICYMI: 40 years later: Racial makeup at area colleges have not changed

“I love the crust. I don’t know...the sauce, probably.”

Here’s where you can get FREEBIES for National Tea Day 

Published: Thursday, January 18, 2018 @ 6:00 AM

Dunkin' Donuts offers free samples of its flavored tea for National Tea Day. CONTRIBUTED
Dunkin' Donuts offers free samples of its flavored tea for National Tea Day. CONTRIBUTED

Let’s get this parTEA started! 🍵

Dunkin’ Donuts will celebrate its version of a National Tea Day on Friday, Jan. 19 at all of its Dayton and Greater Cincinnati area locations. 

>>RELATED: Belmont's best-kept lunch secret

They’ll be offering free samples of their flavored teas, including for the occasion. 

>>UPDATE: Dunkin’ Donuts confirms location of its 6th Dayton-area shop

Dunkin' Donuts offers free samples of its flavored tea for National Tea Day. CONTRIBUTED

Their flavor lineup is as follows: Bold BreakfastHibiscus KissHarmony LeafChamomile Fields (forever!) and Cool Mint, which is similar to a Girl Scout cookie but more than half the calories. 

>>MORE: This event pairs 5 Girl Scout Cookies with 5 different wines

Sounds like the perfect way to warm up on these cold winter days! 

UPDATE: 5-course ALL pasta pop-up dinner has changed locations 

Published: Wednesday, December 27, 2017 @ 6:00 AM
Updated: Monday, January 15, 2018 @ 12:16 PM

Simpatico Pop-Up will host a 5-course pasta dinner at District Provisions on 521 Wayne Avenue in Dayton on Monday Jan. 29 starting at 6:30 p.m. The Consomme Sacchettoni (pictured here) is one of the courses that will be served. 
Simpatico Pop-Up will host a 5-course pasta dinner at District Provisions on 521 Wayne Avenue in Dayton on Monday Jan. 29 starting at 6:30 p.m. The Consomme Sacchettoni (pictured here) is one of the courses that will be served. 

Calling all carb lovers! 🍝

There’s a new pop-up dinner company in Dayton and their first event is dedicated entirely to fresh, handmade pasta. 

>> RELATED: Much-anticipated new restaurant now open in the Oregon District

Simpatico Pop-Up will host a 5-course pasta dinner at Lily’s Bistro329 E. 5th St. in Dayton and NOT at District Provisions on 521 Wayne Avenue in Dayton as we previously reported. The dinner will still be on Monday, Jan. 29. 

>> RELATED: What’s going on with Crafted & Cured’s neighbors?

“The doors open at 6 p.m., and the bar will be available for cocktails, beer, and wine. We plan on seating and welcoming everyone at 6:30 p.m.,” James Tam, organizer of Simpatico Pop-Up said in an e-mail.

Each of the 5 dishes feature a different type of pasta.

Simpatico Pop-Up will host a 5-course pasta dinner at District Provisions on 521 Wayne Avenue in Dayton on Monday Jan. 29 starting at 6:30 p.m. The Pear Ravioli (pictured here) is one of the courses that will be served.

 

Take a look at the full menu here:

Tickets are $45 and gluten-free, vegan, and vegetarian options will not be offered with this set menu. The event has SOLD OUT according to its Eventbrite page here

>>RELATED: Crafted and Cured now offers TO-GO charcuterie boards

The company describes itself as, “a team of like minded individuals that are offering a wonderful experience through food,” in a Facebook post on Dec. 6. 

>>MORE: Former Rue Dumaine chef Anne Kearney to ‘pop up’ next at local brewery

Simpatico Pop-Up will host a 5-course pasta dinner at District Provisions on 521 Wayne Avenue in Dayton on Monday Jan. 29 starting at 6:30 p.m. The Crab Agnolotti (pictured here) is one of the courses that will be served.

WANT TO GO?

What: Simpatico Pop-Up Presents: Pasta Dinner

Where: Lily’s Bistro, 329 E. 5th St., Dayton

When: Monday, Jan. 29 at 6:30 p.m. 

Cost: SOLD OUT. $45 with tickets available for purchase here 

More Info: FacebookEvent page