The flavors of “Tiki” culture will be out in full force when Watermark hosts a tiki-themed dinner on Aug. 9.
"Tiki culture has been trending in America for a few years, although it is just now starting to surface in the Dayton scene. After experiencing Tiki bars in other cities, we were hooked," said Watermark chef and owner Maria Walusis. "It began back in the ’30s with Don the Beachcomber and Trader Vic Bergeron, and their iconic restaurants. The atmosphere and recipes they pioneered were the hot thing for decades. Once you taste the food and drink coupled with the easygoing vibe of the tropical atmosphere, it is no wonder people love it," said Walusis.
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One look at the Miamisburg restaurant's planned menu and it's hard not to be interested:
First course: Chef Maria’s Spammies
Grilled Spam, melted Swiss, scallions and spicy mustard on toasted Hawaiian rolls.
Paired with: The Saturn, a beautifully balanced drink by 'Popo' Galsini featuring gin and passionfruit. Voted BEST by the International Bartenders Association in 1967. A Tiki classic!
Second course: Hawaiian Poké
A traditional island favorite, marinated in soy, sesame, and citrus.
Paired with: Trader Vic’s Mai Tai, made with a base of rum and Orgeat, comes this minor miracle.
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Eric and Maria Walusis are preparing to open Watermark restaurant in Miamisburg.
Photo: Photo by Amelia Robinson
Served with grilled pineapple-mango-jicama slaw.
Paired with: Three Dots and a Dash, a cocktail created during WWII by the godfather of the genre himself, Donn Beach. The name means “victory” in Morse Code. A spiced blend of rum and juices, this is a savory treat.
Fourth course: Polynesian Fish Ribs
Crispy Pacu ribs in a sweet Pacific glaze with fried plantain chips.
Paired with: Zombie, an ultimate Tiki drink made with a special blend of rums, fruit juices, and secret spices.
A Polynesian spin on Tres Leches made with cream of coconut and a rum soak.
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The Zombie cocktail from Watermark. CONTRIBUTED
"Some of these dishes have been favorites of mine for a long while – such as the incredibly addictive 'Spammies' – and others are simply traditional to the Tiki culture, such as fresh Poké. We wanted to pair food and cocktails that are creative and celebrate that vibe," said Walusis, who says the paired flavors of the food and drink make for an "instant party."
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If you can't make it to the tiki party, head there to try some of the new menu items for August:
• Tuna Tartar Stack ($14.95): A delicious and fresh combination of sushi-grade tuna and avocado with a soy-citrus vinaigrette, topped with crispy shallots.
• Sweet Corn Bisque ($6.95): Fresh local sweet corn, sautéed onion, and cream blended to a summery perfection.
• Grilled Bone-In Pork Chop ($25.95): Beeler Farms’ jumbo pork chop, topped with a Bourbon-peach compote, accompanied by a savory summer succotash made with fresh seasonal veggies.
• Tres Leches Cake ($6.95): The traditional Mexican dessert, amazingly light — topped with fresh whipped cream and chopped pistachios.
Fried green tomatoes ($11.95) will stay on the Watermark menu until the end of August. CONTRIBUTED/ALEXIS LARSEN
Also of note, the best fried green tomatoes ($11.95) in Dayton will stay on the Watermark menu until the end of August. They are fantastic and worth the trip to Miamisburg just for this dish alone.
Another option for a Watermark visit is for a cocktail class on Aug. 25. The cost is $20 per person, and includes some light appetizers, as well as small tastes of several drinks. The theme this time, selected by popular demand, is "How To Set-Up a Home Bar: Everything You Need To Know."
HOW TO GO
What: Tiki Night! at Watermark
When: 6:30 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 9
Where: 20 S. 1st Street, Miamisburg
Cost: $69 per person
More information: Reservations are required and can be made by calling 937-802-0891. To learn more about Watermark visit https://eatdrinkwatermark.com
MORE ABOUT WATERMARK
Get ready to celebrate: Watermark's one year anniversary will be coming up on Oct. 2.
Timpano Tuesdays: On the second Tuesday of the month, starting on Sept. 11, the restaurant will be featuring the show-stopping Timpano which was the centerpiece of Watermark's “Big Night” Italian dinners.
Hours: At the end of July, Watermark announced they will be closed on Mondays. Watermark is open 4-10 p.m. Tuesday through Thursday and 4 p.m.-midnight on Fridays and Saturdays.
Contact this contributing writer at firstname.lastname@example.org.