DAYTON EATS: Celebrate Lent with wonderful seafood dishes from local restaurants

The Midwest has many deep-seated traditions rooted in celebrations around food, and one of my favorites are winter fish fries that take place like clockwork during the Lenten season.

The region’s favorite annual fish fries have been announced and reported on in the paper, but there are plenty of other seafood options to consider across town if you are looking for something different during Lent.

Here are a few that I crave and recommend.

Fleming’s Prime Steakhouse

4432 Walnut St., Beavercreek

937-320-9548 or

The spiced sherry cream that the pieces of north Atlantic lobster have simmered in is rich, delectable and a perfect partner to some bread with butter and a simple salad. Of course, there are plenty of other seafood options, but sometimes soup and salad is where it’s at. Other terrific options before you get to the main menu are the sweet chili calamari ($20), ahi tuna poke stack ($24) and crab cakes ($24).

Jay’s Seafood Restaurant

225 E. Sixth St., Dayton

937-222-2892 or

You can go with fresh oysters, crab cakes or all kinds of other seafood dishes — after all, seafood is in the name — but dishes like sea scallops ($44), Alaskan crab lakes (market price) and Linguine al Frutti di Mal ($34) also fit the bill. The linguine dish is a filling celebration of the bounty of the sea: It’s tossed with shrimp, scallops, mussels and chopped clams in a white wine garlic butter sauce topped with Parmesan cheese.

The Last Queen

210 E. Main St., Enon

937-340-6032 or

The Last Queen Gastropub, which opened almost a year ago, is ready to serve up the flavors and feel of England in its cozy 49-seat restaurant and outdoor dining and beer garden. Owner Adrian Shergill is from Southampton in the United Kingdom and is interested in dishing up an authentic experience. Taking the time to relax and chat over a pint at the pub is part of his culture . The full bar has single malt whiskeys, bourbons and other spirits as well as a selection of wines, but the IPAs, pale ales, amber ales, stouts and lagers are perfect to ring in whatever weather Ohio is currently serving up. The fresh beer-battered fish (cod) and chips ($19.25) is one of the best options in town if you aren’t headed to a fish fry. It’s a great little hidden gem that is sweet with a vibe that is transformative to help you enter relax mode and stay there for a spell.

Credit: Alexis Larsen

Credit: Alexis Larsen


524 E. Fifth St., Dayton

937-222-3100 or

Roost’s Chef Signature Dish features mushroom-crusted scallops ($45, $24 for raviolis without scallops) with white truffle crema and toasted almond raviolis — filled with shaved asparagus and garlic confit with a cremini mushroom and a white truffle besciamellasauce. This is a terrific dish that is worth seeking out.

Thai 9

11 Brown St., Dayton

937-222-3227 or

There are so many terrific seafood dishes at Thai 9 that it’s difficult to choose a favorite. Every part of the menu touches on options worthy of ordering. My two personal favorites are the salmon Panaeng curry ($19.95), which offers a generous piece of flavorful salmon topped with Panaeng curry in coconut milk with kaffir lime leaves and green beans, or the seafood clay pot ($19.95) stuffed with shrimp, scallops, squid, crab and mussels with mixed vegetables and bean thread noodles.

Sea Jax Tavern

5900 Bigger Road, Kettering

937-439-1664 or

Sea Jax Tavern is consistently packed even on weeknights that other restaurants would consider slow. And that’s because the food is delicious, and the service is on point. Dishes to spend special consideration on are the shrimp creole ($18.99) or the lemon Parmesan grouper ($18.99) — topped with a lemon Parmesan glaze and served with simple rice and steamed broccoli — that on each of my visits seems to be executed with perfection. And don’t get me started on their fish and chips. Some of the best cod in town.

Sky Asian Cuisine

4090 Wilmington Pike, Kettering

937-949-9883 or

The food here is great and so is the vibe. I like to start my sushi experience with the lemongrass seafood soup in a tom yum broth ($7) before diving in. Their Valentine roll is so sweet with the fresh outside tuna layer holding crunchy spicy tuna inside shaped like a heart. It’s perfect for anytime you are trying to say, “I love you.” The Mango Madness, which is made with salmon and avocado wrapped with soybean nori topped with fresh lobster, mango, shrimp and tuna with a chili mayo sauce, has volumes of flavors that run deep.

And two reminders concerning ongoing food coverage in the newspaper and online:

  1. If your school, church, VFW Hall or other nonprofit organization (sorry, no restaurants or taverns) hosts a fish fry, we want to know about it. Send a message to me at, and I will try to include it in coverage.
  2. As Easter approaches, will provide a list of restaurants in the Dayton area offering special meals for the holiday. Whether it’s gourmet three-course meals, simple family feasts, buffet-style indulgence or carryout dishes, we want to know what you have planned! If you are a restaurant owner, email details to

Dayton Eats looks at the regional food stories and restaurant news that make mouths water. Share info about your menu updates, special dinners and events, new chefs, interesting new dishes and culinary adventures. Do you know of exciting outdoor spaces, new exciting format changes, specials, happy hours, restaurant updates or any other tasty news you think is worth a closer look? Email Alexis Larsen at with the information, and we will work to include it in future coverage.

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