We are all hungry to do something. To experience something. To immerse ourselves in something.
Being cooped up because of cold winter weather is bad enough. Then add a pandemic to the mix, causing many of us to cut back on travel, from very little to none at all. That combination has us pumped and primed for some kind of adventure. Any kind of adventure.
Recently one of my favorite Oregon District restaurants announced an “April World Tour Wine Dinner.” The event is the vision of Chef Margot Blondet, owner and executive chef of Salar Restaurant and Lounge.
The world fusian food event was designed to take guests on a five-course tour of internationally inspired dishes from Blondet paired with wines from across the globe — from Italy to Argentina, to California and South Africa. The April 15 date announced several weeks ago sold out with what the restaurant said was “an overwhelming response.”
Knowing there is an appetite out there, Salar has announced a second date of April 14 for anyone who missed out on registering.
The price is $89 per person, which includes tax and gratuity. Based on the menu, it sounds like quite the deal.
Course 1: Costamolino Vermentino di Sardegna, Italy, paired with macadamia crusted chicken loins, roasted sweet potatoes, and a mixed green salad tossed in elderflower vinaigrette.
Course 2: Zuccardi Q Malbec, Argentina, served with grilled portobello mushroom and wild mushroom risotto topped with with Parmesano Reggiano cheese.
Course 3: Pillars of Hercules Red Blend, Dunnigan Hills California, to enjoy with Maple Leaf Farm’s duck breast medallions in a Luxardo cherry sauce with parsnip purée.
Course 4: Beckman Syrah, Ballard Canyon California, and filet mignon skewer, topped with pink peppercorn sauce, accompanied by caramelized pearl onions, grilled asparagus, and yuca purée.
Course 5: Mulderbosch Sparkling Rosé, South Africa, with strawberry pineapple upside down cake.
It sounds like a journey in food that is sure to take away those winter blues. The second date is expected to sell out fast, so reserve your seats now if you’re interested.
Out on 5th
If you’re looking for something more Oregon District casual with a price tag that’s more budget friendly, consider heading down for a weekend to enjoy “Out on 5th,” which officially launches this weekend.
This program was created by the Oregon District Business Association last year to help the business district by opening up Fifth Street for guests to shop, dine and relax in the open air. Every Friday night through Sunday evening, Fifth Street closes to vehicle traffic between Patterson Boulevard and Wayne Avenue, allowing restaurants and bars in the district the room to expand patio seating onto Fifth Street. This gives visitors room to spread out, socially distance and enjoy the outdoors, while enjoying their food and drinks.
Although you can dine anywhere, for me the return of Out on 5th means the return of one of my favorite things — Salar’s brunch. On Saturday and Sunday between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m., you can feast on shareables like breakfast empanadas ($11), cauliflower beignets ($13), baked brie ($14) and a refreshing summer cantaloupe salad ($10.50) made with mixed greens, cantaloupe, toasted pine nuts, mozzarella cheese and prosciutto tossed in a basil vinaigrette.
Featured entrees include shrimp and Peruvian style grits ($25), fried pecan encrusted chicken served with buttermilk waffles and a Bourbon Old Fashioned syrup ($25), grilled asparagus, poached eggs and truffle Hollandaise sauce served over cauliflower rice ($19.50), Filet benedict ($29), chorizo omelette ($18.50) and orange and pineapple glazed roasted pork belly served with sweet potato fries and grilled rosemary bread ($26). Whipped Mascarpone cheese and honey topped with balsamic strawberries and bananas and carmelized pecans ($8.50) is available for dessert if you have any room left.
Salar is an exciting local restaurant with plenty of surprises throughout the year, thanks to an innovative chef and a menu that changes, updates and refreshes with the seasons.
“We are always looking to introduce new flavors to our customers. For me, it is super important to surprise people with the unexpected and teach their palates something new. We are constantly looking for new flavors, textures, and colors in our food,” Blodet told me in a previous interview. “The atmosphere, the cocktails, the music, the lights, the actual plates that we use, the glassware, the service, the decoration, everything has been chosen to elevate the costumer’s experience. I want to spoil them.”
This is definitely a great restaurant to keep an eye on over the course of the year as it continues to surprise and delight with creative dishes.
HOW TO GO
What: Salar Restaurant and Lounge April World Tour Wine Dinner
Where: 400 E. Fifth St., Dayton
When: The April 15 event is sold out, A second date of April 14 at 6 p.m. was recently opened up. Advance reservations and payment are required.
More info: (937) 203–3999 or salarrestaurant.com
HOW TO GO
What: Out on 5th pedestrian promenade
When: 5-10 p.m. Fridays; Noon-10 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays
Where: Shop, dine, and relax outdoors in the Oregon District on Fifth Street from Patterson Boulevard to Wayne Avenue, with limited access at each intersection for pick-up orders.
More info: Visit www.downtowndayton.org/outon5th to see more information on parking and how to plan your visit