Even when its dining room has been shut down for more than two months, The Pine Club steakhouse still scores national accolades for Dayton, this time from the New York Times.
It was a brief and passing reference, and the Times story didn’t focus exclusively on restaurants, but, well, here’s what the Times had to say in its “At Home Newsletter” under the headline of “Need Recommendations? We’ve Got Google Docs for That: A new project takes you into the lives of reporters and editors who aren’t just covering the pandemic, they’re living it.”
Times journalist Sam Sifton writes that as a former food and restaurants writer, he is often asked about which restaurants to go to in just about any random city in the world.
“You’d think I might have found these sorts of requests annoying,” Sifton writes. “Not at all. It’s a privilege to be able to tell people where to eat, and I enjoyed doing so, enjoyed being right about it, enjoyed the follow-up notes saying thank you, the ones asking about the next night, or the next city.”
“I’ve written where-should-I (eat) emails myself. Once I was in Dayton, Ohio, and sent one off to Jonathan Martin, the national political reporter for The Times. He travels incessantly and eats very well along the way. The response came six minutes later. ‘Pine Club is safe move,’ he wrote. I was eating a fine rib-eye and some excellent onion rings within the hour.”
So there you have it. The Pine Club — one of Dayton’s longest-running restaurants, founded in 1947 and located at 1926 Brown St. near the University of Dayton — puts Dayton on America’s culinary map once again. Maybe we AREN’T just “flyover country” after all.
By the way, we checked with The Pine Club Friday morning about their reopening plans following the coronavirus-related mandatory shutdown of in-service dining between March 15 and May 21, but no reopening date has been set yet.
“We are still in the process of trying to create the safest environment for our staff and customers,” Pine Club General Manager Karen Watson said. “We are doing everything we can to open safely and preserve The Pine Club experience.”
That “Pine Club experience” has gathered considerable national, and even international, recognition over the last seven years or so.
In December 2013, The Pine Club was included in a list of “10 of the World’s Greatest Old Dining Institutions” by a writer for T Magazine, the New York Times Style Magazine, joining restaurants in Paris, London, and New York City.
Six months before that, Michael Stern, co-author of “Roadfood,” identified The Pine Club as his favorite steakhouse in the country in a USA Today story.
In June 2015, the restaurant was included in an episode of the Food Network's "Top 5 Restaurants."
>> Pine Club’s ‘#2 Steakhouse in America’ award has had lasting impact (December 2015)
In 2017, the Pine Club was ranked as one of the best steakhouses in the nation by Tastingtable.com. The writer of the piece entitled "United Steaks of America" described the choice this way: "Serving the best steaks in town since 1947, The Pine Club... has remained virtually unchanged in its 70 years in business, and that's why we love it."
Oh, and in 2018, the Pine Club was featured in what was then the premiere episode of a Cooking Channel series, “The Best Thing I Ever Ate,” which dished out a healthy portion of praise to the Dayton steakhouse for its “incredible” and “fit-for-a-king” bone-in ribeye steak.
>> RELATED: Dayton’s Pine Club named one of nation’s best steakhouses (February 2017)
The restaurant is offering free delivery to local residents on box purchases of its uncooked steaks until the restaurant reopens. Customers must order by noon every Thursday for Friday and Saturday deliveries, restaurant officials said in an email Thursday morning. Details are available on the restaurant’s web site, thepineclub.com.