Wednesday night’s Miami Valley Restaurant Association Sneak Peek to Winter Restaurant Week offered just that — a sneak peek at (and taste of) several of the dishes that 15 of the 40 participating restaurants will offer on their special three-course menus, starting tonight.
More than 400 local dining enthusiasts took full advantage of the sold-out event. They did not leave hungry.
Our hungry team of reporters joined the feeding frenzy and, after careful deliberation and some difficult choices, identified a few favorites.
Jay’s Restaurant’s offering of Grilled Duck Breast served with wild rice and duck sauce was a winner on my list — the duck cooked to medium-rare with the flavor-filled fat cap still intact, topped with sauce that enhances without overpowering.
Also impressive and worth the trip this week was the creamy Penne Ziti with Salmon, Spinach and Vodka Sauce served up by Mamma DiSalvo’s Italian Ristorante in Kettering. The dish provided satisfying comfort food for a winter night.
My colleague Vivienne Machi heaped praise on the Chili Lime Spicy Pulled Pork Tostada from Basil’s On Market in Troy. The full-of-flavor dish is a perfect bite-size portion of warm, melty, slow-roasted-for-16-hours pulled pork on crunchy fried won-ton chip, topped with house-made sriracha sauce and a bit of chili lime slaw.
Basil’s on Main also offered samples of another Restaurant Week entree choice, a creamy lobster mac n’ cheese-style dish with cheesy pasta shells scattered with tiny shrimp. It was just the right consistency of cheesy shells to bits of lobster and perfectly cooked shrimp.
The Station House on the campus of St. Leonard Living Center in Centerville won over my colleague Kamron Taylor’s taste buds with its satisfying Boneless Short Rib with Creamy Polenta dish. It’s made with roasted-until-fork-tender beef short rib and served with grilled peppers, onions and mushrooms, drizzled with a beef sauce over Parmesan polenta. This too was a perfect comfort-food dish for wintertime.
NOW IT’S YOUR TURN
The eight-day Restaurant Week promotion extends through Jan. 31 and allows diners at those participating restaurants to enjoy a special three-course meal priced at $20.16, $25.16 or $30.16. A handful of sports bars and other casual restaurants are offering two-for-one specials at one of those price points. And $1 from each meal goes to local non-profit organizations.
For the most up-to-date list and menu information visit http://dineoutdayton.com.
Staff writers Vivienne Machi and Kamron Taylor contributed to this report.