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Our mouths are watering over these bistro restaurants’ menus for Summer Restaurant Week

Summer Restaurant Week is well underway.

With more than 40 restaurants across the Dayton area participating in the weeklong promotion, it can be a little overwhelming choosing where to go.

If you’ve never been out to eat during Restaurant Week, here’s how it works:

2018 Miami Valley Restaurant Associations’ Summer Restaurant Week takes place July 22-29. Three-course meals will be available for $20.18, $25.18 or $30.18.

Many participating restaurants offer special menus just for the occasion, while others offer dishes off their regular menus.

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The list of participating restaurants is subject to change and reservations may be required from some participating locations. Calling ahead is recommended, for details, hours and reservations. For the most up-to-date list and information visit http://dineoutdayton.com.

We have seen all of the menus and have sampled some of the dishes ourselves.

>> Some dishes you’ll want to try during Summer Restaurant Week

To help you narrow it down, we are going to spotlight some of the best atmospheres, best deals and more the rest of this week. 

Today we share what some of the best bistro-style (small, intimate) restaurants have to offer this time around. 

Lily’s Bistro in Dayton, $25.18-$30.18

Pork Belly Benedict from Lily's Bistro. Two locally baked English muffin halves topped with slow cooked pork belly, poached eggs, arugula, caramelized onion, and paprika hollandaise, served with choice of homefries or dressed greens, $14 (Alex Perry)

Starters (choose one): Ricotta toast: fresh ricotta cheese, toasted ciabatta, housemade raspberry jam, candied pistachios, balsamic drizzle. Seasonal gazpacho. Local lettuce salad with beemster aged goat cheese, candied almonds, and strawberry-prosecco vinaigrette.  

Entrees (choose one): Polenta cakes with foraged oyster mushrooms, local corn, slow cooked beet ragu, and fried basil ($25.18.) Seafood gumbo with housemade crawfish sausage, rock shrimp, and smoked trout in dark roux with basmati rice ($28.18.) Slow cooked braised beef brisket in rich beef jus with roasted locally-grown summer vegetables ($30.18.)

Desserts (choose one): Flourless dark chocolate torte with cayenne ganache and whipped cream. Housemade ice cream OR vegan ice cream of the day.  
*Entree pricing reflects choice of starter, entree, and dessert. Gluten Free and Vegan options are possible for each course; please notify your server of any dietary restrictions  

Drink Specials (for Restaurant Week diners only): House red, white, or rose wine $6. Nightly selection of craft beer on tap $5.
>> 5 things you should really try at Lily’s Bistro

elé Bistro & Wine Bar at Austin Landing, $25.18

elé Cake Co. Bistro & Wine Bar will serve Spicy Shrimp and Grit with Fried Green Tomatoes, Bacon and Hollandaise Sauce at Bacon Fest. (Photo: Submitted)

Starters (choose one): Halibut Ceviche with Tortilla Chips or Wild Mushroom Bisque with Truffle Oil 

Entrees (choose one): Fried risotto, crispy risotto fritters served with tomato coulis and topped with parmesan cheese. Shrimp & grits, spicy shrimp served on a bed of fried green tomatoes, savory grits and topped with bacon, hollandaise sauce and red pepper puree 

Desserts (choose one): Oven Roasted Salmon over garlic mashed potatoes and green beans with lemon caper sauce. Oven roasted chicken, farm-raised airline chicken served with seasonal vegetables, roasted potatoes and natural jus. Confit pork loin served with brussels sprouts, roasted fingerling potatoes and craft root beer BBQ sauce.

>> Elé Cake Co. opens Bistro and Wine Bar at Austin Landing

Sunrise Cafe in Yellow Springs, $20.18-$30.18

The Sunrise Cafe’s owner will open a second restaurant in Yellow Springs called Calypso Grill and Smokehouse. Photo from Sunrise Cafe Facebook page. (Staff Writer)

Starters (choose one): Grillin Cheese Caprese, Graetna cheese from blue jacket dairy in Bellefontaine grilled up to crispy outside and gooey inside to make a delicious topping on local tomatoes with fresh basil, olive oil and balsamic syrup. Elote – Mexican grilled street corn. Local sweet corn grilled until golden then basted with a garlic-chili powder aioli topped with crumbled cotija cheese and served with a  lime wedge. Spinach, Peach and Cucumber Salad, bed of fresh Spinach with slices of Georgia Peaches and our Oma’s cucumber salad. Finished with a drizzle of balsamic syrup.
Entrees (choose one): Wagyu with blueberry-beet reduction, local veggies and pickled beet relish, a 5-ounce cut of silky Wagyu sirloin grilled to your desired perfection and finished with a reduction of local organic beets, local blueberries and aromatics. Served on a bed of goat cheese-roasted garlic mashed potatoes with grilled zucchini and green beans straight from the farms. Garnished with a complimentary pickled beet relish ($25.18.)

Summer bliss salmon with sweet corn risotto. Wild Alaskan sockeye with its seared skin on then roasted with an aromatic mix of local cherry tomatoes, fresh marjoram, garlic and olive oil and served on a bed of our creamy risotto made with organic Arborio rice, local sweet corn, onions, peppers, Applewood bacon and parmesan ($30.18.)

Vegan sausage with smoked tomato-basil ragu and polenta, a house-made vegan sausage made with oats, sage, flax, onions, peppers, mushrooms and carrots are seared until crisp on the outside. It comes served on a bed of local polenta with grilled local organic zucchini and topped with a heavenly ragu of local tomatoes smoked over hickory sautéed with fresh basil ($20.18.) 
Desserts (choose one):  Michigan tart cherry crisp – Michigan cherries in organic sugar syrup with a topping of oats, pecans and brown sugar. Topped with whipped cream.   Chocolate flourless Hazelnut Torte – organic chocolate, Frangelica, amish butter, local eggs and ground hazelnuts in a fudgy torte with whipped cream.  Chocolate-Avocado Pudding – Avocado, organic cocoa, maple syrup and a touch of OJ is all this vegan pudding needs. Topped with a sprinkle of smoked sea salt.

*Gluten free and some vegan options are possible for each course; please notify your server of any dietary restrictions

>> JUST IN: New Caribbean restaurant in the works in Yellow Springs

Meadowlark Restaurant, Washington Twp. $28.18

First course:  watermelon gazpacho with peanuts, mint, and fried pork rindsS econd course: choices  charred shishito pepper hushpuppies with pimento cheese  warm buttermilk biscuit with succotash salad  dave’s fresh-baked cheese puffs filled with ham salad  Main course: choices  blackened catfish with sweet corn butter and “hambalaya.” S moked portabello mushroom with cheese grits, collards. Garlic-braised  local tomatoes and crispy batter-fried onions. C hicken under a brick with Alabama white BBQ sauce, corn fried rice and squash-tomato casserole. C hicken fried pork steak with country gravy, mashed potatoes and  fresh vegetables.   Dessert choices:  Banana pudding with banana caramel jam and whipped cream. S weet tea layer cake with lemon butter cream. H omemade pecan pie ice cream with pie crust “cookie” garnish.

>> Meadowlark owner Wiley to launch new restaurant in Kettering


Wheat Penny Restaurant in Dayton, $28.18 

Cauliflower T-Bone, Wheat Penny Oven and Bar (Wheat Penny, Facebook)

Amuse: avocado gazpacho with sweet corn and spiced beet chips

First course: grilled flatbread with smoked provolone, fried garlic and arugula salad  

Second course: local tomato and fresh peach caprese or brothy linguine with summer clams

Third course: chicken scarpariello, chicken thighs and chicken sausage roasted with local bell, hot and pickled peppers, served with polenta and green beans. Crispy pork milanese with peach and salami salsa, a drizzle of spicy honey, and polenta and green beans. Venetian branzino in parchment with herbs, white wine, cherry tomatoes, capers, zucchini and potatoes. Grill-roasted whole local eggplant with fontina cheese, pine nuts and crunchy breadcrumbs, served with spinach and chickpea farro and cherry tomato salsa cruda.

Dessert choices: fresh plum tartlet with black pepper, honey and belletoile cheese. Tomato-basil ice cream with a cookie. Chocolate mousse OR vegan chocolate mousse. Watermelon italian ice with gummy candy.

>> On the Menu: Wheat Penny’s California-style pizza flair

Dewberry 1850 in Dayton, $20.18-$30.18

The Miami Valley Restaurant Association’s Summer Restaurant Week promotion runs July 22-29 offering meals from more than 40 restaurants ranging in price from $20.18-$30.18. Diners got an early taste of some of the dishes that will be offered at a special sneak peek event on July 18, 2018, at the Steam Plant. CONTRIBUTED PHOTOS BY (ALEXIS LARSEN) (ALEXIS LARSEN)

First course: Warm grilled romaine, shaved parmesan, olive oil and lemon juice. Bibb lettuce, watermelon radish and raspberry dressing. Chilled ice burg lettuce cup, smoked salmon, BBQ tempeh with citrus dressing

Second course: Lobster En Croute, charred romaine, roasted tomato. Brie cheese fondue, steamed pork buns with Korean BBQ sauce and pickled cucumber slaw. Quinoa “meatball” with herb cheese on naan bread, mango chutney

Third course: Grilled tomahawk pork chop, tomato jam, grilled polenta cake. Pan seared airline chicken breast, spinach, roasted tomato, and Asiago cream sauce. Char crusted sirloin, roasted shallot sauce, broccolini

>> Hidden-in-plain-sight restaurant close to downtown will SHATTER your expectations for lunch

Ellie’s Restaurant at Mills Park Hotel in Yellow Springs, $25.18 

OMG! The Shrimp & Grits at Ellie's Restaurant & Bakery iis a must try. Tiny sweety drop Peruvian peppers make this dish unique. The restaurant is inside the Mills Park Hotel, at 321 Xenia Ave., in Yellow Springs. It features Southern-inspired comfort cuisine with a modern twist. (Connie Post)

First course: Chilled white gazpacho with almonds, olive oil and fresh green grape juice. Honey ginger garlic lime chicken wings with benne seeds. Bacon cornbread skillet with honey butter. Melon salad with blackberries, plums, jalapeño and mint with burrata.  

Second course: 12oz bone-in ribeye with local corn, tomato and red onion salad. Butterflied parrotfish with avgolemono rice, dill pea salad and pearl onions. Orange glazed duck breast with potato salad and grilled scallions. Summer hoppin' john with carolina gold rice, arugula, peaches, gold beets, local corn, blueberries and boiled peanuts (vegan available.)  

Third course: Butterscotch pudding. Cherry coconut cobbler with fried biscuits. Local sweet corn and blackberry jam ice cream with doughnut crumble.

>> Why you need to check out the restaurant inside the Yellow Springs hotel

Basil’s - Troy, $25.18

Basil’s on Market will open a new location in Mason in early 2018, and has plans to add more restaurants. Photo from Basil’s on Market Dayton Facebook page. (Staff Writer)

First course: Basil’s house salad with choice of dressing

Second course: Bruschetta with grilled bread

Third course: Coconut shrimp on top of sautéed vegetables and 4-oz. filet with Dijon Aujus and crispy red potatoes 
>> Downtown restaurant brings back all-you-can eat crab legs

Basil’s - Downtown Dayton, $25.18

Basil’s on Main’s Salmon Salad. Contributed Photo by Alexis Larsen

First course: Basil’s house salad with choice of dressing

Second course: Bruschetta with grilled bread

Third course: Coconut shrimp on top of sautéed vegetables and 4-oz. filet with Dijon Aujus and crispy red potatoes 
>> Basil's on Market is expanding southward

BRIO Tuscan Grille

The Miami Valley Restaurant Association’s Summer Restaurant Week promotion runs July 22-29 offering meals from more than 40 restaurants ranging in price from $20.18-$30.18. Diners got an early taste of some of the dishes that will be offered at a special sneak peek event on July 18, 2018, at the Steam Plant. CONTRIBUTED PHOTOS BY (ALEXIS LARSEN) (ALEXIS LARSEN)

First course: Lobster bisque or caesar salad

Second course: Crab cakes with roasted vegetables and crispy fingerling potatoes. 6 oz. filet mignon with skillet potatoes. Chicken Fra di Avolo.

Third course: Tiramisu. Carmel mascarpone cheesecake

>> Dayton coffee shop ditches plastic-lined paper cups and plastic straws for new ‘no-waste’ system

Wind’s Cafe in Yellow Springs, $30.18 

The Winds Cafe in Yellow Springs served this salmon dish during a past Restaurant Week. FILE PHOTO (Contributing Writer)

First course: beet tabbouleh, grilled Spanish style pork skewer or peach and watermelon salad with smoked mozzarella and cocoa nibs.

Second course: wild caught sockeye salmon with local oyster mushrooms, creme fraiche, braised cippolinis and fried parsley. Tomato risotto with roasted tomatoes, powdered tomato, local corn, tomato leaf oil and smoked tomato butter. Braised duck leg with summer vegetable ragout and raw zucchini salad.

Third course: cheese course.
Fourth course:  local berry semifreddo. M atcha panna cotta with fruit gazpacho. A lmond cake with local cherry compote.>> The Spot in Sidney celebrates 111 years with $1.11 food deals

Coco’s Bistro, $25.18 

Coco's Bistro - participating in Sneak Peak Restaurant Week (MediaMoments.com)

Starters (choose one): Hot bacon spinach salad, baby spinach, chopped egg, shaved red onion, hot bacon vinaigrette. House salad, field greens, cucumber, carrots, radish. Choice of honey balsamic, bleu cheese, french, buttermilk ranch or Italian vinaigrette dressing. 
Entrees (choose one): Pistachio cream pasta, pappardelle, shaved pecorino romano, crushed candied pistachios. Smoked trout cakes, house smoked red trout cakes, snap pea succotash, shrimp butter, horseradish mash, blistered tomato jam, fried carrots. Summer pasta, pacote, chicken sausage, broccolini, garlic oil, shaved pecorino romano, fresh oregano, crushed red. Argentinian beef, chargrilled beef tenderloin, chimichurri, yellow rice, salsa criolla.
pepper flakes

Dessert (choose one): mini vanilla crème brûlée. Boston cream cakes
Restaurant week appetizer special: brick oven apricots ($9), gorgonzola walnut stuffed apricots finished with a red wine reduction

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