Swordfish is on the menu at l'Auberge.
Photo: Ron Alvey
Photo: Ron Alvey

Taste some of the famous Dayton dishes you miss one more time at new event

New dinner announced celebrating the best of Dayton's dining heritage 

A special seven-course themed tribute dinner has been announced that will honor Dayton’s dining heritage. 

Each course at the ICONS dinner will present a dish fondly remembered and enjoyed at several beloved, classic Dayton-area restaurants that are no longer open. 

Maria Walusis, chef and owner of Watermark, has been working to secure original recipes and instructions in order to present these plates as faithfully as possible. 

>> Classic Dayton restaurants that we really miss

Eric and Maria Walusis are preparing to open Watermark restaurant in Miamisburg.
Photo: Photo by Amelia Robinson

The Dayton restaurants being honored for this year’s event include: The Peerless Mill, The Barnsider, King Cole, L’Auberge, Peasant Stock and Neil’s Heritage House. 

>> The best restaurants in Dayton 25 years ago

L'Auberg Restaurant's newly designed dining room. Photo by Jim Witmer

The final course will be created by Walusis, as her way of continuing the great tradition of Dayton dining. 

Tickets can be purchased online or by calling the restaurant. Tickets will be all-inclusive and will be available by pre-sale only for $125 per person. 

"Reminiscing about the wonderful restaurants we can no longer enjoy is a common discussion among foodies and industry professionals alike. During one such conversation recently, my husband Eric, who is the General Manager at Watermark, and I mused: 'wouldn't it be great if we could taste some of those dishes one more time?' Our next thought was how wonderful it would be to give that experience to Dayton diners who also fondly recall these local legends. This is why we chose the name "ICONS" — and we hope to make this tribute an annual affair," said Walusis. 

Horseradish encrusted salmon and au gratin potatoes at The Barnsider restaurant in Dayton. Staff photo by Lisa Powell

Because they are looking to do a celebration of food as opposed to a wine dinner there will not be paired wines with each course, but rather a pre-dinner drink and two full glasses of wine — one red, one white — to accompany the meal. 

Diners enjoy their dinner in the newly renovated at Neil's Heritage House in Kettering. Dayton-area economic development and restaurant industry officials are hailing a 2011 surge of reborn restaurants across the Miami Valley as a strong sign of the regions economic recovery.
Photo: Teesha Mcclam/Dayton Daily News

The full list of planned courses sounds pretty delicious: 

Starter: Stuffed Mushrooms au Gratin — Peerless Mill 

Salad: Artisan Garden Salad with Heritage French Dressing — King Cole 

Soup: French Onion Soup au Gratin — The Barnsider 

Seafood: Filet of Sole — L'Auberge 

Beef: Filet au Poivre with Brandy Cream Sauce — Peasant Stock 

Cheese: Baked Brie with Charred Pear — Neil's Heritage House 

Dessert: Paris-Brest with Crème Mousseline Praliné — Watermark 

The Peasant Stock restaurant operated in the Town & Country Shopping Center in Kettering.
Photo: Dayton Daily News archives/Dayton Daily News archives

Special guests from some of the honored restaurants will be in attendance at the event. 

"If it is as successful as we hope, we fully intend to make it an annual event, so that we can continue to celebrate and honor those 'shoulders of giants' on which we stand, and who helped form the unique and wonderful tapestry of Dayton dining," said Walusis.  

Contact this contributing writer at alexis.e.larsen@hotmail.com. 


What: ICONS dinner at Watermark 

When: 5 p.m. Oct. 28 

Where: 20 S. 1st Street, Miamisburg 

Cost: $125 per person. Reservations are required and can be made by calling 937-802-0891 or purchasing online here

More information: To learn more about Watermark visit https://eatdrinkwatermark.com 

Hours: At the end of July Watermark announced they will be closed on Mondays. Watermark is open 4-10 p.m. Tuesday through Thursday and 4 p.m.-Midnight on Fridays and Saturdays.