When more than 15,000 people showed up to the Fraze Pavilion this summer to celebrate the magic of bacon at BaconFest, there was one restaurant among more than a dozen that was a standout to the food judges: Amber Rose.
The historic Dayton restaurant that specializes in homemade Eastern European Cuisine including German, Lithuanian, Polish, Hungarian, Russian and Italian cuisines took home several awards including best use of bacon for a Thai BBQ bacon wrapped pork wing dish, the Critic's Choice award for the white cheddar apple wood smoked bacon mac and cheese and an award for best composed dish for their jalapeno bacon carnitas nachos.
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The Amber Rose restaurant on Valley Street near Dayton Children's Hospital oozes history and charm. This Old North Dayton gem is located in a gorgeous setting that will transport you to a European Cafe. Between that and the fantastic menu, this is unquestionably a local dining gem.
The building is steeped in as much tradition as the old world Eastern European menu, with features like a vintage tin ceiling, a Turkish marble bar and stained-glass windows. It's stepping back into time in the best way that only a really good authentic restaurant can do.
If you've never been before, start out strong with the Amber Rose sampler ($15) featuring traditional favorites from the appetizer menu — a cabbage roll, pierogies and sautéed caramelized onions, deluxe potato pancakes, and bratwurst with sauerkraut.
Elinor's Signature Turtle Soup ($4.50 for a cup, $6 for a bowl) is a classic Amber Rose dish packed with flavor made from scratch with freshwater snapping turtle.
For entrees, you can't go wrong with the Lithuanian cabbage rolls ($13 or one for $10), made with ground beef and pork, rice and special seasoning rolled and roasted in cabbage leaves and served with mashed potatoes, gravy and fresh vegetables.
One of the restaurant’s sampler platters is also a great way to try more dishes. Options include a three sausage sampler ($16) featuring a Knockwurst, Bratwurst and Lithuanian sausage with triple mustard sauce, homemade sauerkraut, and smashed potatoes; the Lithuanian sampler ($19) featuring homemade sausage and sauerkraut, cabbage roll, and meat filled virtiniai dumplings topped with bacon; or the Warsaw Medley ($19) featuring a cabbage roll, savory homemade sausage, tangy sauerkraut, and potato-filled pierogies.
The restaurant's homestyle pot roast ($16) is cooked for 12 hours and melts in your mouth — it's one of the best you will find around. The Hunter Schnitzel ($16), a pretzel crusted pork loin, sautéed and topped with Dijon cream sauce served with potato pancakes and house sauerkraut, is something off the beaten path that is a great treat.
I'm a sucker for Sauerbraten ($19), a traditional German pot roast dish, and the Amber Rose version does not disappoint with a hand-cut, eight-ounce grilled flank steak marinated in German spices served with herbed spaetzle and homemade sauerkraut.
If you like Eastern European food you will be very glad to have found this restaurant. If you haven't tried it before, there's no time like the present.
Contact this contributing writer at firstname.lastname@example.org.
WANT TO GO:
What: The Amber Rose
Where: 1400 Valley Street Dayton
More info: www.theamberrose.com or 937-228-2511