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

‘Divvy and Split’ menu items perfect way to sample light, crispy curds, gourmet mac and cheese and more.

Nearly a year ago, Dewberry 1850 opened its doors for business in the Marriott at the University of Dayton.

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It’s casual but elegant setting, refined menu and curated recipes make for a quick getaway from the workday for lunch.

That’s exactly what I did along with two of my co-workers, Michelle Fong and Allegra Czerwinski, on a sunny afternoon.

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Having never been there, we all agreed to order a selection of five menu items and split the plates. This was incredibly convenient as Dewberry 1850 features "Divvy & Split" items on their lunch menu.

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Credit: Alex Perry

Credit: Alex Perry

We selected the cheese curds ($10 - beer battered cheese curds with roasted poblano sour cream), the tacos ($12 - blackened whitefish, picked rogue onion, jalapeno pineapple salsa and farmers cheese nestled in a soft shell tortilla) and pretzel two way —although we selected the savory option ($8 - salted with honey Dijon mustard).

Credit: Alex Perry

Credit: Alex Perry

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From the "Nosh & Tidbits" menu items, we ordered the strawberry bruschetta ($11, baguette toast, strawberry jam, pickled grapes, macerated strawberry relish, whipped local chevre and 80 Acre Farms petite greens) and mac-n-cheese ($12,  pancetta, smoked gouda and roasted garlic served with toast points).

Credit: Alex Perry

Credit: Alex Perry

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The moment the plates were placed on the table, our senses were tingling. The sights, smells and importantly — the taste — of our selections validated the order. The strawberry bruschetta was bright, fruity and balanced. The cheese curds and pretzels were almost impossible to put down. Each had crispy exteriors and soft centers. The cheese curds were perfectly melty, and the pretzels reminded us a lot of the flavored Snyder's pretzel pieces.

>> Dishes to try at Dewberry 1850

Credit: Alex Perry

Credit: Alex Perry

I could hardly put down the fork when it came to the mac-n-cheese. It had the perfect balance of smoke and garlic and a solid sauce-to-noodle-ratio; the toast points offered a lovely bit of texture to the bite. The tacos, with a hint of kick, were meaty and satisfying, yet perfectly light enough for a lunch meal. The waitress was kind to add an additional taco to our order so we each had our own, two being the regular portion size.

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The verdict: We'll be back! It's a little off-the-radar being nestled inside a hotel, but its definitely worth having on yours. We're drooling just recalling the flavors and looking at the photos.

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Want to go?

WHAT: Dewberry 1850 in the Marriott at the University of Dayton

WHERE: 1414 S. Patterson Blvd., Dayton

HOURS: Mon.-Fri. 6 a.m. to midnight, Sat.-Sun. 7 a.m. to midnight

CONTACT: 937-586-4150

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