Plan a road trip
Hop in the car and get some sightseeing in as you head somewhere 30-45 minutes away. Try out Coldwater Café in Tipp City, The Golden Lamb Inn in Lebanon, The Winds in Yellow Springs or The Caroline in Troy. There are plenty of restaurants that are worth the drive — less than a road trip and more than a quick jaunt — that are serving up heaps of charm and atmosphere in addition to terrific food.
Dinner and a show
I recently took in Hamilton at the Schuster Center, and we enjoyed a wonderful dinner beforehand at 1Eleven Flavor House that opened just a few blocks away at 111 W. First St. in June 2021. It has a great bar program and offers a menu with a Caribbean twist. It’s also a terrific spot to snag an early reservation and close enough that you can enjoy a leisurely stroll to the theater without worrying about running late.
Dinner and a concert
Concerts are starting to be announced at a rapid-fire pace. Locally check out listings for Fraze Pavilion and the Rose Music Center at The Heights. Score some good seats and jump on a reservation and you’ll be a hero.
Head to an oyster bar
For hundreds and hundreds of years, oysters have been considered an aphrodisiac and there’s a new place in town that is putting a major focus on them. Bonus that it’s super cute. Walking into the charming Silver Slipper that just opened on Wayne Avenue near the Oregon District is like walking into a small, cozy New York bar tucked into a tiny corner of Brooklyn. Oysters and bubbles are simultaneously on flow as you and your special someone will be as you absorb the sweet vibe. It’s wonderful to be able to nosh over nibbles and canoodle over some bubbly. It’s a nice stop before or after dinner if you happen to find yourself in the Oregon District.
Recreate Lady and the Tramp
So, while I don’t actually recommend reenacting a “Lady and the Tramp” spaghetti kiss at a restaurant (that’s what leftovers are for), I think a good bottle of red and some great Italian food can be very romantic. I highly recommend Franco’s Ristorante Italiano, Mamma DiSalvo’s Italian Ristorante, Figlio, Palermo’s Italian, Troni’s Italian Restaurant, Jimmy’s Italian Kitchen and Roma’s Pizza and Pasta. We are blessed with a lot of great Italian in town. Buon appetito!
Head to my new favorite spot
I absolutely love the new restaurant Jollity that opened on Third Street in downtown Dayton. It’s a gem with an ever-changing menu full of flavors that won’t quit and are well executed. If you are feeling brave you can try out axe throwing next door before dinner at Two Social or play a video game and have a drink. It’s a twist that your special someone probably won’t see coming.
Learn your history
Carillon Park for a date day is a winning choice. It’s on the bike path, so you can start the day with breakfast and ride there if it’s within distance. Regardless of your method of transport, plan on grabbing a leisurely lunch at Culp’s Cafe, stroll through the park and tour the museum and end with a drink and some apps at Carillon Brewing Co., a 1850s-era brewery that has been lovingly recreated on the grounds.
Kick back and stay in
A special meal served in the comfort of your own home could be the love potion you are looking for. Find a great recipe, head to the 2nd Street Market with your special someone to have a leisurely lunch and shop for fresh ingredients and then get to cooking. A delicious meal made either by you or for you is certain to have both of you feeling the love.
Choose your own adventure
Ask yourself where haven’t you been lately or where have you never been? Take the time to try something new and shake things up a little — a restaurant adventure could be the spark you’ve been looking for. You know you and yours best, so when in doubt, do your own thing. And whatever you are thinking about doing, let us know your favorite spots to celebrate your special occasions. We want to hear from you and include it in future coverage. E-mail Alexis Larsen at firstname.lastname@example.org with your ideas.
Dayton Eats looks at the regional food stories and restaurant news that make mouths water. Share info about your menu updates, special dinners and events, new chefs, interesting new dishes and culinary adventures. Do you know of new exciting format changes, specials, happy hours, restaurant updates or any other tasty news you think is worth a closer look at? E-mail Alexis Larsen at email@example.com with the information and we will work to include it in future coverage.