You don’t have to eat chain food in Dayton

Friday night I ventured south to try some of Dayton’s newest independent restaurants.

Camera phone picture of Rue Dumaine from the parking lotFirst stop was Rue Dumaine- which is in a strip mall location right next to Arhaus on 725- a bit premature, since they aren’t open yet. The inside looks promising- with that retro-NY twist on French Metro style. I’ve read that the owners are Dayton natives who found great success with a small boutique restaurant in New Orleans before coming back to Dayton – and that they’ve teamed with Brian Griffy who used to work at The Blue Moon under chef Greg Fitzgerald.

Next stop was the former Eclipse/Blue Moon on 48 in historic Centerville- now called Savona and headed by Keith Taylor. Describing themselves as “Old World Italian with a Contemporary Flair”- we didn’t have reservations and the wait was an hour and a half.

Sorry, but, I was too hungry to wait.

Next stop wasn’t exactly “new” – but the recent change in the kitchen made it well worth being a first destination: Madison’s Bistro, which now has former Blue Moon/Eclipse owner/chef in the kitchen. It was kind of sad that there wasn’t a wait- but that’s probably because you haven’t sampled their spinach salad with a honey-vanilla vinaigrette. Trust me, this salad is so good- it’s worthy of desert. Those of you missing the Blue Moon- you can find a lot of your old favorites like the portabella fries, or the blue cheese stuffed steak.

Madisons is probably the hardest to find of the three- set way back off Far Hills in the rear of the Lamplighter Shops at 5531 Far Hills Avenue 45429. The number is 937-435-7080

Savona is at 79 S. Main Street 45458- phone is 937-610-9835.

If you are looking for a uniquely Dayton dining experience- and want to support local people trying to make something special in Dayton – I highly recommend you check these restaurants out.

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13 Responses

  1. Jeff November 11, 2007 / 5:39 pm
    Thanks, David!

    All these restaurants are fairly close to me and I will check them out. Also, thanks for the intel on Madisons’. I wasn’t aware of the Blue Moon connection.

  2. Jeff November 13, 2007 / 9:08 am
    Based on what I saw at the opening last night this is the funkiest restaurant interior in Dayton.
  3. Drexel Dave November 13, 2007 / 10:53 am
    It’s only going to get better.

    Xenia Ave. is the new Yellow Springs.

    I would expect to see 5-10 new art galleries in that immediate vicinity in the next year or two. The neighborhood association is seeking out artists, and working with landlords for low rent for artist studios.

    It’s a really cool place and Robert is a great fellow. I can’t wait until he puts N.O. binets on the menu.

  4. David Esrati November 13, 2007 / 10:57 am

    about time Drexel had something positive to say.
    Art galleries aren’t the answer- but- there is an opportunity to build a hip retail district on Wayne or Xenia Ave- as opposed to finishing the Oregon District-
    since the city “fathers” refuse to address the stupidity of the parking/zoning requirements for the Oregon businesses.

  5. Jeff November 13, 2007 / 1:52 pm
    DD, I hope you aren’t BSing us here, as this would be good news to hear. Yeah, cheap artists apts and studio space. I can see that. Easily. The rents have to be pretty cheap already, I’d guess. I’d think just one venue on X for live music/open mike stuff on would be good, too.

    BTW I always thought that old cigar box factory on Xenia across from George St would be good woking loft space like Front Street, or like the old Fischers meatpacking plant conversion in Louisville..”The Mellwood Arts Center”.

    …maybe down the pike a bit if the neigborhood does take off for artists of various types?

    I will probably be heading over to SS on Saturday for a taste of the menu.

  6. Greg Hunter November 14, 2007 / 5:35 pm
    Madison’s – OY George and Harriet Argue – While I love the venue and the decor; the portions per price are astronomical. I wonder how their employees like them? Now the Meadowlark with last weeks special of Walleye with a cucumber sauce – thats the ticket.
  7. David Esrati November 14, 2007 / 6:01 pm

    Greg- have you been to Madisons in the last 2 months? The portions we got were huge. Too much for either of us- and I can eat. As I said- new chef in the kitchen.

  8. Jeff November 14, 2007 / 6:13 pm
    Stay tuned for a revue of Savona, as I plan on going there tomorrow evening.
  9. Brenda Koger (South Park) November 27, 2007 / 7:30 am
    Does anyone have information on the opening of Rue Dumaine tonight?
    Phone # for reservations?
    My brother-in law is a chef at The Palace Cafe on Canal Street in New Orleans and thinks Ann Kearney is da bomb
  10. James Biddle November 27, 2007 / 3:05 pm
    Rue Dumaine’s ph. # 937.610.1061–but it’s probably full–only a few slots were available last week.

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