Those out-of-towners running in Saturday’s U.S. Air Force Marathon — and their support crews — have a rich array of restaurants to choose from during their visit to the Dayton area. Here are a few suggestions, focusing on independent restaurants that are a departure from what visitors can find in their hometowns — because we figure that anyone adventurous enough to run 26.2 miles is also adventurous enough to explore the locally owned dining scene. And since many of these eateries are relatively small, we’ve included a few alternative suggestions as well.
• Italian: What better way to carbo-load for the race than at a traditional Italian restaurant? Choices abound, starting with Mamma DiSalvo’s Italian Ristorante at 1375 E. Stroop Road in Kettering (www.mammadisalvo.com, 937-299-5831), with its signature lasagna (there’s also a vegetarian version). And there are other options, including Giuliano, an Anticoli Tavern, at 67 S. Main St. in Miamisburg (giulianotavern.com, 937-859-3000), owned by a family that has been operating a restaurant in the Dayton area since 1931; Franco’s Ristorante Italiano at 824 E. Fifth St. in Dayton (www.francos-italiano.com, 937-222-0204; Giovanni’s Pizzeria é Ristorante Italiano at 215 W. Main St. in Fairborn (giovannisfairborn.com, 937-878-1611), which is close to Wright-Pat (of course, all of these might be considered to be within walking distance for those who can run 26.2 miles); and Palermo’s Restaurant at 2667 S. Dixie Drive in Kettering (www.palermosdayton.com, 937-299-8888).
• Upscale dining: Celebrate a successful race at Rue Dumaine restaurant at 1061 Miamisburg-Centerville Road in Washington Twp. (ruedumainerestaurant.com, 937-610-1061) boasts the most highly-credentialed chef in the region in Anne Kearney, Rue Dumaine’s co-owner who was a semifinalist for the James Beard Foundation best chef in the Great Lakes region for the third consecutive year this year, and who won a similar regional best-chef award in 2002 when she co-owned a restaurant in New Orleans. But the Dayton area has a wealth of fine-dining options, including Meadowlark Restaurant at 5531 Far Hills Ave. in Washington Twp. (meadowlarkrestaurant.com, 937-434-4750), Coco’s Bistro at 250 Warren St. in Dayton (www.228coco.com, 937-228-2626), C’est Tout a Bistro at 2600 Far Hills Ave. in Oakwood (cesttoutbistro.com, 937-298-0022), and The Winds Café at 215 Xenia Ave. in Yellow Springs (windscafe.com, 937-767-1144).
• Steakhouses: The Dayton area’s iconic steakhouse is The Pine Club at 1926 Brown St. near the University of Dayton campus (thepineclub.com, 937-228-5371), serving up ribeyes, New York strips and fillets since 1947. Be aware of the restaurant’s idiosyncrasies: No reservations are taken, no credit cards are accepted and leave your hats and caps at home. Alternatives include The Oakwood Club at 2414 Far Hills Ave. in Oakwood (www.theoakwoodclub.com, 937-293-6973) and Carver’s Steaks & Chops at 1535 Miamisburg Centerville Road in Washington Twp. (carversdayton.com, 937-433-7099).
• Oregon District: This historic district is in the shadow of downtown Dayton has a wealth of fine restaurants, starting with Jay’s Restaurant at 225 E. Sixth St. (www.jays.com, 937-222-2892), which specializes in seafood (check the fresh fish board). Alternatives abound, including Salar Restaurant & Lounge at 400 E. Fifth St. (salarrestaurant.com, 937-203-3999); Lily’s Bistro at 329 E. Fifth St. (lilysbistro.com, 937-723-7637), Thai 9 at 11 Brown St. (www.thai9restaurant.com, 937-222-3227) and Roost Modern Italian at 524 E. Fifth St. (www.roostdayton.com, 937-222-3100).
• In the vicinity: Riverside, adjacent to Wright-Pat, is home to several good Asian restaurants, where a bowl full of rich, hearty noodle-filled soup will serve the need to load up on carbs and liquids. Check out the pho (Vietnamese soups) at Linh’s Bistro at 5532 Airway Road (www.linhsbistro.com, 937-252-1857). Alternatives: Little Saigon restaurant at 1718 Woodman Drive, (937) 258-8010, or Big Bowl Asian Bistro at 4770 Airway Road (937-258-8880 or bigbowlasianbistro.com).
Taste of Dayton: Five restaurants for out-of-town guests to try