Jay’s Seafood Restaurant, the historic Oregon District staple, is a wonderful romantic throwback to decor, service and food.
The 32-foot bar dates back to the late 1800s, the restaurant, which opened originally as the Pony House, dates back just as long. The exposed wood and brick and warm, inviting appointments create an environment where food and drink should be savored and appreciated over the course of an evening in good company.
The restaurant’s fresh, tender seafood dishes put the many treasures that can be found in the ocean on display.
For most people that means ordering an entree — something the vast majority of the menu is dedicated to.
But the place you might find the best options to share an adventure-filled evening with friends is on the appetizer list.
What we ordered: Jay’s “Hot Combo” appetizer is a sampler of the best the restaurant has to offer featuring Oysters Rockefeller, Clams Casino, fried shrimp and calamari ($20). This menu item is not to be missed if you enjoy sharing a sampling.
The Oysters Rockefeller ($14 for six if ordered on their own) is a decadent blend of oysters prepared with fresh spinach and spices, topped with mozzarella cheese and baked. The Clams Casino ($14 for 6) is a spicy number featuring a blend of cherry stone clams opened and baked with butter and topped with hickory smoked bacon. The calamari, which can be purchased on its own for $11, are thick and tender with a thin, flaky breading that perfectly complements the delicious flavors of the fresh seafood without overpowering the dish.
The Price Edward Island mussels ($10) make for a generously portioned small plate with more than enough served to make a dent in your hunger level. The Scallops Andre ($13) is one of the smaller appetizers, but worth the spend with three nice-sized, melt-in-your-mouth scallops in a white wine mushroom sauce that has plenty of butter to go around. These alone won’t fill you up, but are a perfect accompaniment to a heartier appetizer like the Hot Combo.
With wine (fantastic wine selection) and cocktail pairings to match any item on the menu, Jay’s has always been a great destination to spring for an entree, but a sampling from the sea is another wonderful dinnertime option worth considering.
The info: 225 E. 6th St Dayton. (937) 222-2892 or www.jays.com. Reservations accepted.
Hours: Monday to Thursday, 5-10 p.m.; Friday and Saturday, 5-11 p.m.; Sunday, 5-9 p.m.
On the Menu is a new feature that showcases new or seasonal items on local menus or customer favorites worth recommending. Do you have a favorite dish you think we should spotlight? Send your nominations to Life@CoxInc.com with the subject line: On the Menu.