Salar Restaurant and Lounge served Beef Saltado, pan seared strips of filet mignon with sauteed onions, tomatoes, yellow Peruvian peppers and spices tossed with French fries over Jasmine rice during the Miami Valley Restaurant Association's Sneak Peek to Winter Restaurant Week on Jan. 15, 2020, at Dayton's Steam Plant. More than 50 restaurants will offer 3-course meal deals priced at $20.20, $25.20, or $30.20 from Jan. 19-26 as part of the Winter Restaurant Week promotion. ALEXIS LARSEN/CONTRIBUTED

The best dishes we had at the Sneak Peek to Restaurant Week

It’s clear that this year’s Winter Restaurant Week is going to be packed with great dishes and exciting flavors.

After sampling dishes from 15 local restaurants at the Miami Valley Restaurant Association’s Sneak Peek to Winter Restaurant Week event held on Jan. 15 at the Steam Plant in downtown Dayton, it left us wanting more.

>>WINTER RESTAURANT WEEK: Complete list of participating restaurants

Winter Restaurant Week, happening Jan. 19-26, presents an opportunity to sample the best that local restaurants have to offer in the form of three-course meals priced at $20.19, $25.19, or $30.19 at a variety of restaurants all over town.

Hundreds of hungry guests showed up at the sneak peek to sample a small taste of what some restaurants will be serving up.

Here are five dishes that we can’t wait to try again.

>>  WINTER RESTAURANT WEEK: 6 menus that caught our eye

Calypso Grill and Smokehouse served a local beef brisket from South Charleston rubbed and marinated in jerk sauce, on a bed of local organic collard greens, accompanied by creamy mac n cheese made with fresh sweet corn and fire roasted bell peppers at the Miami Valley Restaurant Association’s Sneak Peek to Winter Restaurant Week. CONTRIBUTED/ALEXIS LARSEN
Photo: Contributing Writer

🍽 Calypso Grill and Smokehouse

1535 Xenia Ave., Yellow Springs

www.calypsogrill.net or 937-767-9000

Yellow Springs is no Jamaica, but food done well has the power to transport you from a table or booth, and one of my very favorite restaurants to open in 2018 has just the kind of food to do it. Housed in an old KFC adorned with bright Caribbean colors, Calypso Grill and Smokehouse is a little gem in the Dayton area restaurant scene that deserves attention. Their dish was a local beef brisket from South Charleston rubbed and marinated in jerk sauce and smoked over pimento wood until juicy and tender. The meat masterpiece that emerged was served on a bed of local organic collard greens cooked with coconut milk, rum and aromatics accompanied by creamy mac n cheese made with fresh sweet corn and fire roasted bell peppers.

>>MORE: This DREAMY Caribbean food at Yellow Springs grill will help you escape winter 

elé Bistro and Wine Bar served a warm mushroom salad with mascarpone, pancetta and toasted hazelnuts on a bed of arugula at the Miami Valley Restaurant Association’s Sneak Peek to Winter Restaurant Week. CONTRIBUTED/ALEXIS LARSEN
Photo: Contributing Writer

🍽 elé Bistro and Wine Bar

3680 Rigby Road, Miamisburg

www.elecakeco.com/category/bistro or 937-384-2253

Last year’s sneak peek featured a duck confit salad with goat cheese, arugula, smoked cherries, cherry vinaigrette, and crispy fried leeks. It struck all the right notes and was absolutely delicious. This year a warm mushroom salad with mascarpone, pancetta and toasted hazelnuts on a bed of arugula was completely different and just as good. They do great things with food and it was a treat to have them present.

Beautiful cuts of sesame crusted seared ahi tuna served on top of a fried wonton on a bed of sautéed vegetables drizzled with Asian dressing was the dish from Basil’s on Market at the Miami Valley Restaurant Association’s Sneak Peek to Winter Restaurant Week. CONTRIBUTED/ALEXIS LARSEN
Photo: Contributing Writer

🍽 Basil’s on Market

Basil’s Dayton: 312 N. Patterson Blvd., Dayton, 937-818-4390

Basil’s Troy: 18 N. Market Street, Troy, 937-875-2068

Basil’s Mason: 5650 Tylersville Road, Mason, 513-445-4637

basilsonmarket.com

Beautiful cuts of sesame crusted seared ahi tuna served on top of a fried wonton on a bed of sautéed vegetables drizzled with Asian dressing were as beautiful as they were delicious. Light, refreshing and flavorful, it was a real treat and executed well at the event thanks to quality product and talented staff.

>>BASIL’S BOMBSHELL: It will open a new restaurant AND a new craft brewery

Salar served pan seared strips of filet mignon with sautéed onions, tomatoes, yellow Peruvian peppers and spices tossed with French fries over Jasmine rice at the Miami Valley Restaurant Association’s Sneak Peek to Winter Restaurant Week. CONTRIBUTED/ALEXIS LARSEN
Photo: Contributing Writer

🍽 Salar Restaurant and Lounge

400 E. 5th St., Dayton

salarrestaurant.com or 937-203-3999

Pan seared strips of filet mignon with sautéed onions, tomatoes, yellow Peruvian peppers and spices tossed with French fries over Jasmine rice. The double carb load of the French fries and the Jasmine rice were a bit much, but the filet strips were fantastic. When it comes to adding flavor to a meal Salar knows what it’s doing and does it well.

>>LOOKING BACK: 5 of the most shocking restaurant fires in recent Dayton-area history

Tavern at the Greene served a bourbon chocolate ganache campfire ice cream at the Miami Valley Restaurant Association’s Sneak Peek to Winter Restaurant Week. CONTRIBUTED/ALEXIS LARSEN
Photo: Contributing Writer

🍽 Tavern at the Greene

920 W. Dayton Yellow Springs Road, Fairborn

www.tavernatthegreene.com or 937-203-3343

Tavern at the Greene brought their A-game to this event. Their set-up was the best by far and consistently had the longest line likely due to what was being served — a bourbon chocolate ganache campfire ice cream. The creamy chocolate ice cream topped with a bourbon chocolate ganache graham cracker, chocolate bar and a toasted marshmallow seared with a kitchen butane torch was well executed, pretty to look at and absolutely delicious.

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