Romantic spots to dine in the Dayton area

The Caroline restaurant, 5 South Market Street on the square in downtown Troy. Photo by Jim Witmer
The Caroline restaurant, 5 South Market Street on the square in downtown Troy. Photo by Jim Witmer

What's your criteria for a romantic restaurant? An intimate atmosphere, perhaps? High-quality food? Attentive service? Well-executed drinks?

Or all of the above?

We thought so.

Romance shouldn’t be limited to one day a year, of course, so this list of some of our favorite romantic restaurants shouldn’t begin and end on Valentine's Day (or anniversaries for that matter), which is Saturday, February 14. We’d highly recommend — very highly recommend — calling ahead to check availability and to make reservations early.

Here's a dozen of some of the most romantic restaurants in the Miami Valley, in alphabetical order:

The Caroline

  • Basics: 5 S. Market St., Troy; Call (937) 552-7676
  • Why it rates: Great blend of an intimate atmosphere and well-crafted dishes.

Dominique's Bistro and Bar

  • Basics: 2600 Far Hills Avenue, Oakwood; Call (937) 298-0022
  • Why it rates: The glass-enclosed atrium seating area that faces Far Hills Avenue can have a romantic feel to it, at least when the restaurant isn't packed. And those wonderful sauces...

Coco's Bistro

  • Basics: 250 Warren St., Dayton; Call (937) 228-2626
  • Why it rates: This restaurant has carved a strong reputation with its eclectic menu and inviting atmosphere.

Coldwater Café

  • Basics: 19 E. Main St., Tipp City; Call (937) 667-0007
  • Why it rates: This restaurant in downtown Tipp City serves up perfectly executed, creative dishes in a charming atmosphere — and, it won the online voting for the 2009 ActiveDayton "Best of Dayton" award for "Most Romantic Restaurant."

Jay's Restaurant

  • Basics: 225 E. Sixth St., Dayton's Oregon Historic District; Call (937) 222-2892
  • Why it rates: The antique bar is breathtaking, Jay's has the best wine list in the city, and the decadently rich chocolate mousse is guaranteed to melt a woman's (or man's) heart.


  • Basics: 5531 Far Hills Ave., Washington Twp.; Call (937) 434-4750
  • Why it rates: An eclectic but comfortable vibe, inspired cuisine and a well-chosen wine list make this an inviting destination.

Melting Pot

  • Basics: 453 Miamisburg-Centerville Road, Washington Twp.; Call (937) 567-8888
  • Why it rates: This fondue restaurant's subdued lighting, glass-walled wine cellar and wine-themed artwork create an undeniably romantic atmosphere. And if you find chocolate an aphrodisiac, save room for dessert.

Shen's Szechuan & Sushi

  • Basics: 7580 Poe Ave., Vandalia; Call (937) 898-3860
  • Why it rates: The soft lighting and rich woods of this restaurant's interior make it one of the most inviting atmospheres in the Miami Valley.

Rue Dumaine

  • Basics: 1061 Miamisburg-Centerville Road, Washington Twp.; Call (937) 610-1061
  • Why it rates: Well-executed dishes in a dining room that strikes the right balance between elegant and not-too-formal, plus a great, reasonably priced wines-by-the-glass list.

Salar Restaurant & Lounge

  • Basics: 400 E. Fifth St. , (937) 203-3999
  • Why it rates: A relatively new restaurant, beautifully renovated, with fine cocktails and creative dishes.

Roost Modern Italian

  • Basics: 524 E Fifth St., (937) 222-3100
  • Why it rates: Cozy atmosphere, upscale Italian cuisine combine to boost the romance quotient.

Wellington Grille

  • Basics: 2450 Dayton-Xenia Road, Beavercreek; Call (937) 426-4600
  • Why it rates: The high-backed and comfortable booths offer a bit of privacy, though you shouldn't assume your neighboring diners can't hear every word you're saying. Consistent service and an elegant atmosphere.

Other romantic restaurant options

If none of the options above struck your fancy, give one of these a whirl, or, if your favorite doesn't appear here, suggest it by leaving a comment on the taste blog, because I know I must be missing some good ones:

  • Amelia's Bistro, Bellbrook
  • The Barnsider, Harrison Twp.
  • Bonefish Grille, Miami Twp.
  • Brio, Beavercreek
  • Carvers, Washington Twp.
  • Greenfire Bistro, Tipp City
  • Fleming's Prime Steakhouse & Wine Bar, Beavercreek
  • Hawthorn Grill, Kettering
  • J. Alexanders, Washington Twp.
  • La Piazza, Troy
  • Lily's Bistro, Dayton
  • Mamma DiSalvo's, Kettering
  • McCormick & Schmick's, Beavercreek
  • Michael Anthony's at the Inn, Versailles
  • Pasha Grill, Beavercreek
  • P.F. Chang's, Miami Twp.
  • View 162 Restaurant & Lounge in the Crowne Plaza hotel, Dayton
  • Thai 9, Dayton
  • The Winds, Yellow Springs