Aug. 5—Celebrating summer and the uptick of outdoor dining, Dayton.com will spotlight restaurant patios across the Miami Valley on a weekly basis.
Two years ago, the Oregon District Business Association launched Out on 5th, a program that helps the district open Fifth Street up for guests to shop, dine and relax in the open air.
In the Oregon District, the patio to restaurant ratio is probably the highest in the city with the least amount of walking needed to find another outdoor seated area to enjoy. In spring, summer and fall, the patio ratio particularly increases with restaurants and bars in the district having room to expand patio seating into the streets, filling Fifth Street with public seating.
Every Friday night through Sunday evening Fifth Street closes to vehicles between Patterson Boulevard and Wayne Ave. The street seating allows visitors room to spread out on a pedestrian mall, socially distancing with the opportunity to enjoy even more outdoor dining in the district along with their dish and drink of choice.
It's fun walking through the district on the weekends to see what each business is doing and how they are tweaking and modifying based on previous weeks and customer feedback.
The restaurant that pulls out all the stops for it is unquestionably Salar.
With pipe and drape surrounding the space on Fifth St. in front of the restaurant in addition to outdoor rugs, plants, and beautiful seating, Salar offers a seamless transitional vibe from indoor to outdoor. The result is an eloquent style that begs to have people sit and stay a while.
Salar has one small but sweet patio in front of the restaurant and a much more expansive back patio that likely provided inspiration for the set-up they use for Out on 5th.
It's a wonderful spot to enjoy Salar owner and Executive Chef Margot Blondet's Peruvian flavors and classical French techniques in interesting dishes that are packed with flavorful surprises.
The Kentucky Paris ($24.50), a buttermilk and panko crusted fried chicken with French toast and bourbon syrup, and a DETOX/RETOX ($12.75) cocktail made with Corralejo Reposado Tequila, pineapple, jalapeño, cilantro, basil, and cucumber was a recent brunch order made on the Out of 5th patio. Neither disappointed.
A Manchu Picchu pork chop ($34) topped with spicy rocoto chili jam served with grilled asparagus and Yukon and leek purée or the three seared scallops accompanied by parsnip purée and carrot flan with zucchini, topped with rose brown butter ($38) are great dinner options. Choose a pineapple salad ($9.50) with mixed greens, grilled pineapple, toasted hazelnuts and coconut tossed in a pineapple balsamic vinaigrette to start the meal.
"We are always looking to introduce new flavors to our customers," Blodet shared with me in a previous interview. "For me, it is super important to surprise people with the unexpected and teach their palates something new. We are constantly looking for new flavors, textures, and colors in our food. The atmosphere, the cocktails, the music, the lights, the actual plates that we use, the glassware, the service, the decoration, everything has been chosen to elevate the custumer's experience. I want to spoil them."
With a patio like this that gets set up and torn down each week, the spoiling is apparent!
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HOW TO GO
What: Salar Restaurant & Lounge
Where: 410 E. Fifth St., Dayton
More info: https://salarrestaurant.com or (937) 203-3999
Plan your visit: Visit www.downtowndayton.org/outon5th to see more information on parking and details before you go