The Winans family has been making lives a little sweeter for more than a century. During the Great Depression, townspeople would flock to the family?s bakery in Piqua with their sugar rations. Owner Wayne Winans would take that sugar and turn it into freshly baked cookies?a small pick-me-up at a time when even small pick-me-ups were a luxury. Years later, Wayne?s sons, Max and Dick, carried the family torch into the 1960s, when the first Winans Fine Chocolates & Coffees was born.
Today, the Winans family continues to do what it does best at three Ohio locations. All of the business?s chocolates are handmade, with no preservatives or fillers, and never cryogenically frozen. The family?s emphasis on freshness carries over to their coffee, too, which has frequently been named the area's best by the readers of the Dayton Business Journal and the Dayton Daily News. The secret is in their roasting process?their small, 15-pound roaster requires them to roast the beans in small batches, which leads to a more consistent product. Once the beans are ready, coffee artisans carefully combine them with other roasts to create a vast assortment of flavors, which includes 11 house coffee blends, 12 flavored coffees, and even more seasonal selections.
At age 11, while other Jersey kids were playing ball up the block, Tony Aponte was treating his four siblings to pizzas in the family kitchen. More than three decades have passed since those days. Tony has found new digs. He's moved to Ohio to be closer to his three daughters. But he is still crafting pizzas, drawing on those childhood experiences and a greatly expanded palette of toppings and ingredients available at Aponte's Pizzeria, which was featured on The Food Network's Restaurant Impossible.
In the pies he makes now, house-made sauce, hand-tossed white or wheat dough, and fistfuls of whole-milk cheese support capicola, genoa salami, grilled peppers, and artichoke hearts. While pulling apart slices, guests at Aponte?s Pizzeria can drink from a full bar or glance up at five flat-screen TVs to check sports scores or see if the anchorman is still wearing their friendship bracelet. Sports photos and team insignias pepper the marinara-red walls, and the tables clatter with plates of subs and baked pastas.
A huge circular teppanyaki grill sends up plumes of fragrant smoke from the focal point of Dao Modern Asian Cuisine’s dining room as chefs deftly sizzle up meats and seafood across its surface. Aside from a venue for the chef’s showmanship, the grill serves as a conspicuous sign of Dao Modern Asian Cuisine’s commitment to cooking dishes fresh to order. In addition to Chinese stir fries, chefs showcase dozens of other Asian specialties: they simmer Thai curries, roll up more than 30 sushi rolls, and fuse together Korean classics such as bibimbap. Additionally, chefs offer a smattering of vegetarian and gluten-free dishes.
Dao Modern Asian Cuisine introduces Western eyes to Eastern-style architecture, exemplified by the restaurant’s pagoda-style façade. Asian hanging lamps, dark wooden ceiling risers, and golden sheets of glass emblazon the dining room and create an elegant atmosphere where eaters with nomadic tastes can sample international dishes sans fanny pack.
Relish Modern Tapas' chefs place a new spin on the centuries-old tradition of socializing with friends over small plates, interspersing their Spanish tapas menu with innovative international dishes. Their kitchen is a flurry of roaring fires and sizzling saucepans as chefs stir saffron into rice paella and simmer up morsels of chicken, chorizo, and baby back ribs. They fold seafood into Mexican- and Asian-inspired tacos while Italian flatbreads bake in ovens. Out in the sleek dining room, bartenders nimbly move about the bar, whipping up the bold specialty martinis that earned the praise of reporters from City Beat. Wooden beams crown the bar, extending out over spherical arrangements of tabletops and cushy booths. Hanging lights bathe the room in a soft glow, and towering windows provide diners with a glimpse of the glimmering lights and handsome crossing guards of Deerfield Boulevard.
Lucky Dog Grille's inviting environs serve up a menu of flavorful pub fare in comfortable noshing quarters for the whole family. Their plump, aromatic Big Dog wings send tongues aflutter, being slathered in one of your choice of 14 sauces and served with a side of palate-cooling ranch or blue cheese sauce ($5.49 for an order of six, $10.49 for 12, $15.99 for 18). Sample the lightly breaded fried pickles, golden brown and sidekicked with ranch ($5.49), or prove the conservative cheese forecast wrong with crispy, skin-on potato skin flats ($6.99). A host of handy handhelds like the spicy feta wrap ($7.99) and BBQ bacon steak Philly sandwich ($8.99) are equally capable of quelling vicious hunger pangs, or doubling as makeshift melee weapons during unexpected Plesiosaur attacks.
Though Viva Tequila Mexican Restaurant hasn't been around that long, its history actually begins in the 16th century, when the Aztec people created an alcoholic beverage from the agave plant called octli. Viva Tequila lifts its name from octli's successor and celebrates its versatility with flavored and traditional lime margaritas, tequila cocktails, and top-shelf selections such as Patron Gold, 1800 Tequila, and Hornitos. The kitchen staff pairs tequila drinks with classic chimichangas and chili colorado, a dish of beef tips and red sauce. The aroma of the chili, along with the scent of other piquant dishes such as garlic shrimp and chorizo fajitas, drifts between patrons seated in booths in the dining room and outdoors on the patio.