Some would consider honesty within a business’s practice an important component, and as a customer, you want what you were promised, right? So what if I told you that this downtown Dayton café and bar fulfills the promise it holds within its title? That this restaurant literally holds true to its name? Well, let me enlighten you. De’Lish is both the description of this venue, as well as the cuisine they serve as part of their entire dining experience. And “experience” may not even do justice to what really happens behind those lovely curtained front doors of De’Lish on the corner of Main and First. After having their doors open FOR A WHOLE YEAR, they are ready to throw a royal celebration! Details to come…
On a recent chilly Friday, I had the opportunity of sitting down (in front of their gorgeous bar) with Jasmine Brown, one of the co-owners of De’Lish along with Tawana Knight. “My fiancé and I had always wanted a lounge and bar,” described Jasmine, and when they came across the space downtown, they fell in love with it immediately. Jasmine explained that running your own restaurant is like everyone warns: “it is a very demanding business, but it’s worth it for the look on people’s face when they taste the food. And then you see your first repeat customers and eventually, you see regulars, and you just know you’re doing something good.” They started business last December, and this Saturday, December 3, marks their one year anniversary! Congratulations are in order.
This venue is known for their dining experience, in every sense of the word. While enjoying their wide selection of cuisine, De’Lish also provides the entertainment. They host poetry readings twice a month, from local poets. Local comedians even had a chance at the stage just a few Sundays ago for their second comedic night. They have even hosted a night full of Reggae musicians, where groups from Columbus traveled over to Dayton to share an evening with the guests at De’Lish. When discussing this, I could really feel Jasmine’s emphasis on supporting local people. Even all the art within the room was unveiled specifically for De’Lish by a local artist named Amanda Sue Allen. As much as possible, the wonderful staff at De’Lish tries to incorporate people within the surrounding community into their events. They feature a variety of local talents, as well as serving up their own variety within an average week. Below is a map to the endless celebration taking place within this relaxed, yet elegant setting:
Monday: Monday Night FootballTuesday: A very laid back evening
Wednesday: “Wind down” with 50 cent wings and wine specials
Thursday: Another relaxed evening
Friday-Saturday: When the party is happening!! Live entertainment begins at 9 PM
Sunday: Delicious brunch, where the chefs feature different food than usually on the menu
Bonus: Complementary Valet ParkingWednesday-Sunday
De’Lish is known for its dining atmosphere. It is fine dining, but by no means has that stuffy feeling some restaurants carry. The setting is close enough that you can get to know your neighbor and interact with those around you if you so choose, but is also private enough that it’s the perfect date night. Jasmine commented about how she has had the privilege to observe complete strangers build relationships over dinner or coordinate business transactions from the table across the way. It truly is a community, where every member is welcome and invited in with welcoming smiles. Numerous customers have commented on De’Lish’s “ambiance” and the live entertainment allows the guests to see a show while they enjoy their meal. So it’s pretty obvious that these folks like to have a good time, right? And now you must be wondering what’s “under the table” for their anniversary this Saturday.
A celebration for their guests. That’s what Jasmine and her lovely crew at De’Lish have decided to cater to for this celebration of the anniversary of their opening, one year ago on December 3rd. The main purpose of this celebration is “to give back to the customers”. So what’s on tap? A radio station will be broadcasting at De’Lish from 5 PM to 7 PM. Hor’deurves will be passed throughout the celebration and a medley of local bands will also be performing, each having an hour set. “We have some really great bands coming in,” gleamed Jasmine, who should definitely be excited for the anniversary of a truly beautiful lounge and bar. Interviewing her, I could really see her passion for the success of this restaurant and for the relationships she holds with her customers. The guests represent all parts of Dayton—all ages, all demographics. “There is such a wide spectrum of guests from day to day, and I have been told by many of them, ‘I just feel so comfortable here.’” I definitely could feel that same level of comfort as I sat with Jasmine in the elegant lighting of De’Lish, conversation flowing as if we were old friends. I asked what knowledge this one year has bestowed upon her, and she responded, “I have learned to be patient, to wait for things. Also, I cannot please everyone.” These words of wisdom most definitely apply to our everyday lives, too.
On to the eats? Now that we have been welcomed into such a dazzling venue, feel at home with the friendly faces around us, and a show is available for our entertainment, it’s time to discuss the real reason you came to De’Lish. It is a restaurant—so what about their menu? When I asked Jasmine her favorite item, she genuinely had a hard time picking just one, because she “absolutely love[s] so much on the menu.” She finally narrowed it down to three, still teetering among their delicious Lamb Chops, the best Turkey Burger, and the great seafood De’Lish offers (they have served Sea Bass three different ways, all of which have wowed taste buds of countless guests over this past year). And their roasted hummus, made in house and served with crispy pita bread is a must-try. Honestly, with De’Lish’s “pretty awesome team,” including celebrity Chef Mark Brown and “Chef of the Year” sous chef Anthony Head, it’s not surprising their wide selection is nothing but spectacular.
So why De’Lish? Think back to when TV dinners started taking the nation by storm. Dinner + a show = a pretty good time. The major negative thing about these TV dinners were that they took away important bonding time for American families during dinner. De’Lish offers even better entertainment than any television show would be able to cook up and thrives on the bonding and interaction between its guests over a most delicious meal. A sense of belonging ensues from such a dining experience, and the fact that there’s great cuisine is the kicker. Such a variety is embodied within the menu; no one will be disappointed. All in all—it’s great food, a chance to get involved in the Dayton community, and entertainment all comfortably placed within this bar and lounge on First and Main. It’s a one-of-a-kind experience waiting for you, especially ushering in De’Lish’s new year this Saturday, starting at 5 PM.
All that’s left to do is get your party hat on!
Address: 139 N. Main Street Downtown Dayton, Dayton, OH 45402
Wed-Thu: 11AM – 10PM
Fri: 11AM – 2AM
Sat: 5PM – 2 AM
Sun: 11AM – 4PM
Reservations and Catering: (937) 461- CAFE (2233)