Date Night: The Amber Rose

A while ago, I purchased one of those living social deals where we got a Target gift card along with $50 gift card to I had never heard of it, but I think it came out to me spending a whole $1 for the portion of the deal…not too shabby. We used $25 of it towards my birthday dinner at The Melting Pot and the other $25 we used towards a local Dayton restaurant we had never heard of called the Amber Rose. We figured it was a good way for us to be forced to branch out a little.

So, with our (basically free) $25 gift card in tow, we ventured to the restaurant.  Here’s a picture of the restaurant during the day that I found online. It was already dark when we got there, so this isn’t exactly what we saw, but it was in a slightly rougher part of town, so it was still a shiny beacon in the night compared to its surroundings.  It’s an old historic house that was converted to a restaurant. Pretty cool actually.

{image from here}

When we got there, the parking lot was packed (we later found out that was because there was a party going on in their upstairs party room).  It seemed promising.  When we walked in, my first thought was that the place was quaint. The tables were adorned with plastic floral print table cloths, and there were a few other people there scattered around the dining area.  There was a ful service bar off to one side including beers on tap (and not just the usual American lagers either).  I thought the original ceiling tiles were awesome and there were several stained glass windows as well.

We were sat at a table right next to the front windows, which allowed me to take a good photo of the amber rose stained glass…it also allowed me to be absolutely freezing the whole meal.  I never took my coat off!…bummer.

The tag line of the restaurant alludes to European and American food, which I guess is fairly accurate. It was mainly Eastern European food…I don’t think that portion of the world is actually known for their amazing cuisine…I could be wrong.

Anyway, the pierogi and potato soup seemed appetizing from the appetizers (the turtle soup, less so…yes, it’s made from turtles…gag me). So, we went with those.  I would say the potato soup would’ve been classified as “American” and the pierogi “european.” It wasn’t the best potato cheese soup I’ve ever had, but let’s be honest, it’s going to be pretty hard for most people to not like potatoey, cheesy, oh and don’t forget, bacony yumminess. 😉 The pierogis were ok, but they were potato filled, fried, and topped with onions and sour cream, which is not what I was expecting.  The only other ones I’ve had were made by my future mother-in-law (from scratch) and filled with farmer’s cheese (and eaten with melted butter and grilled onions), and oh ya…taste AMAZING, so I guess Amber Rose’s had some pretty steep competition.  (And I’m not just saying that to get on my MIL’s good side…Dane and I always hope she’ll make them for us on trips home to Minnesota.)

I’m sure you’re thinking, “wow, this doesn’t sound like a very good date night at all.” Well, although the food was lacking, the company was great, so it wasn’t all bad.  We spent most of the time laughing about the crazy food on the menu and questioning whether or not turtles would be considered an endangered species, ergo the legitimacy of the turtle soup.  :)

Moving on to our entrees, I went with the Russian Beef Stroganoff for $10.99 (my mom used to make this and I always loved it).  This version came with spaetzle, which were explained to me as mini dumplings.

I would describe this dish as “meh.” It had a lot of sour cream and not much flavor. I maybe ate 1/4 of the whole dish…and if you know me, that’s crazy…I almost always clean my plate.

Dane ordered the Hunter Schnitzel for $15.99.  It’s menu described it as “a new twist on pork! Pretzel crusted pork loin, sautéed to a golden brown. Topped with Dijoncream sauce. Served with petite potato pancakes and our own sauerkraut.”

Dane actually liked this.  Totally not anything I would ever eat, but he liked it.  Oh, and of course, it came with sour cream in a little plastic container.  I swear they must buy massive buckets of sour cream at this place.

Basically, if you’re into everything fried or made with sour cream, this place is right up your alley!

The meal was coming to a close (and luckily the heat had finally turned on) and since we had saved some moolah with the gift card, we decided to get crazy and order dessert. This is one part of the meal that I actually really enjoyed! (are you sick of hearing me complain yet?) We went with their homemade carrot cake.  It was full of walnuts and had super thick cream cheese icing (the best part of carrot cake in my humble opinion).

That shot really shows off the floral table cloths, too. 😉

So, there it is. Dane and I attempted to be adventurous with a new restaurant in Dayton and we basically crashed and burned.  And, with the prices as high as they were, even with a gift card, the meal seemed way too expensive for the quality of food and service.

One of the biggest culture shocks for me when I moved to Ohio from Los Angeles was the lack of good food.  I’m really tired of mediocre Mexican food and chain restaurants.  I seriously cannot wait for the restaurants in DC!


If you are dying to check out the menu or maybe you don’t believe me that Turtle Soup is on there…check it out here.

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