If you’ve reached the Indiana border, you’ve gone way too far.
You’ve missed one of the Miami Valley’s most ambitious and flavor-packed restaurants.
Trust us, you don’t want to do that.
>> RELATED: New steakhouse with a twist opening today
The Bison and The Boar, 3377 U.S. Route 35 East in West Alexandria, opened to the public on Friday, Feb. 22.
The eatery is located in a structure that looks more like a community center than a steakhouse. But steakhouse it very much is, as we learned during a recent media preview event.
Step Inside, and you find a spacious restaurant with a party room, with total space for 150.
That number includes spaces in The Bison and The Boar’s party room and bar area and its 55-seat main dining room painted mostly in dark blue and decorated with vintage photos from around Preble County.
Chef Isiah Davis, a 2005 Dunbar High School graduate, previously told us his passion for food before the eatery morphed into The Bison and The Boar from Reflections restaurant.
That comes across on his plates.
I will start with the star attractions first: the meat.
The restaurant serves seafood, fish, pork and Ohio-raised beef, bison and boar.
Bison and boar are in the restaurant’s name, and there are certainly boar and bison options like the wild boar and the bison burgers for $14 and $15.
But beef reigns supreme at the restaurant located about halfway between Dayton and Richmond, Ind.
Right out the gate, Davis’ bone-in ribeye ($41) could give the best steaks in the Miami Valley a run for their money.
The tender, big (22-ounce) steak was extra buttery thanks to a list of add-on compound butters for $2 each.
We tried the Cajun butter and peppery au poivre butter.
Davis offers those varieties as well as an herbed butter and a ribeye butter as an alternative to more traditional steakhouse sauces like hollandaise and Bearnaise.
Other steak cuts include a porterhouse, top sirloin, ribeye, Filet Mignon and prime bone-in Filet Mignon, and a prime bone-in Kansas City Strip.
There is a boar shank and tenderloin and bison strip, Filet and ribeye.
The restaurant offers trios and duos for those who want to try more than one meat. They range from $27 to the $36 surf-and-turf duo: six ounces of Caribbean lobster tail and six ounces of beef filet.
The Forest and Field duo, for instance, featured six ounces of tender beef tenderloin and six ounces of boar.
Like the steaks, seafood and boar dishes, the duo and trios come with a big candied pecan, goat cheese and berry vinaigrette mixed greens house salad and one or two side dishes.
Sides include onion rings, mashed cauliflower, herb roasted potatoes, creamed corn and Five Cheese Mac.
Davis said the compound butters can be used on a variety of dishes. We tested that theory, mixing the Cajun butter into a side of mashed potatoes and the au poivre butter into a side of roasted Brussels sprouts.
But what about the starters?
The restaurant’s appetizers include white cheddar curds, lump crab cake and jumbo cocktail shrimp.
On the recommendation of Davis and nearly everyone else in the eatery owned by Dan Appenzeller, we started things off by ordering the boar belly appetizer ($8.50).
The natural sweetness of the meat was highlighted thanks to nutmeg and cinnamon.
Boar belly is meatier than pork belly.
The Bison and the Boar dishes have the taste of rib tips, but are sweeter, less fatty and far more tender.
>> BEST OF DAYTON 2018: The best eats on the cheap
Before our main meals arrived, we dove into the restaurant’s stuffed mushrooms (roasted peppers, sausage and Parmesan), dipping The Bison and The Boar’s already buttery bread in the dish’s herby, oily juices.
Davis told us that he and his staff know they will need to stay on their game to draw food lovers.
He’s off to a great start.
WANT TO GO?
What: The Bison and The Boar
Where: 3377 U.S. Route 35 East in West Alexandria
Thank you for reading the Journal-News and for supporting local journalism. Subscribers: log in for access to your daily ePaper and premium newsletters.
Thank you for supporting in-depth local journalism with your subscription to the Journal-News. Get more news when you want it with email newsletters just for subscribers. Sign up here.