“We introduce new menu items as often as possible. We want to keep our staff and customers engaged in the food we create, the cocktails we make or the wine we buy. Constant education has always been at the top of the priority list, so we try to learn and teach as much as possible, ”Weiner said. “We specialize in Midwestern cuisine with an international flavor and influence. Many of these flavors and techniques are borrowed from parts of Japan and Korea, but you can find influence from several different countries at one time.
The food is interesting, dramatic, and layered with flavors that surprise and delight. It’s fun, captivating, and most importantly, really, really good.
They don’t offer changes or substitutions on any of their menu items, but the menu has plenty of gluten-free, vegan, and vegetarian menu options available at all times.
“Our most popular dishes right now are our ribs served with mashed sweet potatoes, pickled apples and SO sauce. The second most popular is our Aged New York Koji Strip served with candied potatoes, miso roasted cippolini onions and a house fermented steak sauce. Risotto is also a dish that we can’t live without enough right now, ”Weiner said.
The restaurant offers a special eight-course tasting menu with an optional New Years Eve wine pairing that is fully booked. While you might not be there, the menu gives you an idea of the kind of culinary creativity that shows up every time you walk into the restaurant.
The decadent meal begins with a Koji vegetable deli with locally grown vegetables that are slowly aged with koji – a starch that has been inoculated with mold that’s safe for human consumption. It is a fermentation agent that is an integral part of making soy sauce, miso, and sake. It is often used in Japanese cuisine and is commonly used to age meat.
Next comes a Mushroom kushikatsu, a street food specialty from Osaka, Japan. These fried mushrooms will be served with a kushikatsu sauce, red Brussels leaves and green shiso. A tasty lotus root soup the third course is topped with seven different herb oils and a crunchy root vegetable crunch.
Jumbo shrimp steamed with sake and mirin served with a yuzu emulsion and a homemade furikake is the first course, followed by a thinly sliced hamachi served with a buttermilk dressing, waabi, orange and herbs. A roll of pork belly cabbage lightly cooked in dashi and mounted with kimchi butter is course six. Next comes the course whose ingredients greet a crowning glory – an A5 Japanese cut of premium Wagyu beef. This is a very special cut of meat that is beautifully marbled and of unparalleled flavor. Pan-seared until rare, Jollity will serve it in a local juniper crust from Little Miami Farms and serve it with a reduced half-coffee made from Kurasu Cafe in Kyoto and sherry-flavored cippolini onions.
The dessert is for the chefs to take their favorite candied apples from their childhood.
Looks interesting? there is no doubt. And based on every meal I have eaten at Jollity so far, it will also be incredibly satisfying and delicious.
“We try to innovate as we can. Much inspiration comes from our years of travel and experience working in very different parts of the country or the world. The other inspiration comes from meals we maybe recently shared together where we discovered a flavor or ingredient we didn’t know about, from books, from farmers or just trying something completely on a whim because that looks good to us, ”Weiner said. “I think our drive to provide a complete experience is what makes us a special destination. Between the ambiance, the food, the service and the bar program, we truly believe that no one aspect is more important than the other and they all need to be constantly in sync to deliver the best possible experience. Our staff do an amazing job working as a team and delivering an experience to our clients.
The co-owners come to the table with an impressive resume to lean on – they’ve worked at C’est Tout, Olive: An Urban Dive, Rue Dumaine, Roost and Meadowlark to name a few. They’ve learned from some of the best chefs Dayton has seen over the past decade and it shows in the kitchen. A look at some of the signature dishes they have become known for tells the story …
“Our New York strip is rubbed with a mixture of Koji and salt and rests for at least 48 hours. Koji is the ingredient that makes all Japanese fermented foods, like soy sauce, miso, sake, taste amazing, ”Weiner said. “Koji represents a 30-day dry aging process in 48 to 96 hours. The longer it sits, the better the steak. We served the steak with slowly cooked potato pancakes, cippolini onions rubbed in white miso from Kyoto that are steamed before a high heat roast, and our house fermented hot sauce which is a blend of guchijang, dried fruits, garlic, shallot, soybeans, and sugars.
“Our risotto is made with Tamanishiki rice, two kinds of short grain rice from California selected for their texture and flavor. After sweating the ginger and onion, we add the rice and sake. Then we slowly add our mushroom dashi as you would in a traditional risotto. This is topped with a trinity of roasted mushrooms provided by Guided By Mushrooms, Mizuna from Greentable Gardens, and crispy garlic crisps. We’re keeping it completely vegan, relying on the flavors of dashi to mimic cheese and the starch content of rice to replace cream, ”Weiner said.
It’s this kind of attention to ingredients, cooking methods and dish creation that impresses no matter what’s on the menu that day. And the bar program is just as impressive and tasty as what comes out of the kitchen.
Since opening, they’ve added extra seating to accommodate more guests, added a brunch service that ceased earlier this month and will resume in spring 2022, expanded the wine list and expanded the menu. They have also continued to attract the attention of new customers who enjoy exploring a creative menu that is well executed and different from any menu in town.
“We hope that by opening Jolliity we can help elevate the dining scene in Dayton by doing something quite different. We love this city so much and if we can help introduce new foods or wines that the people of this region know or not and that everyone has fun doing, then we consider that to be a positive impact ”, Weiner said. “Joy is simple … Good food, good humor. That is just all that was discussed.
Jollity is one restaurant that has unmistakably elevated its dining in Dayton as far as I’m concerned, and in this thank you season it’s a restaurant that’s high on my list.
Dayton eats takes a look at regional culinary stories and mouth watering restaurant news. Share information about updates to your menu, special dinners and events, new chefs, interesting new dishes and culinary adventures. Do you know of any exciting outdoor spaces, exciting new format changes, specials, happy hours, restaurant updates, or any other tasty news that you think is worth a closer look? Email Alexis Larsen at [email protected] with the information and we will work to include it in future coverage.