photography by Natalie Jeanne
Dayton, Ohio —
The aptly named Corner Kitchen sits at the intersection of Wayne Avenue and East Fifth Street in Dayton’s Oregon District. The New American restaurant combines fine dining with a country-fresh atmosphere, with a seasonal menu starring local ingredients.
Owners Jack and Natalie Skilliter (chef and general manager, respectively) bring years of experience to their restaurant. “While the farm-to-table movement is very popular right now,” says Natalie, “Jack and I have been working with farmers for years. It’s part of the soul of our restaurant. There’s nothing in this world that tastes as good as a tomato in the height of its season or that sweet snap of corn. Local growers are our partners in offering fresh, natural food.”
Daily specials highlight the bounty of the season, sourced from nearby farms and orchards. “There’s a creativity that working with local farmers allows,” Natalie explains. “Every day there’s a new surprise created by our staff that is enabled by our relationships with local farmers.” In late summer, for example, the daily pork chop special featured a demi-glace made from local cherries. Hen-of-the-woods mushrooms foraged only a few miles away formed the base of a crab cake special.
Local farms working with Corner Kitchen include Eshelman Fruit Farm in Clyde, OH, and The Urban Renewal Farm in Dayton. Last year, Learning Tree Farm in Dayton offered to grow produce exclusively for Corner Kitchen. Meat comes from Ohio producers including Ed Hill’s Chicken in Xenia, lamb from Paul Hunter in Fort Loramie, and pork from Keener Farm in Trotwood.
The local and made-from-scratch philosophy extends to the drinks, as well, with housemade syrups and mixers shaken into cocktails and many local brews available.
The ever-changing menu accommodates a wide variety of tastes, with options for omnivores, vegans, and gluten- or dairy-free diners. Natalie says, “Each iteration of the menu focuses on one core ingredient that you’ll find used throughout the menu in different ways.”
613 E. Fifth St., Dayton, OH
Tue–Thu 4:30pm–10:00pm; Fri–Sat 4:30pm–11:00pm