At 40 years, Treasure Island Supper Club keeps it simple
By Brian P. Sharp
One of Dayton’s dining traditions is just minutes from downtown Dayton in Moraine. Treasure Island Supper Club – known for seafood, steaks and the famous seafood salad. I decided to give this “treasure” a visit recently. Not much of the décor has changed over the years. There is still a nautical theme – including a ship’s wheel at the front door. There is something charming about the dimly lit supper club. I respect the fact that they haven’t focused on décor because the food is consistent…and has been over the years.
For many years you had to stroll through the smoky bar area to get to the hostess, but with the new smoking ban it is a pleasure to work your way through the bar patrons to find a table. We were greeted by a young man that took us to our table. Servers abound and are very attentive though not invasive.
The Treasure Island Supper Club has been a favorite amongst locals to just gather for drinks or a great dinner. It has also played host to many visiting business travelers over the years. Treasure Island is open for lunch and dinner Monday through Thursday from 11 a.m.-11 p.m. and on Friday and Saturday from 11-12 a.m. There is a full bar, a nice wine list and a party room upstairs with room for plenty of guests.
The lunch menu is just as diverse as the dinner menu. Over the years, especially when I worked near Moraine, I would pop into Treasure Island at lunch for the Seafood Salad. It has been a menu staple for years. A mixed green salad topped with a combination of shrimp and crab and dressed with the house sweet and sour dressing. In fact, when you mention Treasure Island to people that know, they almost always mention this salad. It is definitely worth a try.
There are many steaks and chops on the dinner menu, which vary from a 16-ounce T-bone to an eight-ounce filet. Other meat options include pork chops, ham steak, chicken livers and even boneless chicken breast. Seafood options are plentiful with options like lobster tail, Alaskan king crab legs, halibut, scallops and even a stuffed flounder. There are pasta options, sandwich options and plenty of salad options as well.
Tonight the special was pickerel – lightly battered and pan-fried – and both of us wanted to try it. Pickerel is a Great Lakes fish similar to walleye. The server gave us plenty of time to look over the menu and even made some suggestions.
Once we had ordered, our waitress brought over a basket of freshly baked bread – pumpernickel and house baked yeast bread with salt and poppy seeds. Our salads were served – a mix of greens, tomatoes, croutons topped with your choice of dressing. I chose the house sweet and sour, while Steve chose bleu cheese. The house dressing was like a poppy seed dressing without the seeds. It was the kind of dressing that makes you want to soak up the extra with a slice of bread. Oh please, don’t act like you haven’t done it.
My friend and I both decided to try the fish special of the night. Pan-fried pickerel, lightly breaded and seasoned served with tartar sauce and two sides. Certainly the options for sides are traditional old supper club kind of options – baked potato, hash browns, French fries, baked sweet potato and even a corn fritter. I was thrilled. The thought of a corn fritter with dinner brought back memories of the West Milton Inn. I had to give it a try.
The fish nearly filled the plate and was light and flaky. The corn fritter was not like the West Milton Inn fritter balls, but more like a thick pancake served with a side of syrup. I had to dig right into the fritter, which was sweet and light and the syrup was the perfect topping. My friend ordered a baked sweet potato with his seafood entrée and it was served with butter and brown sugar.
There are dinner specials mentioned in the menu for each night of the week. Monday is broasted chicken night at $8.95, Tuesday boasts a Seafood special $11.95, Wednesday is barbecue night, while Thursday states a Chef’s Special and Friday and Saturday are both prime rib specials at $21.95 for regular cut and $23.95 for heavy cut. The dinner entrées are reasonably priced from $10.95 to $28.95.
There are appetizers for all tastes from chili and soup to onion rings, veggie sticks, fried cauliflower and even a spinach and artichoke dip. Dessert is not an option at this supper club, but the portions are large and you will not leave hungry.
Don’t hesitate to take a step back in time and visit the Treasure Island Supper Club. It is only minutes from downtown Dayton located at 4250 Chief Woods Lane, which is right off South Dixie Drive in Moraine. You won’t be disappointed.
Who wants to meet me for lunch for a seafood salad?
Reach DCP food critic Brian P. Sharp at Theatre@DaytonCityPaper.com