What happened to all the supper clubs?
by Brian P. Sharp
There were the Tropics, Brown Derby, the Colony Club and Suttmillers… all considered supper clubs. Are they a thing of the past? Not in Centerville! The Paragon Supper Club, at 797 Miamisburg-Centerville Road, is going strong. The parking lot was crowded as we pulled in. The restaurant that has been around since 1978 and boasts it has no affiliation with any other restaurant or restaurant chain. The Paragon Supper Club has a loyal following with some patrons dining here every week.
The dining room is dimly lit and filled with patrons seated at tables topped with white starched tablecloths. The bar area is filled with photos of the Wright Brothers, their Wright B Flyer and the bike shop. In the corner is a small stage for live music on the weekends. There is even a photo in the lobby of Central High School with one of the Wright Brothers in the same class as Poet Laureate Paul Lawrence Dunbar. What an amazing piece of history!
We were greeted at the door by a hostess. I remembered her from her many years of service at the Peasant Stock restaurant in Town and Country Shopping Center. At our table we were greeted by Renae, our server for the evening. She went over the list of specials and asked if we’d like something to drink while we looked over the menu. I almost felt bad for Renae, as she came back to the table about five times before we had actually decided on our selections for the evening. The menu includes an extensive wine list and boasts everything from appetizers to seafood to steaks and chops as well as signature items.
Steve had trouble deciding and I had finally narrowed the options down to two. It was up to Renae now to help us decide. From the appetizer menu that included Oysters Rockefeller, Smoked Pepper Salmon, Baked Artichoke Hearts and even Marinated Herring, I chose French Onion soup while Steve selected the Escargot. The appetizers range in price from $4.25 to $9.95. The onion soup was more beef consommé than onion soup – though very hot and covered with bubbling cheese (the menu states it is their recipe). The escargot you could smell as it neared the table, served with warm bread, and plenty of butter and garlic. Both were great selections, a meal could be made just from the appetizer menu.
We both ordered salads – a bowl of mixed greens, carrots, tomatoes and cucumber, finished with your choice of housemade dressings like Dill Ranch, Creamy Peppercorn or Thousand Island.
For our entrees I chose the Veal Oscar (from the signature items section of the menu) – thinly sliced pieces of veal lightly breaded and pan-fried topped with crab meat, béarnaise sauce and asparagus. This choice was a delicious blend of flavors from the mild veal to the buttery crabmeat complemented with béarnaise sauce and asparagus. Steve chose the Rib Eye steak served with Cajun butter. The steak, served bone-in and cooked to the perfect medium-rare, was a treat. The entrees come with a salad, choice of vegetable, which included stewed tomatoes (a Dayton tradition), creamed spinach or the vegetable of the day, and a starch choice that included a baked potato, French fries, hash browns or rice.
Entrees included seafood choices like Scallops, Salmon, Rainbow Trout, Shrimp and Lobster Tails, or steak and chop options like Filet Mignon, New York Strip, Lamb Chops or Pork Chops. House specialties included Chicken or Veal Oscar, Stroganoff, Prime Rib and Calf’s Liver. Entrees range in price from $19.95 to $34.95.
There are even light menu choices like sandwiches for the smaller plate. Additionally, there are after-dinner drink specials and a few finishing touches for dessert. Desserts range in price from $3.95 to $5.95.
The dinner servings are large, leaving plenty to take home. The atmosphere is traditional and comfortable, and the service superb.
There was a true test for me of my server: I am an iced tea drinker and my glass shouldn’t be empty. In the most efficient manner, Renae managed to keep my glass full at all times. She was cheerful, informative and, most of all, efficient.
Don’t forget these Dayton traditions as you are selecting the restaurant of choice for the evening. The Paragon cuts their filets and strip steaks daily and serves only fresh fish. The dressings, sauces, soups and desserts are also made fresh daily. You can’t go wrong at the Paragon Supper Club.
Who wants to join me for a quiet dinner south of town? The Paragon Supper Club is just a 20-minute drive from downtown Dayton.
Reach DCP dining critic Brian P. Sharp at Theatre@DaytonCityPaper.com.