Worth the trip to Waynesville

Worth the trip to Waynesville

Surprise and delight awaits at Cobblestone Village Café

By Brian P. Sharp

Photo: The grilled romaine salad at Cobblestone Village Café

Tucked into what appears to be an old home on Main Street in Waynesville, Ohio is Cobblestone Village Gift Shop and Gourmet Café. Waynesville is known for a number of things – the Sauerkraut Festival and lots of quaint gift shops and antique stores. Cobblestone Village is one of those places.

When you walk in, you have the feeling you are entering a home furnishings store or an interior design studio where there are gifts, artwork, quilts and even carpet samples for ordering area rugs. However, if you wind through the store past all of the little treasures, you find the entrance to the Gourmet Café. On the day I visited, I had to wait for a table – the restaurant was full. That is always a good sign.

While I waited, I couldn’t help but shop, and naturally I found something I just couldn’t live without! So, I am already spending money before I even get to the table … hmmm, maybe that’s the idea.

I was called after a short wait and taken to my table. I was greeted by Brandon, my server, who was cheerful and pleasant. He dropped off lemon cranberry muffins with butter to munch on as I looked over the menu. I was taken aback at the first glance at the menu. I don’t know what I was expecting from this little café, but brie en croute and cannellini bean spread weren’t it – and those are just the first two appetizers – as well as French onion au gratin soup, or the soup of the day, which happened to be a creamy potato vegetable. I was getting impressed quickly. Brandon returned with my raspberry iced tea, garnished with an orange slice, and asked if I was ready – I was not; I definitely needed more time with this menu. The appetizers range in price from $4 for a cup of soup to $7.95 for the brie – very reasonable.

Salad options abound, and include things like The Green Goat, which includes warm pistachio-crusted goat cheese atop baby spinach with roasted red grapes and tossed in pomegranate vinaigrette for $9.95. Or the almond crusted chicken salad, serving that chicken with Anjou pears, creamy French brie and shaved fennel over a bed of mesclun greens and served with caramelized apple vinaigrette for $10.95. Or how about a salmon and kale quinoa salad? I am just beginning!

The menu is also not lacking sandwich options, where the most basic items are a chicken salad sandwich or a reuben. However, there are sandwiches like honey fried chicken with spicy slaw, which includes the buttermilk-marinated fried chicken drizzled with wildflower honey and topped with a spiced slaw. If that isn’t enough, it’s served on a pretzel roll. What you first might think is a simple turkey sandwich is anything but – it’s the Apple Turkey Sandwich: herbed turkey served with apple slices and melted cheddar cheese served on cinnamon bread. Are you kidding me? I could order everything on this menu! How will I decide? Sandwiches range in price from $8.95 to $10.95.

Other specialties include a grilled asparagus sandwich, which is served with provolone cheese, grilled with white wine and served on swirled rye bread and a side of tarragon-infused remoulade sauce for $9.95. A grilled cheese appears on this menu, but there is nothing basic about it. Grilled cheese with roasted mushrooms and sweet onion marmalade with havarti cheese pressed between pieces of buttered sourdough – for $8.95.

There are entrées like citrus crab cakes, mushroom ragu crepes or even a seafood pot pie, ranging in price from $10.95 to $13.95. It’s decision time!

Finally, I chose to start with a cup of the soup of the day, and then a grilled romaine salad.

The soup was served piping hot, topped with chives. Creamy and full of potatoes, carrots and celery, the soup was delicious and full of flavor. Brandon didn’t miss a tick, keeping my iced tea full and stopping by to ensure everything was exceptional.

The salad was presented beautifully. A split head of romaine lightly charred and topped with applewood-smoked bacon, toasted walnuts and blue cheese crumbles, served with an apple cider reduction and roasted garlic vinaigrette. The lettuce was just charred enough to give it a smoky flavor and wilted just enough to enhance the flavors of the toppings.

After lunch was cleared, I was served a complimentary demitasse cup of chai tea – a gift to all diners. What a lovely touch. I enjoyed that while considering dessert.

I looked over the dessert options. There was a cobbler, a tuxedo cake, pie and then – wait for it – homemade Boston Stoker ice cream. I enjoyed the homemade Boston Stoker ice cream: creamy and infused with coffee and ground beans. Served with whipped cream and looking like a frozen cappuccino.

I certainly enjoyed every bite of this lunch!  The staff is engaging and the atmosphere delightful.  Cobblestone Village is open Tuesday through Friday from 11 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. and Saturday and Sunday from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Brunch is served on Sunday, with a changing menu so you may need to visit often. Cobblestone Village is just a short 20-minute drive from downtown Dayton – at least the way I drive. Don’t miss this great spot for a lunch excursion!

 

Cobblestone Village Café is located at 10 N. Main St. in Waynesville. For more information, please call 513.897.0021 or visit cobblestonevillagecafe.com.

 

Reach DCP food critic Brian P. Sharp at BrianSharp@DaytonCityPaper.com

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