As I was walking into the newly remodeled Fifth Street business, memories of Sloopy’s, the Tiki Bar and Pulse, all businesses that had inhabited this space, came to mind. Yet, once inside the door, is was hard to believe I was in the same space.
The transformation into a modern, yet warm eatery with an open kitchen is a welcome addition to the corner of 5th Street and Wayne Avenue in the Oregon District. Owned by partners in life and business Chef Jack runs the kitchen while Natalie Skilliter is the General Manager. The Corner Kitchen will be open for dinner and drinks Tuesday through Saturday and seats 60 with an additional 14 seats at the bar as well as patio seating.
Yesterday a few of us had the pleasure of experiencing the tasting menu, a 5 course menu available for $34 per guest. As any good restaurant often does, we were treated to an Amuse Bouche (a bite sized treat sent out by to give you a glimpse of chef’s approach to the art of cuisine). So our meal began with avocado tomatillo salsa bruschetta garnished with a bright radish slice paired with JCB Brut Rose, a light sparkling blend of chardonnay and pinot noir grapes from the Burgundy region of France ($12 glass on the menu). You can add the wine pairings to the tasting menu for an extra $24 and if you enjoy wine, do it! The pairing are very well thought out and include some very nice wines I would have never tries on my own, that I really enjoyed!
The tasting menu begins with a Fish Taco, a long thin slice of halibut, nestled in a bed of cabbage, dressed with a habanero aioli with onion salsa. The Reverly Riesing ($11/glass) was a refreshing choice and surprisingly not too sweet.
Next up was the BLT, which is a perfect example of why the Skilliters call this place a Finer Diner. As Natalie shared with us, ” it’s your favorite comfort food, but taken up a level.” The B in our open faced sandwich was a wonderful piece of braised crisp pork belly, served on bibb lettuce with a tomato jam, paired with a Vina Eguia Tempranillo from Spain.
The third course, Rigatoni Boo Boo, which Chef Jack explained is a pasta dish that incorporates Natalie’s love of peas, and named after his nickname for his wife, Bo Boo (Jackson is his nickname). A spicy tomato meat sauce served with a dollop of ricotta and sweet peas was tasty with just a slight bit of heat. It was paired with a lovely red Filomusi Guelfi, Montepulciano ($11 glass).
The Meat of the tasting menu was a NY Strip topped with an amazing Cognac Peppercorn Cream Suce served on a bed of mashed potatoes, accompanied by haricot vert, with a hearty glass of 2010 Rebound Rhone Blend from Napa ($59 bottle) which will be available exclusively at Corner Kitchen, as only 210 cases were made this year.
A perfect little ending to a successful tasting menu was the lighter than air Chocolate Mousse, served with housemade whip cream in a delightfully dainty tea cup with a Hietiz Cellar, Ink Grape Port.
And while I was totally captivated by the art being served up on the plates, I did notice the art on the walls, created specifically for the restaurant by sculptor Landon Crowell, a Dayton native, who traveled the world and was lured home by a position at Wright State University. Natalie gives credit to Eva Buttacavoli, DVAC’s Director for making the introduction and explained how she felt Landon’s work partnered so well with their concept. Simple basic statement pieces.