Hey, I'll bet you have seen the sign for Mr. Lees when heading north on I-75 just north of the Dayton city limits. It has been open for just about a year and is located in the old Cooker building on Poe Ave. next to El Rancho Grande.
The idea of Mr. Lees is to be an upscale Chinese restaurant (whatever that means). Anyways, it was recommended so my girlfriend and I checked it out this past Sunday. It is cute inside. Yeah I said cute or I guess cool.
Anyways the service staff is predominantly american now, but the menu is Chinese with a Sushi Bar just for kicks.
The atmosphere is quiet and the lighting is dim which I approve of. However, this place could be loud if filled to capacity, but like I said this was a Sunday. You can tell the owner has a lot of money because the old Cooker was gutted and this looks nothing like any other restaurant in town. It is a combination of Asian and modern decor.
The menu prices are great. Anyone who eats Chinese food will tell you that the best food can be purchased at local take out places and the meals generally cost between $7 and $9 for dinner portions. Well at Mr. Lees the dinners cost between $11 and $15. Still quite affordable.
For dinner my girlfriend and I started with the calamari which was deep fried and came with an awesome ginger dipping sauce (which I later poured on my white rice. For our main entrees we got a dish with vegetables and white sauce. Her dish had chicken and mine had shrimp. There were about 7 pieces of shrimp and they were large. The sauce was okay, but a little thin. The vegetables included carrots, snow peas, and mushrooms. The entree was descent, but nothing I would write home about.
Overall, I think this place has potential. Our server said the Sushi is very good so I may have to make a return trip. As far fine dining goes, my girlfriend and I were over dressed compared to the majority of the other guests. The place has character and our server did an okay job.
I love how quiet it was, but that also tells you how slow it was. Apparently they do not get a lot of business right now. Also they spend no money on advertising. So I ask all of you to make your way to Mr. Lees and give them a shot. Perhaps more business will encourage them to carry on.
Maybe with the help of my fellow Dayton foodies we can make Mr. Lees into a great fine dining restaurant for the North Dayton area.