We have been having some great dinners lately. And a couple of weeks ago it was hubby’s birthday and at his request, we headed up to Joseph Decuis (not like he had any trouble convincing me). We checked in at the Inn, where we had not yet stayed, and walked down the street to dinner. I love Roanoke at the holidays because it is such a cute little town anyway, and then when you add lots of lights, it is even cuter.
For dinner we were seated in the glass atrium part of the restaurant, which was also new to us. I was a little worried it would be cold in there with all the glass (and it was a cold night), but it was well insulated and well heated—a nice change of pace for restaurants in Indiana. All the little twinkly lights gave it nice atmosphere. Hubby and I usually split pretty much everything and since it was his birthday, I sort of let him choose the path. The first thing he wanted to do was to skip any kind of soup or salad course and get the charcuterie platter ($18). It was one of the best ones I have had in memory. There were about 6 different house cured meats (well, apparently one came from Smoking Goose) and they were delicious. I liked that they gave you lots of different accompaniments as well—everything from a little wedge of cheese to various pickles and sweet chutney. I also really liked the hearty mustard they served with it—this is one of my favorite things to eat with charcuterie. Who needs greens when you can have an amazing selection of cured meats right? We had a hard time deciding which was our favorite.
For our second course we ordered a special (they always have quite a few specials, so don’t make up your mind until you hear about them) which was polenta with mushrooms and parmesan. Wow, was this good. It may have been my favorite item of the evening. The polenta was creamy and rich, but just coarse enough to give it an interesting texture and not taste like you are eating baby food or something—the mushrooms were cooked with bits of pancetta and the whole thing was drizzled with white truffle oil. I seriously could have licked the plate on this one. I had a hard time sharing.
We also shared the Oysters casino ($15) which we have had on another visit as well. They were topped with Tasso ham, green onions and parmesan and then broiled (supposed to have bell peppers as well but we skipped them). The Tasso ham made them a little spicy and added a definite salty taste which was great—and it reminds you of New Orleans (the restaurant has a definite Cajun/Creole bent to many dishes). The green onions were very plentiful—not used just like a garnish as they often are and gave it a nice slightly crunchy flavor as well as a gentle onion taste. The top was a little crunchy from the cheese and I think a bit of breadcrumbs. I tend to prefer my oysters briefly cooked, and these were a great example.
For our main dish we shared one actual entrée, the Creole seared grouper ($36)(picture is a half portion). The fish was a total New Orleans-style dish and they pulled it off really well. The fish was perfectly seared and tender and served on top of dirty rice, crab étouffée and with collard greens and Hollandaise. There were a lot of flavors going on, but they are all things that complement each other so well, and I liked the tangy Hollandaise to lighten up the spiciness from the other things (and the heat built on your lips the more you ate it).
At this point we were pretty stuffed, but we were completely spoiled when they brought us a very generous cheese plate to take back to the Inn with us. And since we had the whole inn to ourselves that night (sheer luck) we sat in the dining room and enjoyed it with our leftover wine. The cheese plate was great—loved the marcona almonds which are a slight addiction for me right now. I also loved that on both the cheese plate and the charcuterie, they toasted the bread just right. It still had some softness in the middle, but some nice grill marks that gave it a nice toasty flavor (and made it not so soft it was hard to spread cheese on it). I always love some sweetness as well, and we got that with apple slices and dates.
This is one of our favorite restaurants in Indiana, and we seem to always hit it around hubby’s birthday and Mother’s Day (go figure) (if you go in the spring, and they have the fried morels, they are a must order—I included a picture from our last visit). We need to figure out another time of year to go I think so we can try some of the other seasons’ food (or maybe it is just an excuse to fit in another trip). Hmmm….and I would love to see that carpaccio back on the menu..man, that was delicious. Regardless, next time you want a road trip (about an hour and a half from Indy) and some really, really good food, I highly recommend Joseph Decuis.
191 North Main Street
Roanoke, Indiana 46783