Solid Gold

Long-time readers may recall THIS “Amy’s Food Flights” blog post I wrote several years ago about the Joseph Decuis dinner that turned me on to beets thanks to executive chef Aaron Butts. (The waygu steak and chocolate bourbon tart were nothing short of exceptional as well.)

This year, Butts struck on his own in nearby Fort Wayne, where he’s apparently struck gold with an inventive farm-to-table eatery called “The Golden.” Haven’t been there yet, but from all accounts I’m hearing, it’s well worth the drive from Indy for dishes like roasted carrots, veal sweetbreads, morels, McGolden double burgers and chocolate coffee pudding, all washed down with clever and creative cocktails. Road trip, anyone?

In the meantime, CLICK HERE to see a Foodie profile I wrote about chef Butts for the July issue of Indianapolis Monthly

Destination dining at its best

I know what you’re thinking. “Roanoke? Where the heck is Roanoke? I don’t want to drive nearly two hours from Indianapolis just to have dinner at some little place out in the middle of nowhere!”

Trust me. Yes. You do. Because this little tiny town is home to Joseph Decuis, master of fine dining, accommodations and all things hospitable. This enterprise encompasses a lovely B&B, restaurant, culinary classes and events, and a cafe-style emporium/gourmet market.

Joseph Decuis in Roanoke

I stayed at the Joseph Decuis Inn in two summers ago when I was in nearby Huntington for a freelance gig, and regretted not having a chance to eat at the restaurant then. So when I knew I’d be coming back to the area this week, a dinner reservation here was the first plan I made.

As I write this, I’m once again relaxing in the cozy confines of the inn (I’m actually the only guest this evening and have the whole place to myself! Winning!), rubbing my contently full belly and dreamily smiling as I think of the meal I’ve just consumed at the Joseph Decuis restaurant down the street.

the dining room view from my table

I could wax on all night about the cozy ambiance, the attentive service,and the adorable setting of Roanoke itself. But instead, I’ll let the food speak for itself.

roasted beets starter

My meal started off with an absolutely gorgeous chef-chosen appetizer of roasted baby beets with frisee lettuce, local honey, slices of Capriole Farms’ Old Kentucky Tomme cheese and a scattering of crunchy pistachios. Perhaps I should mention, I don’t like beets. This dish made me a believer. I could not stop eating it.

Wagyu beef filet

My entrée was the house specialty Wagyu beef, raised specifically for Joseph Decuis at the nearby Heritage Farms. If the quality of this meat is any indication, those cows are living the life of Donald Trump. My filet was incredibly flavorful and so tender, I barely needed to chew it. It was served atop perhaps the richest potato puree I’ve ever tasted with a beany succotash of sorts and a splash of red wine Bordelaise sauce. Amazing.

chocolate pecan bourbon bliss

I knew what I wanted for dessert before I even sat down. I spied a crazy delicious-looking pecan-dressed chocolate cake on the counter while I was taking some preliminary photos, and nothing could sway me. Not even the mocha pumpkin crème brulee or caramel pot de crème, which both also sounded terribly decadent. Nope. It was chocolate bourbon pecan cake all day, served with a quenelle of nearly pudding-like vanilla bean whipped cream and a bourbon sauce. This dessert was so good, it should have been illegal.

Fair warning – this is fine dining and these eats aren’t cheap, but the quality and overall experience make Joseph Decuis a splurge everyone who loves food should find a way to experience.

For more information, visit

Joseph Decuis on Urbanspoon