191 North Main Street
Roanoke, IN 46783-1064
AN EXPLOSION OF UNIQUE CHARM!
What a total dining experience - atmosphere, service, and food!
There are 7 unique dining areas within the restaurant-a meeting room, a stunning outdoor garden, a screened-in dining area, the conservatory, the bar, the cafe, and also an interesting upstairs section that oozes the ambiance of men's poker night. We selected The Conservatory - check it out - elegant but not over the top. Have your server give you the quick tour - each area is packed with interesting features - the wine "vault" is just too creative!
The table was set beautifully.
At JD's, no detail was left unattended to . . . down to their logo on the chargers.
Check out the Martini List - it's comprehensive, innovative, and features may interesting drinks.
Allen L chose a martini called Creole Kiss - on par with the famous EM's Berry White. I got a little sip and WOW - it tastes like kool-aid for adults. She asked for a sugared rim and that totally took the drink from fantastic to out of this world!
Adams L chose a martini called The Flirt. It was made with Champagne which gave it a sharp alcohol bite - not for you rookie drinkers.
Notice both drinks have a gorgeous ruby color - but don't you agree that they could have been enhanced with a fruit garnish? A pineapple wedge for the Kiss and a lime twist of the Flirt??? Just a suggestion to further enhance the overall visual presentation.
JD's has a breadmaking man who comes in every other day to make fresh bread. He chooses the type he wants to make and that's what is served. The rosemary bread we were served was definitely not a slam dunk. It was fresh, but the powerful flavor and spongy texture was a bit off-putting. It wasn't a complete failure, the crust of the bread was a perfect consistency with a hint of salt. I think the breadmaking man is very talented, I would like to try some of his other options.
A special of the night was Lobster Mac & Cheese. Allen L nearly exploded with joy! As you loyal readers know, she LOVES this dish. She ordered it and shock is what set over us when it arrived. The diminutive portion was extremely disappointing. For $14, we all were expecting a bit more. Below is a picture of 1/3 of it - literally 2 bites.
Now, don't get us wrong . . . those 2 bites brought an unprecedented level of joy to our mouths. The sauce was a dance of happiness on our taste buds. It would have easily served just one, but our server failed to mention the petite size. Oh well, it was definitely fantastic and we would highly recommend it to everyone!
Adams L chose the seafood salad - what a presentation, every detail at JD's is covered with extreme precision. This salad is covered in edible flower petals. Adams L said it was really good, but that the excessive cracked black pepper sort of ruined it.
A gentleman at an adjacent table ordered the 5 mushroom salad - as it passed near us, I caught the scent of a culinary dream. I totally wished I had ordered this - it smelled fantabulous, it looked dreamy, and the gentleman seemed to really enjoy it.
This section is worth describing a bit before unveiling the photos. JD's is not a eatery for everyone. It's limited menu (tonight there were only 6 entrees on the menu) is heavy on elegance and requires a refined palate open to eating swanky food. If you want a steak and baked potato, this restaurant may not be a good choice for you. If you are heading there thinking you can just get a chicken breast if everything else seems unappealing - you may be disappointed and left scrambling for a "safe" choice. If you are looking for tongue and cheek or chicken livers or scallops, this is the restaurant for you. If you have a limited palate, then you should know each month JD's has different specials so it is wise to scope out the online menu and plan your excursion accordingly. During the summer, they have a FUN event called "Burgers, Bluejeans, and Beer". Burgers and brauts are made to order on an outdoor grill and served in the courtyard. What a fun blue-collar way to enjoy the otherwise blue-blood establishment.
Allen L and I chose the same chicken entree called Gunthorp Farm chicken Breast Delmonico for $24. Allen L and I both had expected a chicken breast to arrive on our plate - NOPE, disappointment arrived on our plate. At first appearance, we received a skin-on, bone-in small chicken quarter. I thought the higher society in America got the health memo about boneless-skinless chicken breasts, apparently JD's is exempt from this popular healthy eating trend. I'm sure had we asked a few more questions we would have not been so surprised with what arrived. After the work involved in removing the chicken skin and bones, the actual meal was surprisingly delicious. The Creamy Polenta sauce absolutely tied this dish together perfectly. The spicy Andouille sausage and Morel mushrooms took this entree from boring to brilliant. Allen L summed it up perfectly when she said, "everything in the food was very flavorful and all the ingredients were used purposefully and exactly where they were suppose to be." It is obvious that the chefs at JD's carefully selected each spice and each ingredient to maximize the overall palate play. The side for this dish was described to us as mashed potatoes, but what arrived could have been more accurately compared to grits. The grit-potatoes weren't fantastic, but they were a neutral base for the chicken to rest upon.
Adams L chose the Gumbo special. It was served in a crisp white crock. It was perfectly seasoned and had an interesting texture with the sausage and fried chicken intermingling with the rice and creole spices.
We were presented with a dessert menu -
Adams L and I chose the same dessert - Chocolate Bourbon Pecan Cake. This flourless cake was exceptionally prepared. It tasted similarly to some chocolate-pecan truffles I made at Christmas so I don't think it was a culinary challenge, but it was rather delicious. Flourless cakes can be heavy, but this was just the perfect consistency. It was presented beautifully with a candied pecan and shaved chocolate adorning the airy whip cream.
Allen L chose the Caramel Pot De Creme which I informally called The Pot of Gold which one of the servers thought was pretty creative. This dessert was certainly unique. It was served in a small pot which totally added to the quaintness of this selection. Allen L said it resembled a creme brulee before the firing of the top. She said the extreme lightness and blend of whip cream with the caramel base made it irresistibly addictive. The topping of white chocolate shavings tantalized each taste bud.
This is difficult to explain to anyone who hasn't witnessed it first hand - those of you who have dined there before will be nodding as you read this saying "yeah, that's it." First, let me say our server, Greta, was extremely knowledgeable about the menu, the history of the restaurant, and exhibited more patience than a human should be obligated to display given our multitude of inquiries. Greta was fantastic as were all of the staff we encountered. I say that it is difficult to describe because although this is a luxury restaurant, it solidly retains one foot in the land of the common-man. On the affluent side, a parade of servers present each patron with his/her food at the exact same time - the plates are laid out on the table with precision timing rivaled only by an elite orchestra. Conversely, the servers wear golf shirts. On the upscale side, there were numerous plates, chargers, goblets, and pieces of silverware used that would challenge the highest of society; however, the table was only a glass top patio table covered with a linen tablecloth. On the elegant side, the server cleaned the table with a crumb comb, but to prevent the experience from being too fancy, the menus were printed on paper. I guess the bottom line is that although JD's is a high society restaurant, it is comfortably accessible to the masses.
Hands down, one of the most charming restrooms I have ever visited. Walking in, you are immediately transported to the restroom of a good friend's house. It was simply charming. Even in the restroom, no details went overlooked. Toilet paper was refilled, individual towels (with the JD logo) were fully stocked, the soap was fragrant and plentiful. Even the handicap grab rail was an antiqued brass rail rather than the standard industrial stainless steel bar cheaply used in most modern day restrooms. The wall decor was perfectly selected to coordinate with the theme and atmosphere of the restaurant.
If you can venture to the land of uncommon food and want the charm of a friendly small town restaurant coupled with upscale sophistication then travel to Roanoke and give this place a try. It's definitely not boring nor something you are likely to encounter in any other location.
Until the next bite -
191 North Main Street