A friend and I recently had lunch at a new place in Roanoke, Indiana — the little town where I used to teach.
We ended up at La Dolce Vita, on Main Street. I hardly recognized the building. Last time I had been in it, it had been Village Mercantile. It has been entirely renovated now, and is large, open, and bright inside. There are many lovely gift items for sale — various jams and food gifts, and other things as well. I saw an adorable child’s plate and bowl set with bunnies on it.
My friend had heard about the lunches served here. They are only served on Wednesdays, and fortunately that’s when we arrived. Reservations are recommended. We were able to eat when we arrived without one, but I gather that’s not always the case.
An easel inside the entrance informed us of the offerings for the day. There were about 7 options, each $10-$12. We walked back to the counter to order.
I opted for Panzanella Salad with Focaccia. I didn’t even really know what to expect, but here it is. Pretty, isn’t it? It was basically a lot of peppers, cucumbers, onions, and capers in a light sauce of some type. And the pieces that look like chicken? Aren’t; they’re bits of bread. Really unusual, but I liked it.
My friend had chicken salad. Lovely as well.
We took a seat at one of three tables. Yep, three tables. There are not individual tables, but rather you sit at a table with a bunch of others, most of whom you don’t know (a lady from my subdivision happened to be at mine). It made for a loud lunch, but we could talk some, and I enjoyed looking around at the place anyway. Above my head was a neat little alcove papered in gold and housing a rustic chandelier.
I did not need dessert, but my friend sweetly ordered apple tart, which we shared. It was delicious, with caramel sauce dribbled over the top.
Our serving girl was perfectly pleasant, although she did forget to bring our beverages to us until a few minutes after serving our entrees. She also forgot my friend’s coffee (as an added note, each cup of coffee and each refill costs $1). But since this is a one-day-a-week lunch spot, you’ll go for the food rather than the service anyway. I heard the owner telling a patron that they do special events, as well. This would make a great spot for a wedding rehearsal dinner.
If you’re in Roanoke on a Wednesday, give La Dolce Vita a try (call first for reservations!). I think you’ll enjoy this little touch of class.