Friday, May 5, 2017

Local Roots, Roanoke VA

When we first thought about staying in Roanoke, I knew I wanted to eat at Local Roots, a restaurant that is as close in concept to my own as there is in Virginia. By reputation, they do really excellent food.

The quality of the photographs below is pretty rough. The lighting, especially after dark, was pretty poor. In contrast to the quality of the photographs, the quality of the food and the service was outstanding.

In contrast to the insipid cocktails we had in Boone, these were expertly prepared and very well balanced. I love a good cocktail if it is not sweet and it is well balanced. My grapefruit gin and juice was excellent though I might have liked about a half an ounce more St. Germain in it. After cocktails, we got a bottle of Barbaresco to go with dinner.

We started with a beautiful charcuterie plate. In particular the rabbit liver mousse was outstanding. It takes a lot of commitment for a restaurant to have a charcuterie program, not only in the labor and time in curing everything, but garde manger labor on the line to plate it during service.

Next up was rabbit gnocchi. I never read the menu so I didn't realize that it had rabbit in it. Ann asked me what I thought it was and I was guessing chicken breast. If I could criticize one thing, I would say that they could use more flavorful rabbits. No doubt they are using what they can get. The gnocchi was made from flatbread, like Bavarian or Austrian Semmelknödel. I love this style dumpling; it wasn't Ann's favorite.

Gnocchi with Rabbit
On to my favorite dish of the night, a farrotto with an Asian flair. I love farro and this was super. The toppings were fine, but I'm all about the wheat berries.

We had a single pork entrée after our smaller courses, a duo of a piece of loin and a piece of belly. The belly was great; the loin wasn't the best I've ever had. Loin is prone to be a bit dry and though this was well cooked, about medium well, it was still a bit dry.

Pork Loin and Belly
All in all, a delightful meal with a delightful server, the best of 2017. Kudos to Local Roots.

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