East Central Iowa · Grownup Getaways

An Iowa County Meal You Can Bank On-Ladora’s Epicurean Rise

A truly delicious investment with many memorable returns is waiting for your loyal business.
A truly delicious investment with many memorable returns is waiting for your loyal business.

Ladora, IA: Iowa County

Iowa’s historic HWY 6 is one of the best afternoon drives anyone can take. Not too far from Des Moines in the west and not too far from Iowa City in the east, is a very small town that has seen its fair share of history. In the recent years, Ladora’s history books can tell the story of visionaries who took a bank that closed in the depression and made it into a culinary goldmine for local palates. Team Goodvin cruises onto Pacific street and breaks for Ladora Bank Bistro!

Rising from the rural landscape of Iowa's HWY 6 is Ladora's national historical landmark. Now one of the states premiere dinning experiences http://www.ladorabank.com/
Rising from the rural landscape of Iowa’s HWY 6 is Ladora’s national historical landmark. Now one of the states premiere dining experiences
http://www.ladorabank.com/

I’ve lived in Cape Cod and met many people that drove in for the day from places over an hour away just so they could oysters, scallops, or cod cheeks that were swimming in the ocean just a couple hours from when it showed up on their plate. I’ve stayed in Chicago and taken a 45 minute train ride, from my comfortable hotel, to a legendary Italian beef stand clear on the other side of town knowing full well there were about 30 that I passed along the way. I’ve lived in the Phoenix area during the 90’s and hunted down a specific food truck without the aid of a smartphone or GPS because they had the greatest puerco-rojo tacos known to man. And like many others, I’ve sat idle shoulder to shoulder next to complete strangers at a busy restaurant for over an hour because I knew the meal was going to be worth it. So why not hop on to route 6 and take in the Iowa landscape and add “I drove out to Ladora just so I could get a duck pizza”- We did!

Meet your new best friend, amigos. The housemade potato dough is used for the crispy crust and is topped with duck confit,  mozzarella, goat cheese, fresh basil, stone ground mustard and balsamic onion. I think we may have covered all of the 7 deadly sins in this one dish.  https://twitter.com/LadoraBistro
Meet your new best friend, amigos. A gluten free potato dough is used for the crispy crust and is topped with duck confit, mozzarella, goat cheese, fresh basil, stone ground mustard, and balsamic onion. I think we may have covered all of the 7 deadly sins in this one dish.
https://twitter.com/LadoraBistro

The bistro had Sean helping us out at our table and was eager to serve us the pizza. It was what the chef suggested and they nailed it! Sean grinned from ear to ear as we asked for our next two orders. You could tell he loved working there and was as proud of the restaurant as the owner was. One of the best accompaniments anyone can have with their meal. Sean did a few stretches and limbered up for our next course because the tray and the classic masterpiece that sat atop of it was heaping.

The bistro's charcuterie board! Artisan cheeses, thinly sliced meats, bread and olives. Also on the board was an amazing surprise. Their own pickled brussel  sprouts. The news on these were spreading up and down route 6 and they were down to there last jar! https://www.facebook.com/ladorabankbistro?fref=ts
The bistro’s charcuterie board! Artisan cheeses, thinly sliced meats, bread, and olives. Also on the board was an amazing surprise. Their own pickled brussel sprouts. The news on these were spreading up and down route 6 and they were down to their last jar!
https://www.facebook.com/ladorabankbistro?fref=ts

The decor of the restaurant was as memorable as the food. Much of the original bank still existed and blended in well with the theme of the bistro. They accomplished a modern experience while still capturing the long history and makeup of the building.

The view from our table at Ladora Bank Bistro.
The view from our table at Ladora Bank Bistro.
Original walls, ceilings and lights create and the inspiring ambiance at Ladora Bank Bistro.
Original walls, ceilings, clocks, and lights create  the inspiring ambiance at Ladora Bank Bistro.
Safe turned into a storage room for the wine and spirits. Having all of these with me would help with my claustrophobia.
Safe turned into a storage room for the wine and spirits. Having all of these with me would help with my claustrophobia.
A great picture of Ladora Savings Bank from the early years. As you can see the modern bistro has maintained much of it's originality.
A great picture of Ladora Savings Bank from the early years. As you can see, the modern bistro has maintained much of it’s originality.
Our final course. Made from scratch Wild Mushroom Empanadas!
Our final course. Made from scratch Wild Mushroom Empanadas! They were hot to the touch and had some of the richest mushrooms we’ve ever tasted. Went absolutely perfect with the flaky dough.
Meet Executive Chef Jim Vido. His hard work has made Ladora Bank Bistro one of the best destination restaurants in the Midwest.
Meet Executive Chef Jim Vido. His hard work has made Ladora Bank Bistro one of the best destination restaurants in the Midwest.
Twinkies are not on the menu. Have a taste of Monia and JayJay's poor early morning communication.
Twinkies are not on the menu. Have a taste of Monie and JayJay’s poor early morning communication.

Our Sunday afternoon yielded a great day trip to Ladora Bank Bistro and naturally we recommend that you find the time to see and taste it for yourself. We look forward to going back and seeing another inspiring menu rotation that’s full of local Iowa ingredients. Take the scenic route from every now and then and you could find yourself discovering Ladora and it’s bistro. “You drove to Ladora just for pickled brussel sprouts?” And The Iowa Gallivant will do it again!

IMG_1236

Read about our last trip to Iowa County……

https://theiowagallivant.com/2014/08/24/part-1-of-the-spirits-of-iowa-if-youre-not-at-the-millstream-brewing-company-then-what-are-you-doing/

Please take time to visit……..

http://www.easterniowatourism.org/
http://www.easterniowatourism.org/
http://www.traveliowa.com/ https://www.facebook.com/IowaTourism?fref=ts https://twitter.com/Travel_Iowa
http://www.traveliowa.com/
https://www.facebook.com/IowaTourism?fref=ts
https://twitter.com/Travel_Iowa
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10 thoughts on “An Iowa County Meal You Can Bank On-Ladora’s Epicurean Rise

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