Joseph Decuis

Enjoy elegant farm-to-table fine dining in Roanoke Indiana’s small-town setting.

Short ribs at Joseph Decius restaurant in Roanoke, Indiana (photo courtesy of Joseph Decius)

Boston, Massachusetts, to Roanoke, Indiana, might seem like an odd move for a former New York Yankees front office employee turned successful insurance entrepreneur and an actress who studied theater at Denison University. For Alice and Pete Eshelman though, it was exactly the lifestyle they wanted. 

Ensconced in the small town of Roanoke — about 10 miles from Fort Wayne, Indiana — the Eshelmans turned an old bank building into Joseph Decuis, a destination farm-to-table restaurant. The bank vault is now a wine cellar stocked with bottles that appear on the restaurant’s award-winning wine list, and its larders are filled with Wagyu beef raised on the couple’s farm. 

If you want further proof of the Eshelmans’ dedication, consider this: On one of Alice’s major milestone birthdays, her husband gifted her with 20 pregnant Wagyu heifers. Their herd now numbers in the dozens. Joseph Decuis — named after an 18th-century ancestor of Pete and the inspiration for the restaurant’s New Orleans-style courtyard and garden — follows the Japanese method of raising Wagyu beef. 

Diners looking for something a bit more casual can opt for lunch at the Joseph Decuis Emporium Cafe next door. The Emporium is also the place to purchase take-out meals from the restaurant, Wagyu beef, eggs and wine.

For overnight stays, check into the Inn at Joseph Decuis on Main Street. Built in 1913, it is just a short walk from the restaurant. There is also the Joseph Decuis Farmstead Inn across the road from the Eshelmans’ farm. The brick home was built in 1884 and owned by the same family for generations. Now a lush and luxurious place to stay, the old farmstead includes outbuildings, a large rambling barn that is home to numerous resident cats and even a decorative windmill. (restaurant) 191 N. Main St., Roanoke, Indiana 46783, 260/672-1715,