Monday, November 28, 2016


“To be a gourmet you must start early, as you must begin riding early to be a good horseman. You must live in France, your father must have been a gourmet. Nothing in life must interest you but your stomach.” — Ludwig Bemelmans, Austria-Hungary-born American writer and illustrator of children's books, best known for the Madeline books

PERHAPS it would be nice to talk about something that's not upsetting . . . something that doesn't make me feel like banging my head against the wall. 

So how's this: the best food within a 150-mile radius of Des Moines; I'd even go so far as to say within a 200-mile radius, which means it encompasses Kansas City. As much as we love Justus Drugstore in Smithville, MO . . . Dolce, located in northwest Omaha, is better IMHO.

Paul and I discovered it by accident a little over a year ago when we were in Omaha setting up an exhibit for MidAmerican Energy at Warren Buffett's big Berkshire Hathaway tradeshow. We were tired, especially Paul, and he was all for just heading directly home, but I figured as long as we were already there, we might as well have dinner in Omaha before we left.

I looked up vegetarian restaurants on my phone as we drove and came across Dolce. Turned out not to be a vegetarian restaurant — although you can certainly get a vegetarian meal if you wish — but it was the best food we'd had since we were fortunate enough to spend an evening at Charlie Trotter's restaurant in Chicago while he was still alive.

Trust me and just go there. We like it so much that recently we drove over there just to have dinner and turn around and come home. That's how good it is. 
The subtlety, artistry and layering of complex flavors elevates chef Anthony Keuper's work to well beyond exquisite.  

He made me laugh the first time we were there. I asked Anthony where he'd trained. He just looked at me, then after a pause, said, "Paris" in a kind of "well, duh" voice.

He's a genius. I convinced our Oregon friends, Judy and Steve Tidrick, to eat there after they visited us on their cross country trip home from the East Coast

Here's what Judy had to say, "The dinner at Dolce was fantastic! It ranks right up there with the best ever. We enjoyed it so much!"

It's worth it, I promise. 

PS: You can never go wrong with the scallops, but everything is so superb that it'll make your eyes roll back in your head. We like getting the four-course Date Night Special.  

The scallops!!

Chef Anthony and us on our first visit. We'd just finished setting up 
the MidAmerican Energy exhibit, so we weren't exactly 'dressed'.

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