Ladora Bank Bistro

811 Pacific St
Ladora, 52251
I was on my way to the airport and decided to take the next exit to see what was there and for a little break from driving. As I drove by the teeny town, I saw a sign being put out- and decided to stop in. Am I ever so glad I did! What a wonderfully, sweet place! First off, it's gorgeous! Truly beautifully redone and presents itself so stately. Then, the beer and wine selections- incredible. I'm from New Jersey and I can't find a better selection here! Really unique selections all served with good cheer from the wonderful owners. Then, the food- another slam dunk! Iowans should be flocking here- I haven't ever had food as good in Iowa! (except on the family farm table, of course, Grandma!) :) Seriously, this place is a NOT TO BE MISSED GEM and I'm eternally grateful to have stumbled upon it that afternoon. I'll never forget it! I only wish New Jersey was closer so I could go back more often! Thank you for a truly memorable dining experience!
Fantastic little joint with eclectic food chef is fantastic! Loved it.
We've been wanting to visit the bank since coming through on RAGBRAI a few years ago and is this place a gem! On a lazy Friday we took a leisurely drive on over and were blown away! It seemed like this was the only thing in town - besides the gentleman sitting in an old golf cart outside his place (he was there when we left too). Totally worth the trip! Upon entering, we were greeted by the owner and were very impressed with the place. Two seating areas were at our disposal - the bar, which was located inside the old teller area and had some really cool memorabilia and chairs in a small seating area aside the actual bar, and the larger area in what was the bank lobby. With only 3 or 4 tables and total seating for about 15 people it offers a pretty intimate atmosphere, but is big enough to host a solid group of friends. Regardless of your party size, it's best to call ahead and make sure you've got a seat. The decor in the bank was very fun and a good combination of both historic and modern. Plenty of decorative items give it a little flare and compliment the high ceilings and stone walls. The four wisdom filled sayings around the ceiling were good food for thought and are ones Ben Franklin would appreciate. The wine list and beer selection were both very impressive. The beer list was no less than 25 deep and had a great variety of lights to darks from all over the world. The Obolon Dark was particularly nice! The wine selections were equally impressive with roughly 30 bottle available and tastes for any palate. The food is where the magic truly happens here and we go so far as to say this is some of the best food we've ever had. Served small plates style with both cold and hot options, there's plenty to fill you up and even more to sample/share. The Stromboli Bianco was heavenly - quintessential meat and cheese with a pesto that was amazing. Plenty heavy to serve as the big item of your group. The La Quercia Prosciutto is a local favorite and is considered by many to be the best Prosciutto you can get. The presentation was excellent and served with olives, it made for a lovely bacon-esk treat! Next we samples the mushroom tart and it too was lovely. Flaky crust with a delicious and rich mushroom center. The final item we sampled is probably on the top 5 list of things I've ever tried. The "Devil's on Horseback" is sheer genius and something that everyone who comes here should try. It's so good, it get's it's own paragraph! "Lightly toasted pinenuts inside sweet dates and wrapped in applewood smoked back". This description sounded so good I read it three times! The pinenuts gave just a little crunch and smokey flavor that complimented the dates very nicely. Wrapped in legit bacon and this was ready for primetime! The kicker however was the addition of maple whipped cream. I was like a beautiful maple hug that was there simply for our pleasure. Put another way - imagine if Chuck Norris and his beard had a child - that child would eat this exclusively. The ambiance was lovely. Classical music in a very relaxed setting with some incredible food and (for me) great company as my better half was there too! Bottom line - this is a place worth driving 40 minutes to and checking out. It's a different and unique setting that serves some incredible food and drink. The food is familiar enough for those who don't want to stray too far, but different enough for those of us wanting some adventure. We found it to be the perfect place to spend an hour and a half eating, chatting and just enjoying an evening. This is where we'll be taking friends that come into town and somewhere we plan to be back to as often as we're able.

(319) 623-7766

Tapas/Small Plates, Wine Bars

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