ALICE ESHELMAN, PROPRIETOR of the prestigious restaurant Joseph Decuis in small-town Roanoke, has transformed the farm-to-fork concept with personalized hospitality: my farm to your fork at our restaurant and inn. She and her husband, Pete, not only raise wagyu cattle, Old World Mangalitsa pigs, heritage poultry, and heirloom vegetables at their farm 6 miles from its sister eatery, but have restored a bed-and-breakfast on the rural property, too.
Joseph Decuis, located in an old bank where vaults now contain Wine Spectator award-winners, is a must-visit as the only dining locale in the country raising its own wagyu according to traditional Japanese husbandry practices. But for the full farm experience, stay over at the old Smith farmhouse, now the Joseph Decuis Farmstead Inn Bed & Breakfast ($175 per night). Not to be confused with the Inn by Joseph Decuis on Main Street in Roanoke, the Farmstead Inn is out in the country. The Italianate-style residence was built in 1884 and owned by the same family for generations until they sold it to the Eshelmans. The couple restored the farmhouse and surrounding buildings, including the carriage house with a screened-in porch that is also for rent, while maintaining their architectural integrity.
Guests can wake up to the sound of roosters crowing, feed the animals in one of the barns, try to count the barn cats (good luck), and start their day with a Joseph Decuis feast. Farm tours are available, and if there’s time, Alice is happy to show off her wagyu cattle. The original herd was a birthday gift from her husband almost two decades ago.
For the ultimate Joseph Decuis indulgence, book a stay during one of the harvest dinners at the farm created by executive chef Marcus Daniel.
ON THE WAY
In nearby Huntington, stroll through the Sunken Gardens, opened in 1929 as a repurposed quarry. It’s a delight of ponds, fountains, weeping willows, and old-fashioned lamps.
A cooler so you can stock up on wagyu steaks and other goodies at the Joseph Decuis Emporium.