No need to mince words: Life will be difficult for the next several weeks as we all adapt, adjust and sacrifice to serve our roles in social distancing to help preserve public health.
Few businesses will bear this burden more strongly than the local ones — namely restaurants, which (as of now) are mandated to provide only takeout and/or delivery service statewide.
I have no interest in badgering or browbeating anyone into a decision they cannot, or do not, wish to make. I ask only that those with the means and inclination consider supporting local restaurants during this time. It will be exciting to explore and discover new recipes at home. But the food and fellowship restaurants provide will be crucial to comforting our communities as social activity spins back up again. (This month’s featured restaurant is among many providing community meals. Details are available at www.facebook.com/ lascalalafayette.) Whether through patronage now or gift certificates to use at a later date, you can help such restaurants survive.
Right about now, I’d describe the aesthetic of an eating environment. As efficient and eccentrically decorated as it is, our dining room is of little interest. The main appeal was circling back around to food from La Scala — one of Lafayette’s longest-running downtown restaurants. Since 2000, the Serrano family has served up farm-fresh fixtures of Italian cuisine and inventive spins on noodle staples.
The Pumpkin Mac and Cheese is among the latter — a savory swirl of Smoking Goose pancetta, sage, caramelized onions, spiced pecans and a pumpkin cream sauce. Topped with mozzarella and baked with a crispy crown, it’s a hearty dish that won’t leave you feeling too hefty. Seeking something more traditional? The Lasagna Platter offers a sizable slab of meat, spinach and cheese blended with tomato cream and a basil pesto cream.
We started with a Stuffed Focaccia appetizer. These dainty, but not overly doughy, delights are handstuffed with mozzarella, then baked and served with marinara sauce. After letting the entrees settle, we split a Flourless Chocolate Torte — one of several gluten-free options on the menu, a dense dark-chocolate delicacy drizzled with sprinkles.
Plenty was left over for another meal. But oh, our bag held another smaller container. Did we forget a side? Did they throw in extra sautéed vegetables to accompany the lasagna? Inside, a pesto ravioli dish that we did not order but were nevertheless excited to sample — a delicious little something extra … and a symbolic reminder of comfort to be found in challenging times.
Rob Ford is Tipmont and Wintek's communication director, a role he's held since 2015.
Rob has a bachelor's and a master's in Communication from Purdue University. He lives in West Lafayette with his wife and three children and has a life-sized Yoda statue in his office. Away from the office, you’ll find Rob working on his golf swing, jump shot, or hope for a Purdue basketball national title – all futile endeavors.