There’s an eatery (bar? pub? bistro? no matter…) in Kansas City which I’m mildly obsessed with – it’s called The Jacobson.
I’m fortunate to work for a company based in the Crossroads Arts District, and even more fortunate that our leadership team is fond of The Jacobson and we meander there regularly for lunch. I have a hard time branching out from foods I love in specific places, so I obsessively order the arugula & orange salad sans bacon with a side of truffle fries – because I have no self control. I joined the company in 2014 but regularly visited The Jacobson for said salad for a good long while during the time I worked with KKG as a consultant – suffice it to say I’ve been smitten for an extended period.
The salad is dressed in a white balsamic, and I have had trouble getting it out of my head.
So, I was delighted earlier this year when Ramo d’Olivo opened on Main Street in Bentonville – a few blocks from my office (to my delight)!
Ramo stocks absolutely fantastic organic olive oils and balsamic vinegars from California. The front of this adorable establishment is a tasting room and shop with giant, gleaming containers offering an array of oils and vinegars. It seems strange at first to throw back cups of oil and vinegar, but it isolates the flavors and is well worth trying.
I went in on a mission and was not disappointed. I shared my sad story of the perfect salad and the scrumptious white balsamic and was quickly pointed in the right direction. After a quick tasting, I was happily checking out with Ramo’s absolutely fabulous lemongrass white balsamic plus an organic arbequina olive oil.
The little shop and tasting room would be enough for me to be devoted to Ramo, but even better: there’s a wine bar and semi-bistro in the back along with a lovely patio. The bulk of the business seems to be the evening crowd, but it’s turned into my personal sanctuary at lunch – a limited (but just right) menu of caprese bites, meat and cheese plates and bright salads is available during the week, and I have to limit myself from going daily.
Since discovering Ramo, I’ve met friends for after work drinks, dragged colleagues in for lunch, picked up hostess gifts and slipped away for quiet midday meals with a book on the back patio. I’ve cooked at home with Ramo oils and dressed my salads almost exclusively in that divine lemongrass white balsamic (and my recent favorite: a fuzzy navel peach vinegar).
As I’m wont to do, I try to drag someone new with me every time I visit – I’m afflicted with enthusiasm to introduce people to my favorite places.
I’m waiting on the right moment to welcome the new neighbors who have been toiling over the restoration of a house in downtown Rogers across the street from us. They’ve been working for months: jack hammering, framing, caulking and painting. We moved into our 1905 money pit (The Good House) eleven years ago this month, and that house has been vacant 90% of the time we’ve lived here – apparently waiting for the right owners.
One evening when they’re catching their breath and admiring the fruits of their labors, I’ll head over with some goodness from Ramo d’Olivo – just to make absolutely sure they know how glad we are they’re in the neighborhood.
Oh, and my recreated version of that Jacobson salad (with many liberties taken)? It’s fabulous.