Table 28 has never been the most visible restaurant. It is not in a traditional restaurant hot spot, tucked away in the Burgundy hotel it is not even that visible from an area people drive, and they do not load the menu up with burgers and tacos to drive people in by the masses. Table 28 is, however, the restaurant that builds a menu beloved by local foodies. It is that one spot that we always take the out of town food lover that we want to impress. The new fall menu updates from chef Scott Rains only solidifies that standing further.
The menu is very seasoned with some can’t-remove staples, thankfully most of what we love is still there. Added are around seven new items that add a level of depth to the menu and bring in strong fall late-season flavors.
“I really wanted to bring back an old favorite and focus on incorporating fall seasonal seasonal flavors like squash, sweet potatoes, and cinnamon throughout the menu,” Rains tells us. “These are all items that I really love, and love to cook. I think people are going to enjoy some of the changes.”
The restaurant has always focused heavily on small plates, and the updated menu brings three brand new options and the return of one of Chef Rains’ favorites, the Foie Gras biscuit and gravy. The dish is a perfect balance between high end culinary and comfort food. It starts with a single, perfect buttermilk biscuit and a solid slice of seared foie gras.
Brand new to the small plate menu are a trio of great, but very different dishes. The sweet potato soup with cinnamon creme fraiche will be fantastic if the temperature ever drops. Then there is the Tuna Poke with cool pieces of tuna that comes with a strong spice from the sriracha.
Finally, our favorite from the new small plates are the duck wings. This is a perfect small plate for sharing with 3 of your friends. The four wings are crispy and flavorful, topped with a slightly sweet citrus glaze that finishes well with a touch spice.
You could easily just make a dinner out of small plates at Table 28, in fact that is often the way we go. There are some great new full entree items that are worth checking out, especially the Beer Braised Beef Cheeks. The tender beef cheeks are full of flavor after the beer braising, it is always a fantastic cut of beef when cooked properly. They are placed on a bed of creamed cauliflower and candied carrots.
Also new to the entree menu is a shrimp scampi dish, that is a throwback to the simple, traditional scampi we all know and love. For a very solid vegetarian option that will still please meat eaters, chef Rains has worked up a Chile Relleno that brings a very hearty flavor through the poblano pepper and black beans.
The new menu updates really keep Table 28 in the forefront of the culinary scene in Little Rock. Plus, for anyone who really wants to see chef Rains stretch his culinary wits, there is always the option of a chef’s tasting menu that can be adjusted (and often off-menu) to match the group. Perfect for a food-centric holiday dinner.