The holiday season is upon us, and that means DeLuca’s Pizzeria is about to go on its usual break. The outstanding Hot Springs pizzeria will close after Saturday’s service so owner Anthony Valinoti and his staff can visit family and loved ones for the holidays. However, Valinoti will be reopening DeLuca’s earlier than in years past. The team will take 12 days off and be back in business on Thursday, Dec. 29, including staying open for New Year’s (I can only imagine the party that will be thrown at DeLuca’s that night). So if you want some of the best pizza you can find before Christmas, get down to Hot Springs by Saturday and reserve your dough in advance. If you’re there, try out the new Capi Peck pie with capicola and peppadew peppers, named after Little Rock’s incoming city director and the owner of Trio’s Restaurant.
DeLuca’s isn’t the only spot that will be open New Year’s Eve. Party plans are already underway around town at several Central Arkansas restaurants. At Table 28, the 8:30 p.m. reserved dinner service is already sold out; the 5 p.m. dinner event still has some seats available. South on Main is hosting a $30 dance party with performer Amasa Hines to usher in the new year (make your reservation for after 9 p.m. if you want a table for the evening). And Rebel Kettle Brewing Company is hosting a party event with Rob Gnarly brewmosas and a special late-night menu. Keep an eye here for more New Year’s Eve party announcements around Central Arkansas.
As we reported last week, David’s Burgers opened its River Market location on Tuesday. The restaurant company’s eighth location is open for lunch and dinner Monday through Saturday, and David’s Burgers isn’t done expanding. Three more new locations have been announced, with crews already starting work at the upcoming Bryant spot. A second Conway location and a Benton opening will likely come in fall 2017.
Good progress is being made on rebuilding Three Sams BBQ Joint in the Mabelvale neighborhood. Electrical crews are on site this week to power up the expanded kitchen and smoker area, which is framed by a new cinderblock wall that was put up last week. Three Sams was destroyed in a fire in March that started in a smoker in the back of the building. We will keep you updated as the restaurant looks to reopen in 2017. In the meantime, you can still get your Three Sams fix from a concession trailer in front of the restaurant for lunch Wednesday through Friday every week.
And it was hard to miss, but belated congratulations are in order for Scott McGehee and Ben Brainard of Heights Taco & Tamale Co. for winning a cheese dip taste test against Texas. The two flew to Washington, D.C., and put up their cheese dip against the queso from Uncle Julio’s in Dallas. Senate Republicans voted HTT’s version as their favorite, settling a friendly dispute between Arkansas senators John Boozman and Tom Cotton and their Texas colleagues, senators Ted Cruz and John Cornyn. The contest settled a tongue-in-cheek debate that came up after The Wall Street Journal wrote about the popularity of Arkansas cheese dip in November.
There are two days left to participate in Restaurants Give Back, a food drive to help feed food-insecure students in Little Rock over the winter break. Here is a list of where you can donate and the food items that are needed the most.
As always, Rock City Eats had a great time competing at the Historic Arkansas Museum “Nog Off” Competition. We have a rundown of this year’s winners as well as where you can find the winnings nogs to take home for yourself.
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Yellow Rocket Concepts has released its specials for the month of December:
- Big Orange: Ribeye Sandwich with onion strings and Eggnog Cheesecake by Honey Pies
- Local Lime: Chicken, Spinach and Poblano Tamales
- Zaza: The Libby pizza with prosciutto and basil, and the Arkansas Waldorf Salad
Ristorante Capeo’s weekly dinner special is cioppino cod stew. Its risotto special is one made with sausage and mushrooms.