Making decisions on where to eat is hard work. Little Rock has boomed in local dining options, picking the best out of the crowd is sometimes no easy task. So we are taking a look at what is most interesting, new, or seasonal this month to make the decision a little easier.
Little Rock Restaurant Month
August means restaurant month around Little Rock, so obviously the biggest dining experience is chasing down some of the specials and deals across the city. This month they are trying something new by focusing in on different regions of the city each week, so the options change frequently. The participants should flow out each week, so keep an eye on Rumbles for what is coming up.
While the discounts and deals are great (like 50% off at Dugan’s Pub and Skye’s Little Bistro), it is the one off specials that we really have our eye on. In particular the crawfish mac and cheese from Rebel Kettle (which we tried yesterday and is excellent), and the lamb egg rolls from Capital Bar and Grill. These are only available August 1-7, so get out quick.
Samantha’s Tap Room Seafood
Samantha’s Tap Room always has seriously good food, but this month is even more special. The team from Samantha’s is heading down to New Orleans this weekend to represent Arkansas in the Great American Seafood Cookoff. The team has been experimenting and refining their seafood dishes for the competition. In addition some of the best seafood cooks in America take place in the competition, so expect the Samantha’s guys to come back full of inspiration and creativity after the event. I fully expect the seafood dishes to be kicked up a notch (to borrow from a NOLA legend) toward the end of the month.
Apparently 4th of July was a little longer this year than expected. The new deli concept from Bruno’s Little Italy was on the verge of opening early last month, then claimed the holiday set them back a little. The opening is finally coming, as we announced yesterday in Rumbles the open date is set for next Monday, August 8th. This should be an interesting lunch concept for downtown, so get out this month and check it out.
Little Rock favorite, The Root, has been slowly taking advantage of their expansion efforts to hold more and more popup dinners in the space. No big surprise, the dinners have been excellent so far. This month they are holding two. The second Friday (12th) of the month is a ticketed, five-course dinner, while the fourth Friday (26th) is a standard table service, which the restaurant will incorporate for dinner in the future. Be sure to give them plenty of feedback if you get out. The plan is to open up for dinner a couple of nights a week eventually once the expansion is complete, so feedback and support for the dinners is much needed.
Honey Pies opened a few weeks ago and things are already going well. To formally open the space they are holding a grand opening party this Saturday (6th) and featuring a couple of our favorites. Ken Dempsey will be cooking up some smoked pork cubans for lunch, if you have not had any of Ken’s BBQ yet you are in for a treat. Later that day Loblolly will swing by and whip up some special desserts including what looks to be the mother of all milkshakes. Don’t miss it.
Finally, August is back to school month, which means us parents fall into one of two camps. Half of you are upset about your kid growing up and going back to school or to a new school. The other half are so exhausted after a summer with them or hauling them around from place to place that you are excited for the break. Either way you need a good brunch and maybe a Bloody Mary (or five) to take in one of your first weekends after back to school.
Take a Sunday and treat yourself, or drown your sorrows, whichever the case may be. You can always go for the brunch staples (Trios, Loca Luna) or new takes on classic brunch (South on Main, The Root, Boulevard). Maybe you want to try something completely new for brunch (Kemuri, The Fold, Raduno) or go for something classy, yet surprisingly inexpensive for brunch compared to other meals at the restaurant (SO, One Eleven, Cache). Either way, enjoy yourself and take the much needed break or bonding time.