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Top Picks - Capture Arkansas

Selected restaurants

By The Arkansas Democrat-Gazette

This article was published October 17, 2013 at 2:54 a.m.


The Caprese Appetizer at Vesuvio Bistro

Weekly theme listings reflect a range of dining possibilities in central Arkansas, across a spectrum of settings and price ranges. Restaurant reviewers’ visits are anonymous and all expenses are paid by the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette.

Bargain means a meal (without beverage or dessert) is typically less than $12. Moderate is $12 to $25. Expensive is $25 and up. To read recent restaurant reviews in their entirety, visit


CAFE PREGO 5510 Kavanaugh Blvd., Little Rock, (501) 663-5355 The new ownership of this popular funky Italian-focused spot in the Heights has increased the size of the menu and the wine list slightly but the food and service are still tops.

Lunch Mon-Fri, dinner Mon-Sat. Full bar. Reservations.


CIAO 405 W. Seventh St., Little Rock, (501) 372-0238 This downtown triple storefront continues, as it has for years, to serve hearty Italian specialties with a European flair and a charming, seedy elegance, well suited for a business lunch or a pre-show dinner.

Lunch Mon-Fri, dinner Thu-Sat. Full bar. Corkage fee. Reservations.


D’CARLO RISTORANTE & PIZZERIA 12325 Stagecoach Road, Little Rock, (501) 407-0400 A change in owner/chefs hasn’t changed the excellent sweet basil marinara sauce that continues to be the foundation of fine southern Italian/Sicilian pasta dishes and tasty pizza in this quaint, exuberantly decorated eatery, right on the Pulaski-Saline county line.

Dinner Mon-Sat. Beer, wine.


THE PASTA HOUSE RESTAURANT 1900 Club Manor Drive, Maumelle, (501) 803-3225 From the nondescript exterior of the now-defunct Conway original, you’d certainly never guess what wonderful things go on inside - a tiny kitchen cooking up plentiful portions of pasta and fine Italian fare.

Lunch, dinner Mon-Sat. Beer, wine.


RISTORANTE CAPEO 425 Main St., North Little Rock, (501) 376-3463 This coy, cozy Northern Italian restaurant in Argenta serves some of North Little Rock’s best cuisine - sumptuous pasta dishes, hearty grilled meats and rich desserts.

Dinner Mon-Sat. Full bar. Corkage fee. Reservations.


NEW! VESUVIO BISTRO 1315 Breckenridge Drive, Little Rock, (501) 246-5422 A recent move from a dimly lighted hotel rathskeller appears to be a good one: The new place seats twice as many diners, its popular menu of mostly Northern Italian specialties has remained more or less intact and it has expanded its wine list.

Dinner daily. Full bar. Reservations.


ZAFFINO’S 2001 E. Kiehl Ave., Sherwood, (501) 834-7530 There is a decidedly casual feel about this ambitious Sherwood eatery that specializes in unpretentious and substantial Italian dishes, including pasta with rich sauces.

Dinner Tue-Sat. Beer, wine. Corkage fee. Reservations.


Weekend, Pages 38 on 10/17/2013

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