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Wednesday, August 20, 2014, 5:55 a.m.
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TRANSITIONS

By Eric E. Harrison

This article was published February 13, 2014 at 2:49 a.m.

The Arlington Resort Hotel & Spa, 239 Central Ave., Hot Springs, has hired as its executive chef Jean Claude Bridoux, an 18-year resident of the Spa City. He was executive chef at Hot Springs Country Club from 1998 to 2011 before leaving to become executive chef/kitchen manager for Hillcrest Country Club in Bartlesville, Okla. A native of France, Bridoux is a graduate chef of the Nancy Culinary College and apprenticed at the Le Trianon Catering Co. and Restaurant, both in Nancy, France. He trained as a sous chef at several restaurants in Chicago, including the Ritz Carlton Hotel and the Saddle & Cycle Club. And before taking over at the country club, he worked as executive chef at several area restaurants and caterers, including RSVP Catering Co., Les Saisons and the Holiday Inn Airport in Little Rock; the little-remembered L’Auberge French Restaurant in North Little Rock; and the Sheraton Hotel and Le Mirabelle French Restaurant in Hot Springs. A news release reports Bridoux “looks forward to serving comfort food with a twist” and Arlington General Manager Bob Martorana says Bridoux will “ continue the dining traditions of the Arlington with the popular Friday Night Seafood Feast and the award-winning Sunday brunch.” Visit arlingtonhotel.com.

And speaking of Hot Springs, we’ve previously reported that the building nearing completion at 2340 Central Ave. will house a Dunkin Donuts and a Little Caesars. Just now, one of our sharp-eyed correspondents spotted the sign out front revealing that it will also incorporate a Baskin Robbins. We have not seen such a tripartite entity in this area before, but there is some precedent: the former Dogtown Coffee & Cookery, 6725 John F. Kennedy Blvd., North Little Rock, houses both a DD and a BR. A couple of questions yet remain unanswered, in addition to mundane things like phone number and operating hours: Will there be separate drive-through window for each product? And will you now be able to get your doughnuts and/or pizza pie a la mode?

And still speaking of Hot Springs, an update on our report last week that Phil’s Family Restaurant, which had been located inside the Howard Johnson Express Inn, 400 W. Grand Ave., Hot Springs, was opening in the former Due Figlie Ristorante Italiano, 2900 Central Ave., across from Oaklawn Park, in the building that also once housed Facci’s. The restaurant has definitely moved, and isn’t opening a second location. They’re hoping to open this weekend. Hours are 7 a.m.-2 p.m. daily. The phone number is (501) 623-8258.

Still no word on Frank Fletcher’s plans for the former location, 2601 Kavanaugh Blvd., Little Rock, of Rocket Twenty-One (in the process of moving to North Little Rock’s Wyndham Riverfront Hotel). But it’s a pretty safe bet that whatever it is won’t, as the banner out front proclaims, be opening Saturday.

We’ve tracked down what is going on in the space in the Pinnacle Station Shopping Center, 14524 Cantrell Road, Little Rock, most recently the last lamented home of Sai Gon Cuisine and previously Gina’s Sushi Bar. The Main Cheese, which according to its website, themaincheese.com, is “Coming soon in February,” will offer “an entirely unique to-Little Rock experience … a casual dining experience adding to the gourmet grilled cheese sensation that is delighting large cities in America.” The menu, also available on the website, consists of gourmet grilled cheese sandwiches, homemade soups and fresh salads. We got no answer at the phone number, (501) 367-8082, we found on the restaurant’s Facebook page, which also listed operating hours as 11 a.m.-9 p.m. Monday-Thursday, 11 a.m.-9:30 p.m. Friday-Saturday.

Checking our traps turned up one small change in the status of Mamacita’s Mexican Bar & Grill, 5923 Kavanaugh Blvd., Little Rock, which has been “closed for renovations” for several weeks. The phone number, (501) 916-2421, still has not been disconnected, but now it is no longer answered, after many rings, by a fax machine.

New Delhi is the focus of this month’s Third Thursday“Around the World” dinner, 6:30 p.m. Feb. 20 at Forty Two, the restaurant at the Clinton Presidential Center, 1200 President Clinton Ave., Little Rock. The meal, $27.95, will be three courses plus various Indian accents. Seating is limited; reservations are required: call (501) 537-0042.

Travis McConnell of Little Rock’s Butcher & Public will be guest chef with Executive Chef Matt McClure for a four course, “Whole Hog” dinner with bourbon, wine and beer pairings, Feb. 22 at The Hive (thehivebentonville.com), in the 21c Museum Hotel, 200 N.E. A St., Bentonville. A 5:30 p.m. butchering demonstration in the Main Gallery will precede a 6:30 cocktail session, which will precede the meal at 7, and both chefs will take questions from diners.Cost of the demo, cocktail session and paired dinner: $99. Email ecotterman@21chotels.com for reservations.

Has a restaurant opened - or closed - near you in the last week or so? Does your favorite eatery have a new menu? Is there a new chef in charge? Drop us a line. Call (501) 399-3667 or (501) 378-3513, or send a note to Restaurants, Weekend Section, Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, 121 E. Capitol Ave., Little Rock, Ark. 72201. Send email to: eharrison@arkansasonline.com

Weekend, Pages 38 on 02/13/2014

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