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Tuesday, November 21, 2017, 2:22 a.m.

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Selected restaurants

This article was published September 7, 2017 at 1:42 a.m.

entrees-at-cafe-prego-include-a-seafood-lasagna-special-foreground-and-the-regular-menu-item-canneloni-rosario-background

Entrees at Cafe Prego include a Seafood Lasagna special (foreground) and the regular menu item Canneloni Rosario (background).

Weekly 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.

Italian

BRUNO'S LITTLE ITALY

310 Main St., Little Rock, (501) 372-7866

The venerable Italian restaurant has a few Northern Italian-style dishes among the handmade Southern Italian pasta with hearty red sauces that have stood them in good stead for more than six decades, plus the area's first and possibly the best Neapolitan-style pizza. The former next-door grab-and-go deli has moved into the main restaurant, which is now open for lunch.

Lunch Mon-Fri, dinner Tue-Sat. Full bar. Moderate.

CAFE PREGO

5510 Kavanaugh Blvd., Little Rock, (501) 663-5355

The management of this popular funky Italian-focused spot in the Heights has increased the size of the menu and the wine list, and the food and service are still tops.

Lunch Mon-Fri, dinner daily. Full bar. Reservations. Moderate.

UPDATE! CIAO

405 W. Seventh St., Little Rock, (501) 372-0238

This downtown triple storefront continues, as it has for years, to serve hearty Italian and Mediterranean 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. Moderate.

RISTORANTE CAPEO

425 Main St., North Little Rock, (501) 376-3463

The addition of a wood-burning pizza oven has added Neapolitan-style pies and calzones to the menu of this coy, cozy, high-end predominantly Northern Italian restaurant, which still serves some of North Little Rock's best cuisine -- sumptuous pasta dishes, hearty grilled meats and rich desserts -- with an impressive wine list in a renovated, century-plus-old building in the heart of the trendy Argenta District.

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

VESUVIO BISTRO

1315 Breckenridge Drive, Little Rock, (501) 246-5422

A move to a former chain restaurant space from a dimly lighted hotel rathskeller has been a success. The new place seats twice as many, 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. Moderate-expensive.

ZAFFINO'S BY NORI

2001 E. Kiehl Ave., Sherwood, (501) 834-7530

There is a decidedly casual feel about this ambitious Sherwood family eatery, with proprietor Nori Fryar staking out a kind of median between budget menu and three-star cuisine that specializes in unpretentious and substantial dishes, including pasta with rich sauces and a top-notch veal preparation.

Lunch, dinner Tue-Fri, dinner Sat. Beer, wine. Corkage fee. Reservations. Moderate.

Weekend on 09/07/2017

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