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Tuesday, November 24, 2015, 10:12 p.m.
Top Picks - Capture Arkansas

Dining Out
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Restaurant transitions: Arbela Middle Eastern Grill finally open, Thanksgiving Day meals

posted: 11/19/2015 5:45 a.m. Discuss

To paraphrase the poet, the best laid plans of mice, men and restaurateurs gang aft agley, and Buck Sayyah, co-owner of Arbela Middle Eastern Grill, on the ground floor of the Tower Building, 323 Center St. (actually on West Fourth between Louisiana and Center streets), Little Rock, has had his share of plans go agley, up to and including having to replace the vent-a-hood that the former tenant, Natchez, had left behind. Sayyah says all his inspection problems have now been dealt with and that he was, as of our deadline, planning to have opened his doors Wednesday. Hours are 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Monday-Friday, and his phone number, (501) 374-2633, which had briefly been disconnected, is now once again functional.

Zoes: Less tradition, more casual

posted: 11/19/2015 1:57 a.m. Discuss

When we heard that Zoes Kitchen, a fast-casual Mediterranean franchise, was moving next to the west Little Rock Target, we wondered why.

Selected restaurants

posted: 11/19/2015 1:45 a.m. Discuss

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.

La Terraza a Venezuelan delight

posted: 11/12/2015 2:23 a.m. Discuss

The new La Terraza Rum & Lounge, in the former Acadia space in a Kavanaugh Boulevard office building in Little Rock's Hillcrest, is a mom and pop and son and daughter-in-law restaurant and bar, or is that a bar and restaurant? Venezuelan couple Carlos Valdivieso and Ana Lara transplanted a place they ran for two decades in Caracas, Venezuela; you can spot them coming in and out of the kitchen, with son and daughter-in-law co-owners Armando and Sarah Bolanos running the front of the house.

Restaurant transitions: New Pei Wei in Promenade at Chenal, Grampa's Southern Catfish closed?

posted: 11/12/2015 1:50 a.m. Comment 1

Lee Strother, principal and vice president of brokerage at real estate broker Colliers International, says that through his representation, Pei Wei Asian Diner, LLC has leased 3,000 square feet at 17701 Chenal Parkway, Little Rock, which happens to be the address of the Promenade at Chenal. Although the folks in the upscale shopping center's marketing department wouldn't confirm or deny the pending new tenant, Cassie Cooper, Pei Wei's assistant brand manager, did confirm that the lease has been signed and that the restaurant will be sharing a building with a business that has not yet signed its lease. Pei Wei's first Little Rock outlet opened in October 2006 in the Midtowne Little Rock center, West Markham Street and University Avenue; there's also one in Rogers.

Selected restaurants

posted: 11/12/2015 1:44 a.m. Discuss

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: a meal (without beverage or dessert) typically less than $12. Moderate: $12-$25. Expensive: $25 and up.

Restaurant transitions: Silent Sunday, new food court planned

posted: 11/05/2015 5:45 a.m. Comment 1

Nearly four dozen central Arkansas restaurants, restaurant chains and other commercial providers of comestibles will be providing food, drink and desserts for Silent Sunday, the annual benefit for the Arkansas School for the Deaf (this year's proceeds go directly to technology programs), noon-3 p.m. Sunday at the Statehouse Convention Center, Markham and Main streets, Little Rock. Todd Yakoubian and Janelle Lilley of KATV, Channel 7, will be the masters of ceremonies; entertainers include the GroanUps and the School for the Deaf's Singing Fingers. A silent auction will feature prizes from local businesses and baskets sponsored by the school's classrooms.

Rick's N'awlins fare is on a roll

posted: 11/05/2015 1:54 a.m. Discuss

Rick's Beignets, a purple, green and gold food truck parked in a lot at Country Club Road and North Hills Boulevard in Sherwood makes a big promise with the slogan stretched across the truck's side: "Bringing you a Taste of New Orleans." And, for the most part, owner Rick Rogers delivers.

Selected restaurants

posted: 11/05/2015 1:42 a.m. Discuss

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

Salt & Pepper's hummus a hit

posted: 10/29/2015 1:54 a.m. Discuss

Call the cuisine Middle Eastern or Mediterranean, there's been a recent boom-let along North Rodney Parham Road.

Restaurant transitions: Fu Lin has new owners, Jerky’s Spicy Chicken to open soon

posted: 10/29/2015 1:44 a.m. Discuss

According to a couple who have been "very regular customers for many years" of Fu Lin Chinese Restaurant in the Bowman Curve Center II shopping center, 200 N. Bowman Road, Little Rock, owners Wei Chiu and Jing Wen How have retired and sold the business to a gentleman named Yitan Chen. We've been unable to come up with any other details so far, but we'll keep checking.

Restaurant transitions: Sonny Williams' Steak Room has new owner, John Daly's set to open in 2016

posted: 10/22/2015 5:45 a.m. Discuss

Andy Agar, who opened Sonny Williams' Steak Room at 500 President Clinton Ave. in Little Rock's River Market District in 1999, before there was a River Market District, and sold it in 2002, has bought the restaurant back. Arkansas Business reports that he and several investors whom he is declining to name closed the sale Oct. 9. He told the publication he has been meeting with designers, decorators and contractors and is making plans for updates and renovations to the building, including a new color scheme and new private dining rooms designed for corporate events or parties.

Restaurant review: Del Frisco’s beefs up Promenade

posted: 10/22/2015 1:58 a.m. Discuss

Meatloaf for $20?

Restaurant transitions: New Mediterranean restaurant, One Eleven changes, Lulu's Crab Boil in Heights

posted: 10/15/2015 5:45 a.m. Discuss

One Eleven, the upscale restaurant in Little Rock's Capital Hotel, 111 W. Markham St., and the One Eleven Bar are making some changes to cater to early and later diners. There will be a $6/glass "wine of the day" and "beer of the day" to attract more of the after-work crowd (a possible "drink of the day" is still in the works). Chef Joel Antunes has come up with, along the lines of his already successful Express Lunch, an "early express dinner for people who need to attend other events." The $25 (including a glass of the "wine of the day," tax and gratuities extra) prix fixe meal started Monday in the One Eleven Bar, 5:30-6:30 p.m. And for diners seated after 8:30 p.m., there's a new $55 prix fixe (plus tax and gratuities) three-course menu with individual 2-ounce wine pairings and a glass of "bubbly." Call (501) 370-7011 or visit

Lulu's offers taste of Andes

posted: 10/15/2015 1:56 a.m. Discuss

We enjoyed our first dinner experience, more or less, at Lulu's Latin Rotisserie & Grill in the Colonnade Center on Little Rock's North Bowman Road. We returned on a recent Wednesday night and -- shock! -- the place was locked, the wicker blinds drawn over the windows and nobody answered the phone.




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