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Tuesday, August 30, 2016, 3:47 p.m.
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Dining Out
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Restaurant Transitions: JJ’s Grill opens, new sports bar in Heights, plan for Melting Pot in Little Rock fizzles

posted: 08/25/2016 5:45 a.m. Discuss

JJ's Grill Little Rock has opened in the former Another Round/Villa space in the Rock Creek Shopping Center, 12111 W. Markham St., Little Rock. Kitchen hours are 10 a.m.-11 p.m. Monday-Saturday; the bar stays open until 2. The phone number is (501) 891-6769. No word yet on an opening date for the new JJ's in the former Jose's Mexican Restaurant, 324 W. Dickson St., Fayetteville, which would become the chain's eighth outlet (the one in Little Rock, two in Rogers, one other in Fayetteville, one each in Fort Smith, Conway and Bella Vista). The menu for all locations is the same and available on the website, jjsgrill.com.

RESTAURANT REVIEW: Samurai Japanese Steakhouse & Sushi Bar continues the fight

posted: 08/25/2016 5:45 a.m. Discuss

We couldn't believe that it has been eight whole years since Samurai Japanese Steakhouse & Sushi Bar opened in Little Rock's Shackleford Crossings Shopping Center.

Selected restaurants

posted: 08/25/2016 1:47 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 arkansasonline.com/restaurants.

Restaurant Transitions: New menu at Core Public House, Kemuri makes MSN best sushi list

posted: 08/18/2016 5:45 a.m. Discuss

Core Public House, 411 Main St., North Little Rock, unveiled its new menu last week, including tapas -- Open Faced BLT Bites, Gulf Coast Deviled Eggs (topped with a fried oyster and Creole remoulade), empanadas, hummus and Naughty Bacon Bleu Cheese Fries; entrees and sandwiches, including fish and chips, fish tacos, a blackened turkey sandwich, an oyster po'boy, the Buddha Bowl (couscous, sauteed kale, bell peppers, shredded carrot, snap peas, pickled radish and goat cheese tossed in a roasted shallot vinaigrette) and the so-called Bouvier Burger ("house-made everything" on a pretzel bun, evidently named for chef Jeff Wetzel of Bentonville's Le Bouvier Chef Services, whose logo appears on the menu). Hours are 3-9 p.m. Monday-Thursday, 3-11 p.m. Friday, noon-11 p.m. Saturday, noon-9 p.m. Sunday. The phone number is (501) 372-1390; the website is corebeer.com. There are also Core brewpubs in Fayetteville, Rogers and Fort Smith and a separate pub and taproom in Springdale.

RESTAURANT REVIEW: Go ahead, Eat My Catfish

posted: 08/18/2016 5:45 a.m. Discuss

If the name of your restaurant is Eat My Catfish, your catfish had better be worth eating.

Restaurant Transitions: Dairy Queens opening in central Arkansas; TracyCakes closing

posted: 08/11/2016 5:43 a.m. Comments 4

A DQ Grill & Chill is headed for the plot of land (formerly Brandon House Furniture) next to the soon-to-open first Little Rock CVS pharmacy, just north of where West 12th Street meets South University Avenue, according to central Arkansas franchisee Blake Lively. He says this location and one in Sherwood -- on Country Club Road near Wildwood Avenue, expected to open in late 2016 -- will be the first of about a dozen central Arkansas DQ Grill & Chills that he and partners Nelson Lively, his father, and Todd Denton have in the planning stages. In case you missed John Magsam's story in Sunday's Business section, the Minneapolis-based Dairy Queen chain is also looking at adding a lot more franchise operations in Arkansas. That includes 20 in Northwest Arkansas during the next five years.

RESTAURANT REVIEW: Cajun Noodle blends Louisiana, Italian

updated: 08/11/2016 12:55 p.m. Discuss

The name alone of this Louisiana-theme eating establishment is quite the head-turner. The Cajun Noodle?

Selected restaurants

posted: 08/11/2016 1:51 a.m. Discuss

Weekly theme listings reflect a range of dining possibilities in central Arkansas, across a spectrum of settings and price ranges. 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.

Restaurant Transitions: Bruno's Deli opening set; local chef in New Orleans; Arts Center restaurant changes

posted: 08/04/2016 5:45 a.m. Discuss

Co-owner Gio Bruno reports that he expects all obstacles, including a couple of bureaucratic foul-ups involving his operating license, to be completely out of the way for a Monday opening of Bruno's Deli, 308 Main St., Little Rock, next door to the venerable Italian restaurant his family has operated, with a couple of hiatuses, since the late '40s. The menu features counter-order French-bread pizzas, soups, sandwiches (including a couple of longtime customers may remember from the long-gone days when the restaurant sold lunch in previous locations on Roosevelt, Old Forge and Bowman roads -- meatball, eggplant, chicken, sausage, veal a la parmigiana, Italian roast beef, three-cheese, a grilled veggie and Jimmy's Poor Boy, which includes salami, pepperoni, prosciutto, provolone cheese, mozzarella, lettuce, tomato, mayonnaise, salt and pepper) and salads (including the resurrection of the popular pasta salad from Papa Gio's, Gio Bruno's short-lived, Capitol Avenue lunch operation that operated for about six months in 1986). There are a few seats and a walk-up to-go window. Hours are 11 a.m.-2 p.m. weekdays; the phone number: (501) 313-4452.

RESTAURANT REVIEW: Capital Bar & Grill capitalizes on the basics

updated: 08/04/2016 1:14 p.m. Gallery Discuss

A few months ago, chef Marc Guizol, who had been executive chef Joel Antunes' No. 2 guy in the kitchen at the Capital Hotel's high-end One Eleven at the Capital, took over as No. 1 at the hotel's flagging other flagship eatery, the Capital Bar & Grill.

Selected restaurants

posted: 08/04/2016 1:48 a.m. Discuss

Weekly theme listings reflect a range of dining possibilities in central Arkansas, across a spectrum of settings and price ranges. 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.

Restaurant Transitions: Soul Fish Cafe opening, Little Rock pizzeria moving, Honey Pies' home base

posted: 07/28/2016 5:45 a.m. Discuss

Wednesday is the firm target date for the opening of Soul Fish Cafe, 306 Main St., Little Rock, the first west-of-the-Mississippi outlet of a Memphis-based, three-restaurant mini-chain. Hours will be 11 a.m.-10 p.m. Monday-Saturday, 11 a.m.-9 p.m. Sunday; they'll offer free valet parking Tuesday-Saturday nights. The phone number is (501) 396-9175; menu and other details are available at the website, soulfishcafe.com.

RESTAURANT REVIEWS: River Market's newest tenants, The Indian Feast + Old Mill

posted: 07/28/2016 5:45 a.m. Discuss

The newest tenants of the River Market's Ottenheimer Market Hall might be next to each other, but they are continents away when it comes to cuisine.

Selected restaurants

posted: 07/28/2016 1:51 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.

Restaurant Transitions: New catfish restaurant, Fuzzy's Taco Shop planned, new space for The Veg

posted: 07/21/2016 5:45 a.m. Discuss

Candy Wilkerson says in a recent Facebook post that she will continue to operate Capital Smokehouse and Grill, 915 W. Capitol Ave., Little Rock, in the wake of the July 1 death of her husband, co-owner and chief cook, Doug Wilkerson: "The restaurant is indeed still open and I have no plans of closing it. Doug would want me to carry on with our dream so I will do it for him." Hours are 11 a.m.-2 p.m. Monday-Friday. The phone number is (501) 372-4227.

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