Mark Abernathy is once again resurrecting his Blue Mesa menu at his Red Door, 3701 Old Cantrell Road, Little Rock, on Thursdays, starting today.
You may recall that Abernathy opened Juanita's Cantina Mexican Restaurant on Little Rock's Main Street in 1986 and subsequently Blue Mesa Grill on Merrill Drive in west Little Rock, where the menu introduced to Arkansans "America's First White Cheese Dip" (still on the menu at Abernathy's Loca Luna) and other items of Southwest cuisine.
The menu, up for a limited time and parts of which may change from week to week, includes the cheese dip, Roast Chicken-Goat Cheese & Black Bean Nachos, Grilled Shrimp & Brie Quesadilla, a Shrimp Burrito with Roasted Hatch Green Chili Sauce, Chili Dusted Angus Filet (6 to 9 ounces), Southwest Seafood Grill ("habanero-pineapple fire prawns, blistered diver scallops with chipotle cream and grilled salmon with tequila-cranberry glaze") and Fettuccini O'Keefe (with roasted chicken, blistered peppers, chipotle cream, toasted pine nuts and sun-dried tomatoes). Thursday dinner hours are 5-9 p.m. The phone number is (501) 666-8482.
We reported in early August that Asian Bar & Grill, 14524 Cantrell Road, Little Rock, was in the process of converting to Infusion Bar & Lounge, a hookah bar/music venue that would continue to serve a limited portion of Asian Bar & Grill's Chinese/Asian fusion menu. As of the end of September, the strip-center storefront sports a "for lease" banner and a call to (501) 673-3934 confirmed that it has closed.
Flavours, 13120 Crystal Hill Road, North Little Rock, off Maumelle Boulevard on the North Little Rock side of the Maumelle divide, closed over the weekend. A note posted Friday on the door and also the restaurant's Facebook page thanked loyal customers and noted that catering and cake-baking operations will continue, recommending folks keep track via Facebook. The restaurant was the creation of Fred Norman in partnership with Arkansas Enterprise for the Developmentally Disabled, Pulaski Technical College and the Arkansas Hospitality Association to provide culinary training and job placement for people with disabilities.
We have confirmed, via Carrie Evans, director of franchise development for Chicken Salad Chick, an Auburn, Ala.,-based fast-casual chain built around chicken salad, that there are now franchisees for pending outlets in Little Rock and Conway, but there are no specifics yet. Franchisee and Arkansas native Melissa Hardcastle of NEA Chick LLC opened an outlet at 2821 Parkwood Road, in the Township Centre off Red Wolf Boulevard, in Jonesboro, in November; hours there are 10 a.m.-8 p.m. Monday-Saturday and the phone number is (870) 322-6089. The company website, chickensaladchick.com, also shows an outlet at 352 E. Joyce Blvd., Fayetteville — same hours; the phone number there is (479) 227-2658. The website also provides the menu, which offers a dozen different varieties of chicken salad (including the "Dixie Chick" (which the menu bills as its "most offensive salad" and "definitely for the onion lover").
Because of construction delays, Hill Station, on the lot that formerly held Helmich Auto Service, 2712 Kavanaugh Blvd., Little Rock, is now angling toward an end of October/beginning of November opening — not, as owner Daniel Bryant had said he originally hoped, in time for next weekend's Hillcrest HarvestFest, although he's expecting that the parking area will be available for some HarvestFest activities. There's no phone number yet, but there is a rudimentary Facebook page (facebook.com/HillStationHillcrest).
Meanwhile, Bryant says he's looking to have open by Monday his other pending Hillcrest operation, H.A.M., 2807 Kavanaugh, formerly District Fare and Hillcrest Artisan Meats. The upscale deli will no longer have seating, but it will sell an expanded list of retail items (market items, including bread, cheese, oil and local foodstuffs) and grab-and-go selections that include heat-and-eat meals. H.A.M. founder Brandon Brown continues to run it. Hours are 9 a.m.-6 p.m. Monday-Saturday The phone number remains (501) 671-6328 (MEAT).
Food and wine-connected events this weekend and coming up:
• The local branch of the American Heart Association hosts its annual Festival of Wines, 6 p.m. today at Dickey-Stephens Park in North Little Rock. It's billed as central Arkansas' largest wine festival, with offerings from more than 16 local restaurants. Tickets are $60 in advance, $75 at the door. Visit tinyurl.com/yxltzevk.
• Wiederkehr Village at Wiederkehr Wine Cellars in Altus (take Exit 41 from Interstate 40) holds its annual Weinfest, 10 a.m.-7 p.m. Saturday, including free wine tasting tours and tram rides through the vineyards, arts and crafts, a dog show, crowning of the Weinfest Queen, carriage rides and horseback trail rides, plus music and dancing in the Weingarten, Stein Stemmen (stone toss), Baum Stossen (log toss) and grape stomping contests. There will also be a beer garden and concession stands with international foods. Admission is free. Call (479) 468-9463 (GOT-WINE) or visit WiederkehrWines.com.
• Dunbar Garden, 1720 S. Chester St., Little Rock, hosts a benefit Biscuit Brunch, 11 a.m.-2 p.m.. Sunday. Service starts at 11:30; the menu includes Delta Biscuits' biscuits and gravy, Boar's Head bacon, De Wafflebakkers waffles and Community Bakery pastries; local jams, jellies and honey; scrambled eggs by chef Patrick Herron; "bottomless mimosas" and beer. The Michael McBroom Trio will perform. Tickets are $25; $20 if you're 21 or younger or not drinking alcohol; $10 for children 12 and younger, free for kids 5 and younger. Visit dunbargarden.org/events/biscuitbrunch.
The Department of Arkansas Heritage has opened nominations for the next entrants to the Arkansas Food Hall of Fame, via ArkFoodHOF.com, in four categories:
• Arkansas Food Hall of Fame, recognizing long-standing restaurants "that have become legendary attractions in Arkansas."
• Proprietor of the Year, honoring an Arkansas chef, cook and/or restaurant owner "who has made significant achievements in the food industry."
• Food-Themed Event, honoring a community food-theme event or festival.
• Gone But Not Forgotten, remembering "the collective culinary legacy of a once-and-always influential Arkansas restaurant that has since ceased operations.
A collection of food and hospitality experts and just plain foodies chooses the winners. A fifth category, People's Choice, allows Arkansans to honor, by democratic vote, a restaurant or food truck. For more information, call (501) 324-9346 or email Andrew.Vogler@arkansas.gov.
Alexa's Creperie, 173 Marion Anderson Road, Hot Springs, appears to be planning a second operation. Monday's Hot Springs Sentinel-Record lists a $50,000 building permit, filed Sept. 24, to remodel the former NVU Boutique, 238 Cornerstone Blvd., into a restaurant. The menu at the original location includes pierogi, 20 sweet and savory crepes, sandwiches, salads and soups. Hours are 9 a.m.-2 p.m. Thursday-Friday, 8 a.m.-2 p.m. Saturday-Sunday. The phone number is (501) 760-4799; the website, alexascreperie.com.
And a clarification on PattiCakes Downtown, 1137 Front St., Conway, which we described last week as the second outlet of PattiCakes Bakery: It is, in fact, the second outlet in Conway, but the third outlet overall. PattiCakes opened years ago in Russellville, but that bakery, at 411 W. Parkway Drive, has changed hands and since 2014 has been Kneading Hands Bakery. Hours are 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Monday-Thursday, 10 a.m.-7 p.m. Friday, 9 a.m.-7 p.m. Saturday. The phone number is (479) 968-8945.
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 send a note to Restaurants, Weekend Section, Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, P.O. Box 2221, Little Rock, Ark. 72203. Send email to:
Weekend on 10/03/2019
Print Headline: RESTAURANTS: Red Door spotlights Blue Mesa menu; Infusion in west LR shuts; Hill Station debut delayed