Wine Dinner at One Eleven
I was fortunate enough to be one of Alexia Elichiry’s (De Nux Distributors, LLC) guests for the Gandona Wine Dinner at One Eleven last Friday evening. One Eleven is no stranger to hosting such events, so a near flawless evening was expected, and fortunately, delivered upon. The four-course wine pairing dinner started off with a refreshing and creamy almond panacotta and crab amuse-bouche. This gave way to a first course of chilled fennel soup with sea urchin paired with a Gandona Rosé 2014. I’m certainly not the biggest fan of sea urchin, but can respect when something is fresh and well-prepared, as was the case with this dish. While the second course of beetroot risotto with grilled scallops (paired with Gandona Encosta Cabernet Sauvignon 2012) was also enjoyable, the star of the evening was defintely the roasted venison, a third course which included gnocchi Romaine, turnips, and king trumpet mushrooms. One Eleven’s always meticulous plating was only trumped by those crisp edges and melt-in-your-mouth interior of the venison. Beyond the stellar food and wine, this self-admitted wine novice was appreciative to be surrounded by such kind and knowledgeable tablemates who ended up teaching me a thing or two throughout the evening. Believe me, it makes all the difference in a dinner like this one. Kudos to the staff at One Eleven and the representatives from Gandona Winery for hosting an amazing evening.
If you’re a lover of Hatch chiles, like me, now is a great time to head to Local Lime for the Chile Colorado, a slightly thicker, albeit just as tasty version of last year’s green chile stew. And don’t be scared off by the heat, which is certainly there, but not enough to blow your taste buds away. It’s quite apparent Chef Scott McGehee and company know their way around a chile, so don’t miss out on this seasonal dish that’s laced with tender chunks of pork and comes with a side of rice, beans, and corn tortillas.
BBQ at Table 28
It had been far too long since my last visit to Table 28, and I was reminded of this mistake through a friend’s fantastic birthday celebration at the hidden gem of a restaurant in WLR. Chef Scott Rains proved once again why he is one of the best chefs in Little Rock with his assortment of dishes that were all spot-on, including blackened sea bass, scallops & beef cheeks, meatloaf, and my pork butt bbq. The latter had a delightful smoky flavor, just the right amount of fat, and fork tender meat. How Chef Rains was able to achieve such execution in a fine-dining setting is beyond me. My bites of the other dishes were met with favorable reviews, as was my excellent butter lettuce wedge salad (no iceberg lettuce here), as well as the white and red wine we drank throughout the meal. Service was superb, as was the company, making for a memorable evening.
Pizza is one of the most hotly debated and subjective topics in all of food, but even the harshest of critics can’t deny the greatness of what’s coming out of The Pizzeria at Terry’s 800-degree+, wood-burning oven. On a recent date night, we ordered the night’s special, a Hawaiian pizza with prosciutto, jalapenos, and pineapple, along with a couple of local beers, a Caesar salad, and the Key lime pie. It was great food, great service, and great atmosphere … we couldn’t have asked for a better, more relaxing evening. If you enjoy a nice char on your crust, Terry’s is the place for you, and don’t get stressed about what toppings to order. Terry’s has a fairly limited offering of pies and they’re all tried and true. Just save room for dessert–there’s never a shortage of options and they’re all very good, as was the case this time around with the pie.