Table 28 is without question one of the most underrated restaurants in all of Little Rock. Over the past 2+ years, the food coming out of the Chef Scott Rains’ kitchen has been innovative and sophisticated, while remaining unpretentious.
But from day one, there’s been something holding the restaurant back … a drab atmosphere. Quite honestly, it just wasn’t the kind of restaurant I wanted to hang at on a regular basis. And make no mistake, restaurants, nowadays, have to bring more to the table than just dynamite food. Competition is steep, and a fun, inviting atmosphere is every bit as important as the culinary creations coming out of the kitchen.
As many of you already know, Table 28 recently got a complete makeover. Last Friday night was my first chance to check out the new digs, and simply put, I was blown away by everything … in a good way. The setting was fresh, inviting, and hip, but not cold and sterile, and definitely a space I now felt comfortable spending a few hours in.
And the best part? The restaurant was packed.
There was a definite energy in the place. People were talking and having fun, but at a volume that you could still have a nice conversation with your tablemates. Heck, there was even some light, live music playing in the corner of the restaurant.
The service, per usual, was outstanding, as was the food. Our table gobbled up an order of quail lollipops with hot sauce and bleu cheese, as well as a delicious plate of mushrooms covered in mozzarella and shaved truffles. You can never go wrong with the lollipops, which I consider to be Table 28’s signature appetizer (small plate). For my entrée, I opted for the blackened sea bass with succotash … a dish that proved to be delightful and well-executed. Sea bass is my favorite fish and Chef Rains pulled off his version to perfection.
My dinner companions ordered the meatloaf with mashed potatoes and asparagus, the calamari snitzel with cabbage confit, and the Cioppino San Fran, a hearty bowl of bass, scallops, shrimp, and squid ink pasta. I heard no complaints. For dessert, we split the s’mores bar and lemon cheesecake, which were both delicious and gorgeously presented.
The bottom line is this … with a sophisticated décor to pair with elite food and wine menus, Table 28 is now a Top 5 dining destination in Little Rock.