Posts Tagged Lost Forty Brewing

Around Town: V-Day is Coming Up, Wine Dinners and Cooking Classes Galore

Food news and notes from around the Little Rock area…

Chef Burrow over at Stratton’s Market at Dugan’s Pub is looking to fill a few more seats for tomorrow’s wine dinner. Here’s a look at the full menu, The dinner is reservations only, call (501) 791-6700 to book your seat(s). From Burrow, “I have conceptualized and will be executing the entire service. I really want to fill about 10 more seats, it’s a hell of a deal. And if you’re a foodie it’d be foolish to miss it. We even have an ambassador from Beckstoffer in Cali to come talk up the wines.”

One of our most popular events, Little Rock Soup Sunday, is this Sunday at the Statehouse Convention Center from 4-7 p.m. Tickets are now available to purchase. Regular admission adult tickets are $25 in advance – $30 after 5 p.m. on Friday, January 27th. Tickets for children 5-17 are $10 and children younger than 5 are free.

Lost Forty Brewing is hosting an Oven + Tap Pop Up Brunch this Sunday from 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Chef Luke Wetzel from Oven & Tap plans to team up with L40’s John Beachboard and Cash Ashley for a menu “inspired by southern fare & hints of Italian flair.” Keep an eye on this page for a menu announcement.

When’s the last time you’ve taken a cooking/baking class at Eggshell’s Kitchen Co.? Well, that’s too damn long. Take a look at the upcoming schedule of classes … and sign up. January 25: V-Day baking with Kelli Marks of Sweet Love Bakes, February 3: Making Chocolate with Ashton Woodward of Cocoa Rough, February 9: Wine glass seminar with Buzz Whelan of Riedel, Febraury 21: Zac David of The Faded Rose, Febraury 27: Scott Rains of Table 28. Also, Alexia and I will be having Lindsey Gray (owner of Eggshells) on the Vive la Vie Show this Friday morning at 9:30 a.m. on KABF 88.3. Please tune in.

Speaking of classes, Honey Pies is hosting its first cake decorating class on Thursday, February 23 from 6-8 p.m. “Our talented team will answer all of your cake questions and provide secrets for success. You’ll go home with a delicious 6-inch drippy cake (chocolate, strawberry, or vanilla).” Cost is $50 per person. Please call to reserve your space: (501) 613-7950. Private classes also available.

V-Day is quickly approaching. If you want to make reservations at your favorite restaurant, now is probably the time to do it. Table 28 has but together a giveaway that you may want to check out. Even if you don’t win, T28 is a great place to be for Valentine’s Day. Here’s a look at the menu.

Another great restaurant, Kemuri, is also taking reservations for V-Day … as is Arthur’s.

Capeo’s monthly wine dinner is February 13 this month, making it a perfect V-Day gift. Hell, just celebrate a day early. Ristorante Capeo’s 3-course wine dinner is $55 per person (grat not included) and includes 3 full glasses of wine. The dinner starts at 6:30 p.m. and features Italian Cured Meats, Truffled Eggs, Stuffed Mushrooms, Olives, Artichoke Hearts, Marinated Asparagus, Roasted Peppers, Grilled Eggplant and Assorted Cheese, Gnocchi Alla Bolognese, Veal Scallopini. Call (501) 376-3463 to reserve a spot.

Get ready for Valentine’s Day with another edition of South on Main’s heART of the Bar: a Handmade Holiday Market. The event takes place on Saturday, February 4 from 11 a.m.-4 p.m. Shop art, crafts, jewelry, cards and more from local artisans to find that perfect something for that special someone. Free entry … with craft cocktails as well as brunch bites available to purchase. Keep an eye on this page for vendor announcements.

La Terraza Rum & Lounge is having a Bacardi Rum Dinner on March 1 from 6-10 p.m. Click here for full details.

SO Restaurant-Bar is starting its monthly wine dinners for the year “with a fun taste of what Italian wines are” on January 31 for The Italian Experience. Starting Prosecco will be at 6 p.m. with first course hitting the table at 6:30 p.m. Cost is $85 per person for the 4-course pairing. Call ahead for reservations.

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Thoughts on Deluca’s, Lost Forty, The Root, and Flyway Brewing

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Random thoughts and ramblings on local food and drink…

Sadly, it had been about 10 months since my last visit to Deluca’s, my favorite pizzeria located in Hot Springs. I’d heard rumors about some slight changes to the dough, so anticipation was pretty high heading into Saturday’s visit. Long story short, the pizza, which was already some of the best I’ve eaten anywhere, is now even better. The crust is lighter, thinner, and has a crispier texture. It now leans more towards a classic NY-style pizza, with fold-able slices and fewer toppings. Our table opted for the classic cheese pizza, along with a Consigliere, the latter of which was topped with peppadews, fresh basil, and chunks of meatballs. The soft, tender meatballs, also a relatively new addition to the menu, were every bit as impressive as the crust, which is really saying something.  I should also mention our meal-starters … the Caprese Salad and a beautiful meat plate, both of which were excellent, although the Caprese would have definitely benefited from a drizzle of balsamic vinegar. Service was stellar and our pies hit the table in a timely fashion. The entire experience was exactly what you look for when carving out a good chunk of a Saturday for a highly anticipated meal.

We hit Lost Forty Brewing on Friday night for a friend’s birthday party, one which was located in the brewery area just across from the main dining/drinking hall. If you’re thinking about having a party in this space, I highly recommend it. Being surrounded by thousands of beer cans, while eating and drinking for a few hours makes for a fun time. I tried two different beers, and while I was impressed by the my super cold and crisp Saison, I was equally unimpressed with the Hefeweizen, a wheat beer that just had a pedestrian taste to it.

Flyway’s Coffee Cake Stout is back, and as I found out last week, it really is better than ever. In fact, it’s one of the top 2-3 beers I’ve had in Little Rock. It’s dark, rich, and full of chocolaty, coffee flavor, thanks in large part to the brewery’s collaboration with Izard Chocolate and Mugs Café (cold brew from Onyx Coffee Lab Coffee). The food at Flyway is also progressing quite nicely. Although it might not be the most popular item on the menu, I highly recommend getting the Marinated Tofu Bahn Mi sliders ($8). The dish is a little small for the price, but what it lacks in size, it makes up for in taste. I’m secretly a big fan of tofu and Flyway’s version hits the spot.

I love stopping at The Root in the morning for a cup of Mountain Bird Coffee and a house-made doughnut muffin. If you’ve never tried one of these “muffins,” you may want to consider doing so in the near future. It’s really a guilty pleasure, as the entire thing is covered in sugar. And here’s the best part … the coffee/muffin combo is only $3.88.

Speaking of sugar, have you been following Just Desserts by Zara? She has upped her game, adding fancier decorated cakes to her already strong arsenal of confections. I ordered a lemon curd cake for my wife’s birthday that was absolutely gorgeous, and, of course, tasty. Zara just posted that she’s now booked with private orders through March, but if you’re in need of a cake, you may want to still reach out to her, as openings sometimes become available.

Finally, a quick shout out to Sarah over at Ann Potter Baking who is teaching cookie classes on Tuesday, October 11 (5:30-7:30pm) and Wednesday, October 12 (6-8pm). For more information, contact her at annpotterbaking@gmail.com.

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Saturday Night’s Dinner at Local Lime a Mixed Bag

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The Yellow Rocket Concepts group does social media better than just about anybody in the Little Rock food industry. So, when it posted a beautiful picture of a fried pork chop with red mole, a current menu special at Local Lime, I knew a visit to the WLR restaurant was imminent.

Sure enough, I was digging into the latest masterpiece 24 hours later, and it was just as deliciously brilliant as the picture lead me to believe. Thick, rich mole with hints of cinnamon covered a perfectly fried, bone-in pork chop, and was accompanied by grilled cebollitas, a small bowl of mango salsa and two sides. Per usual, I opted for the drunken beans and rice. A heavy hand of pumpkin seeds didn’t detract from my overall satisfaction with the dish, but did prove to be one of a few missteps throughout the evening.

When asked how she liked her zucchini tacos, my wife gave me a “ho hum” look. She wasn’t pleased with the change in the composition of these tacos, as corn kernels have replaced the chunky potatoes that gave the dish its substance.

As for me, my frozen margarita arrived at the table only half frozen, which, upon request, our server promptly replaced with one I still consider to be the best version in Little Rock. In regards to food, the drunken beans were soupier than usual, and far less seasoned than I’ve grown accustomed to from Local Lime. Finally, and this is something that has happened on at least four separate occasions at Local Lime and Big Orange (combined) … our server didn’t inform us about the daily special(s).

The creativity and execution of these specials play a huge role in separating the Yellow Rocket restaurants from its competition, and sadly (at least in my experience), many customers aren’t even made aware of their existence. I had to ask about the special, and far too often I receive that “what secret club are you part of” look.

To me, these issues speak to a potentially larger problem.

There’s no denying the greatness of Yellow Rocket. This group owns ZAZA’s, Big Orange, Local Lime, and the soon-to-be-opening Lost Forty Brewing and Heights Taco & Tamale Company. Its stronghold as the most dominant local force in a burgeoning Little Rock restaurant scene is something to be admired. From cool, modern settings, to seamless openings, to the aforementioned strong social media presence, to unpretentious, yet innovative menus, the group has without question created a recipe for success.

BUT …

Lately, at least for me, issues have been creeping up at these restaurants. I just fear that with each new restaurant opening, it is becoming more and more of a challenge to maintain consistency across the board. Going forward, I see this as being the group’s biggest challenge.

Here’s hoping for improvement.

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