The restaurant scene in Little Rock’s newest district, West Village, is exploding. Comprised of a collection of businesses off Rodney Parham, West Village is home to several fantastic restaurants, including Table 28 and Petit & Keet.

With each place just a 5-iron’s drive from one another, I figured it was a perfect opportunity for a mini-food crawl.

We started at Table 28, mainly because I enjoy their Happy Hour. It runs from 4-6:30 p.m. on Monday-Friday and includes a variety of food and drink specials. I ordered a tequila cocktail (I can’t for the life of me remember the name), the Tuna Poke, and a Chicken of the Woods appetizer special. The latter of which wasn’t on the Happy Hour menu but just seemed too good to pass up.

I was correct.

The meaty mushroom was battered and fried to a golden brown, then covered with thick Buffalo sauce. Beautiful and creative, this dish was an excellent representation of what Chef Rains and his staff crank out of the kitchen on a regular basis. The Tuna Poke, a collection of thick, marinated raw tuna chunks with fried wonton chips, was happily gobbled up by my crew of three.

If you’re looking for a classy, subdued setting with an intimate bar, Table 28 is definitely an excellent option.

After an hour at the bar, we headed to Petit & Keet for cocktails and entrees. I generally prefer to hang in the more casual area of the restaurant known as The Keet Corner. It’s a fun atmosphere with massive televisions above the bar, an outdoor patio area, indoor table seating, and a long, communal table that runs parallel to the bar.

P&K has a strong bar program and has quietly become one of my favorite spots to grab a drink. And while the food menu is far less adventurous than that of Table 28, P&K regularly delivers on a quality and consistent eating experience. My Paneed Chicken with whipped mashed potatoes and side salad was an example of what I’m talking about. The flour-dredged, boneless chicken breast wass an excellent, almost nostalgic comfort food dish that paired wonderfully with the creamy potatoes.

Make sure to try out The Frontierman, a bourbon-based cocktail with All Spice Dram that just seems ideal for any season.

Service at each restaurant was fantastic. That comes as no surprise. Both spots are swimming with some of the top service folks in the industry.

The best part was getting home by 8:30. Not too shabby for this old man.

Paneed Chicken

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