Sometimes you need some sustenance to make it through an exhausting evening of revelry in the River Market. But your'e having too much fun to settle into a seat at a restaurant and eat a full-fledged meal.
Coming to your rescue is portable food from Kent's Downtown. Using a window that opens onto President Clinton Boulevard, Kent's is serving barbecue, Polish sausage sandwiches, bratwurst sandwiches, and dinner plates from 6 p.m.-midnight Thursdays-Sundays. With any luck (and the proper amount of patronage), Kent's hopes to expand the service to seven nights a week.
The evening service had its grand opening on Tuesday, April 27 -- the same day the River Market Farmers' Market opened.
To learn more call (501) 375-1900.
Spring in Spain is the theme of Wednesday's 6:30 p.m. wine dinner at Starving Artist Cafe. Chef Jason Morell's menu consists of Spanish delights, paired with a selection of Spanish wines chosen by sommelier Jeff Nelson.
There will be three courses and three wines. Here's the menu with accompanying wines:
Cost is $50 (includes food, wine, tax and gratuity). For reservations or more information call (501) 372-7976 or click here.
Ciao is offering seven-inch personal size pizzas as a lunch special from 11 a.m.-2 p.m. Tuesdays.
The choices are:
Each pie is $5.99. Mangia!
Can't make it to lunch? Ciao will be featuring two new wines from Chile at dinner on Friday and Saturday evenings. The red is a blend of Syrah, Cabernet and Merlot. It has a well structured body with notes of cassis and chocolate on the palate following aromas of blackberry, currants, and coffee beans.
The white is a crisp and intense blend of Viognier and Chardonnay with notes of ripe apricots, exotic fruits, and a creamy finish. They're priced at $6 for a glass, $26 for a bottle.
Tasty treats are seldom good for you. Strawberries are an exception -- eight medium strawberries contain a mere 45 calories and provide fiber, folate and more vitamin C than one orange.
They're irresistible, glowing brightly in those cute little baskets in groceries and farmers' markets. But just because the berries you see are beautiful doesn't mean the whole basket is flawaless. Even at the height of the season, you can buy a bad box of berries (well, I certainly can, and often do).
Here are a few guidelines to follow when making your selection.
I like this recipe because it uses berries that are less than perfect as well as plump, pretty ones.
Strawberry and Cream Pie
Remove stems from strawberries. Mash two cups of the berries. Halve or quarter remaining berries and set aside.
In a medium saucepan, stir together the mashed berries, sugar, cornstarch and a pinch of salt. Cook and stir until thickened and bubbly. Continue cooking and stirring for two minutes. Cool this mixture for 30 minutes.
Fold remaining berries into the cooled mixture. Spoon into the pastry shell.
Cover and place in the refrigerator for a minimum of four hours and up to 24 hours.
Top with whipped cream before serving.
Makes eight servings.
White wines are ideal for picnics, parties and al fresco dinners, pairing well with summer foods like seafood, pasta, salads, grilled vegetables, pates and fresh cheeses. Come to Diversion to get guidance from Bruce Cochran and James Cripps on which wines, including pinot grigios, sauvignon blanc sand chardonnays, work best with a summer-seasoned menu.
Cost is $10 (cash or check only, please). Diversion is at 611 Kavanaugh Blvd., Little Rock. Call (501) 414-0409.
Cheers in Maumelle, 1901 Club Manor Drive, is hosting a tasting of wines from Boulevard Wine & Spirits along with fruit, cheese and crackers at 6:45 p.m. Tuesday. Stop by to sip and savor:
Cost is $15, payable at the door. Call (501) 771-9463.
Several staff members of Arkansas Business ventured out of downtown to Acadia in Hillcrest, which started serving lunch March 1. After a pleasant time spent on the gorgeous three-tiered deck, here's their consensus:
We highly recommend Acadia for lunch. The service is fast and friendly. The atmosphere and noise level would be perfect for a small group or a larger one and the quality of the food for the price is right on the money.
To read the entire review click here.
Bravo! Cucina Italiana is opening May 28 in the Promenade at Chenal in west Little Rock.
The restaurant's Italian menu offers dishes such as Artichoke and Spinach Formaggio, Romano-Crusted Chicken Salad, Petite Filets and Jumbo Shrimp, Eggplant Parmesan, Grilled Salmon Salad and Penne Mediterranean plus desserts including tiramisu and cheesecake. Entrees range from $10 to $28.
Special offerings will include a Sunday brunch from 11 a.m.-3 p.m. and Wednesday Martini Nights. Happy hour is from 3-7 p.m. and 9 p.m.-close Monday through Friday.
The restaurant, whose executive chef is Jeff Chandler, has an ancient Roman ruins setting with arched colonnades, hand-crafted Italian reliefs, antique doors, walls covered in Venetian plaster, Arabescato marble from Italy and wrought-iron chandeliers.
Parties of 12 or more can call ahead and have a table set up and waiting for them. A broad choice of Italian cuisine makes Bravo!! a good choice for take-out and catering. Curbside-To-Go service will cut down on pickup time.
The white tablecloth-casual eatery will offer indoor seating for more than 250, outdoor terrace dining and a private dining room for up to 65 guests. Hours will be 11 a.m.-10 p.m. Sunday-Thursday and 11 a.m.-11 p.m. Friday-Saturday.
To see a full menu click here.
Those little stickers on grocery store produce have another purpose besides annoying you when you bite into a piece of fruit. They contain information that helps make sure you're getting what you're paying for.
Price look-up (PLU) codes contain numbers that cashiers use to ring up your purchases (you also need them when using a self-checkout terminal at a grocery store). But there's more to learn from the codes, according to Consumer Reports' May issue of Shopsmart:
A five-digit number that starts with a 9 means the item is organic.
A four-digit code beginning with a 3 or 4 means the produce is probably conventionally grown -- regular small lemons, for example, are labeled 4033. Large lemons are labeled 4053. Small organic lemons are labeled 94033. Large are 94053.
A five-digit code that starts with an 8 means the item is genetically modified -- it has genes from other organisms. These are rare because only genetically modified versions of corn, soybeans, canola, cotton, papaya and squash are widely sold.
To learn more about genetically altered foods click here.