February Good Tasting

Fish Tacos Fonda, Little Rock We know: We’ve got a lot of Mexican restaurants. But trust us when we say this west Little Rock newcomer’s bright, authentic flavors, friendly service and top-notch margs are not to be missed. (400 North Bowman Road; (501) 313-4120) A Hot Cuppa Savoy Tea, Fayetteville It could have something to…

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Cooking up Comfort

There’s a time and a place for molecular gastronomy, for fizzes and foams, for forays into the avant garde. The frosty mornings and wind-swept evenings of February, however, are not that time. In the cold of winter, we Southerners are conditioned to turn to cast-iron skillets, cornbread and collard greens—for reasons that, simply put, are…

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Q and A – Rob Nelson

What’s your favorite way to eat your veggies? Collard greens, prepared simply. Cut and wash them, boil them with smoked turkey necks, garlic and hot sauce. Serve with a little red wine vinegar, purple hull peas and chow chow. —Ben Brainard, Local Lime I’m a big fan of all the different root vegetables, so I…

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Rob Nelson

Chef Rob Nelson of Tusk and Trotter in Bentonville is dying to hang meats in his restaurant to cure them, and next time you’re in he would love to present you with a suckling pig and then carve it tableside. In fact, he’s anxious to trot out “the more odd bits” of the animal even…

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Peter Brave

It may come as a surprise that one of Little Rock’s finest restaurants is tucked away on the second floor of an anonymous-looking office building in Riverdale, but it’s just this sort of contradiction that helps define chef Peter Brave. A restaurant owner who still works the line in his restaurant nearly every night, Brave…

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Matt McClure

At The Hive in Bentonville, found-object installations depicting big game animals and hunting trophies are on display throughout the restaurant. There’s a moose assembled from scrap wood, a ram made of tires, an elk patched together from discarded shoes, a deer-head chandelier—even a murder of metal crows dining on steak. Nearby, Chef Matt McClure is…

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Alexis Jones

The words “vegan” and “comfort food” aren’t usually considered synonymous, but that’s just the sort of juxtaposition chef Alexis Jones uses in much of her eclectic menu. The owner of Little Rock’s Natchez has worked in the restaurant and hospitality industry for more than a decade, first as a server in college at Ole Miss…

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Joël Antunes

In the kitchen of the most Southern of Southern dining rooms in Little Rock, Joël Antunes looks completely at home. Passing under the chef’s watchful eye, plate after plate of braised oxtail, venison ravioli and chicken-liver parfait move through Ashley’s dark wooden doors into the sunlit dining room, where entrées are chased with servings of…

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The High-Low of KCMO

Cutting into the city on U.S. 71, Kansas City, Mo., is still gray with industry. At first glance, the view from the six lanes of highway is bleak. The landscape is dotted with detritus from the days of factories and stockyards, calling to mind such dimming American hubs as Detroit or Milwaukee. From the road,…

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Q and A – Alexis Jones

Crock pot or cast-iron skillet? There’s nothing better than a good seasoned cast-iron skillet. They hold temperature really well, and you can get a really good sear on it. I love to cook pork chops. It’s just my favorite meat next to ribs. —Titus Holly, The Pantry Both. Crock pot for soups, stews and beans.…

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