9. The Indian Feast. You all know I am a sucker for Star of India, but having variety available with Indian cuisine is awesome. This hot bar operation in the River Market's Ottenheimer Hall offers a selection of curry, appetizers, rice and hot baked naan for lunch six days a week. It may not look as attractive as some of the other entries in this list, but the chicken korma was delightful and the lamb kadahi literally warmed my heart. As in, woke me up with the spice I needed on a day I hadn't had my coffee. Follow the specials, here.
8. B-Side Bistro. While yes, I have eaten at the restaurant that previously held this name, the operation inside the former Lilly's Dim Sum Then Some really is a completely new eatery, and it deserves to survive. Grav's Farmer's Hash is the breakthrough dish from our visit, but I also loved up on those strangely round beignets. Read more about our experience here, and check up on the restaurant's Facebook page here.
7. Eliella Ristorante. The tortas alone would be enough to get me coming back - soft bread, avocado, a smear of beans, a pounded flat Milanesa beefsteak and a fresh grilled onion on the side. But it's the Flan the Queso that I'll be talking about for years to come. Oh boy. As Grav put it, it was like a cross between a flan and a cheesecake. The Facebook page convinced us to make our first visit.
6. @ The Corner. Overwhelmingly cute and with so much more for me to come sample. I used the location as my jumping-off point for a day in the River Market, and fueled up on excellent full-bodied coffee and an order of Moon Toast - the heartiest version of nested egg I've ever tried. I'm coming back for those cinnamon rolls, girls. Take a look at the website.
5. Katmandu Momo. I've been steering away from dumplings for some time since a bad expereience with another food truck that served them, but these? Hey, for the novelty of Nepali food alone, you should go check this place out in the Ottenheimer Market Hall. Dumplings are offered in a few varieties, but it's the gorgeously spiced vegetable dumplings that won my heart. Deceptively small but filling. Follow the Facebook page.
4. A W Lin's. My commitment to local eateries had blinded me to the fact that this place... isn't one. It's smooth and gorgeous as any franchise operation with deep pockets, but nope, there's just the single location. Because we were focused on LRRM specials, we centered on the sushi - which was expertly designed and ridiculously satisfying. But we'll be back for the hot, bubbling casseroles and whole fish plates. A real winner. See the website.
3. Taqueria Jalisco'z. I've already summarized my fondness for this place, but it bears repeating - great and delicious food, prepared with ample spices, with a low price point. I'm already talking with my friends about enjoying an evening at a great bar where the prices are low and the food quality is high, and this is where we'll go. Read about our experience and check out the crazy photos on the restaurant's Facebook page.
2. Paninis & Company. Grav and I did visit Barkely's great wood-clad eatery in Midtown before the promotion began, but we had to come back - not just because the chicken pesto is my favorite panini now, not just because of the phenomenal veggie panini they offer, not even because of the lushly violet Pink Dragon Grav adores, but for the restorative properties of an Acai Bowl, the only thing that would soothe my sore belly when I'd accidentally gotten a bit burned from peppers at another restaurant we visited. I suspect we'll become regulars. View the website.
1. Skye's Little Bistro. I've been a fan of Dugan's Pub a long time, but these past few years I've only made it in a few times, being out of town so much. To come back and find a full blown grocery in Stratton's next door was a delight. To experience a completely separate eatery that stands so very well on its own two feet within was wonderful. Skye's began a brand new menu with the start of Little Rock Restaurant Month, and from what I've experienced so far its worth savoring and revisiting again and again. The roast lamb was so good I could cry. I'm coming back for avocado toast, y'all - and that there is one statement I never thought I'd utter. Read about my first experience here, and follow the Facebook page here.
These restaurants are so good, they each deserve more information. So I do plan to write more about the ones I haven't already covered.