Chenal is a foodie’s dream-come-true. No matter what you’re craving, Chenal’s top-notch restaurant scene serves up something to please your palate. Many of the area’s best restaurants even have patios perfect for enjoying dinner al fresco. Here, Little Rock Soirée shares five of our favorite Chenal restaurants to get superb service, award-winning food and creative, inspired cocktails.
Arthur’s Prime Steakhouse
27 Rahling Circle | 821-1838
When we’re in the mood for a good steak, Arthur’s is not just the best in Chenal, it’s one of the best in Little Rock. The restaurant offers top grades of beef, including Australian wagyu and Japanese Kobe, both of which are dry aged and cut in-house. Our favorite is the Japanese Kobe, served “Carmen style” with colossal shrimp, onion rings and peppercorn. Another mouthwatering option is the bone-in Berkshire pork chop with apple cider reduction and sweet corn cakes. Ask for a wine pairing from the extensive, but well curated cellar, and polish it all off with the prime bananas Foster, a two-person portion, served tableside.
Del Frisco’s Grille
17707 Chenal Parkway // 448-2631
Del Frisco’s is new to Chenal, but after just a few visits, we know it’s here to stay. Described as “polished-casual,” Del Frisco’s elevates the traditional bar & grill scene by serving up new twists on classic American favorites. “Our menu is craveable,” said Mark Smith, Del Frisco’s Grille general manager. Amen to that. Try the Ahi tuna tacos and you’ll see what he means. The four mini tacos are a starter, but we’d make it a meal any day. The Philly cheese steak eggrolls are also a favorite. When it comes to entrées, the short rib stroganoff is our go-to. Served with pappardelle noodles, cremini mushrooms and tobacco onions, this creamy, slow-roasted dish keeps us coming back again and again. The creative cocktails, like the Apartment 5D — Del Frisco’s take on a strawberry daiquiri — do that as well.
Whole Hog Café
12111 W. Markham St. | 753-9227
When it comes to barbecue, Whole Hog Café is legit. A world champion for its barbecue methods and recipes, Whole Hog dishes up some of the best smoked ribs, pulled pork and beef plates and sandwiches. When we feel like shaking things up, the barbecue nachos and loaded baked potatoes are also solid choices. We slather all of our food in Sauce No. 5, but we’ve been known to give it a dash of No. 3 as well. Our better half prefers the Volcano sauce, which you have to request from the front counter. We don’t know what they put in the fudge brownies, but those things are addictive. Be warned.
YaYa’s Euro Bistro
17711 Chenal Parkway | 821-1144
Our date-night go-to, YaYa’s delivers on small plates, salads, wood-fired pizzas and more for lunch. But dinner is really the star of the show. We love the hand-rolled gnocchi, set off by a decadent Gorgonzola cream with spinach and spiced walnuts. Our entrée of choice is the Atlantic salmon with warm fingerling potato salad, braised cabbage and pickled mustard seeds. If you like duck, the seared duck breast is delightful. This is one restaurant where we always order dessert — the chocolate soufflé is the stuff dreams are made of.
17815 Chenal Parkway, Suite F105 | 448-2226
Inspired by Mexican street fare, the food at Local Lime has an authentic flair that leaves us begging for more. We like to start with a trio of salsas — our favorites include the tres chiles, the zucchini and the Caribbean mango — then move on to the spinach enchiladas for our main course. Pair this with the Texas Two Step margarita, a spicy blend of Reposado tequila or Del Maguey mescal with jalapeno, triple sec, basil simple syrup and lime juice. Believe us, it will have you speaking Spanish in no time. Bonus: their heated/cooled patio is perfect for after-work or mid-shopping drinks.