Around the Rock: Bossa Nova Breaks the Bank and Rosalia's Delights

Dear Bossa Nova, know this … you serve one of the best lunches in town. I’ve been a few times and absolutely love the food coming out of your kitchen. But goodness, please lower your prices a bit. My smoked salmon wrap, with basil pesto, cream cheese, capers, lettuce and red bell peppers, was delicious, but at $14, I just can’t justify making regular appearances for lunch.
I also paid my first visit to Rosalia’s Family Bakery, and left impressed with both the cozy atmosphere and my pastry, a raspberry scone. The scone was thinner than most, but certainly had a nice texture, along with a wonderful layer of sugar on top. It needed a few more raspberries, but all and all, thumbs up.
Big Orange Midtown continues to do its thing. To no surprise, my Hickory Smoke Burger, with ground turkey, barbeque sauce, dill pickle and fried onion strings, was quite pleasing … as were the truffle garlic herb and sweet potato fries. Both versions arrived at our table warm and crisp. I washed everything down with one of Lee Edwards’ Little Italy cocktails, a pretty standard procedure when dining at BO.
I did the impossible on Saturday afternoon; I went to Local Lime and did not eat. Let that sink in for a sec. Nope, not even one single chip. I just sucked down a refreshing frozen margarita, deciding to save my stomach space for dinner reservations later that evening. That’s one of the nice things about Local Lime. You can pop-in, have a cocktail, maybe even an appetizer and go about your business (which on that day was shopping with four ladies).
Our dinner reservations were at South on Main, and before you roll your eyes (I know, many folks feel I eat there too much), just hear me out. The place has found its groove and is a well-oiled machine of greatness right now, attributes I tend to favor when dining out. Plus, we had an out-of-town guest and she was adamant about trying the place. Who am I to say no? Anyway, the pork cheeks (appetizer), along with my cauliflower steak with garlic kale and butterbean gravy, really stood out. But it was chef Matt Lowman’s chocolate cookies dessert with chocolate peanut butter ganache that really stole the show.
And here’s what is happening around Little Rock…
In the next few weeks, be sure to keep an eye out for the new Spring Menu from chef Jeffrey Owens at Ciao Baci. Said Owens, “I’m thinking light game, maybe some rabbit or lamb for sure. I have an Idaho trout wrapped in potato in mind. Look for lots of local produce, new tapas and of course, a little twist on the normal.”
The Southern Gourmasian’s next cooking class will be March 5th at The Ridge at Chenal (5400 Chenonceau Blvd) and features a menu of crab cakes, seafood risotto with lobster and shrimp and miso caramel homemade ice cream. Price is $50 per person and includes wine. Contact Thanh Rasico at 350-7112 or email her at for further details.
The folks over at South on Main are super excited to be hosting the next Tales of the South: “Shakespeare in the South” on Tuesday, February 25th at 7:30 p.m. For more info, click here.
Finally, the Culinary Arts and Hospitality Management Institute at Pulaski Technical College Little Rock-South will host the Diamond Chef Preliminary Event on Thursday, March 6th from 2-8 p.m. The event, which is open to the public, features six ,top local chefs competing for the opportunity to go head-to-head against Chef Dan Capello – last year’s Diamond Chef Arkansas champion.

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