May 23, 2023 - Food and Drink

A special downtown Bentonville eatery serves this must-try fish dish

This halibut was a real treat. Photo: Alex Golden/Axios

NWA has a new-ish gem of a restaurant.

What happened: James Beard-nominated Matthew Cooper, founding chef of The Preacher's Son in Bentonville, opened Conifer in 2022. A year later, I tasted one of the best fish dishes I've ever had — halibut with lime ricotta, sesame, peas, cucumber and basil.

The verdict: This is a must-try eatery for any foodie, or anyone who appreciates an upscale-but-unpretentious dining experience with a creative menu and fresh ingredients.

The intrigue: Everything here is gluten free — even the Brazilian cheese bread with hot honey, which you absolutely must taste. I promise, you won't even miss the gluten.

  • You can easily fill up on small plates that are great for sharing. We also tried the kale salad with fried halloumi, cucumber, vadouvan (a French spice blend) vinaigrette and radish. It made for an elevated version of standard bread and salad.
Don't sleep on the small plates. Photos: Alex Golden/Axios

The scene: It's worth noting this is also just a beautiful space with greens, wood and bronze tones for a forestry feel, in tune with the restaurant's name. Plus, the open kitchen concept allows diners to peek in on the action.

Of note: While not overpriced , this spot gets expensive quickly with entrées ranging $28-$50. But if you're going to splurge, you may as well make it worth it.

When and where: 5-10pm Tuesday-Saturday at 321 SE 2nd St., Suite 100, in Bentonville.

A nice view never hurts. Photo: Alex Golden/Axios

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