Aug 14, 2023 - Food and Drink

Monday Munchies: French fine dining in NW Arkansas

The beef short rib bourguignon. Photo: Alex Golden/Axios

Downtown Springdale has something you can't get in any of the other NWA downtowns, a welcome (or bienvenue) addition.

The intrigue: With some exceptions, like a popular crêpes restaurant and a Bentonville eatery serving "French and Mediterranean inspired fare," French influence isn't exactly front and center in NWA's food scene. Now, we have a bonafide date night French restaurant — Bienvenue — and you have to go to downtown Springdale if you want a taste.

On the menu: French classics like escargot en croute and bouillabaisse — a soup with bass filet, squid, shellfish, braised fennel and spicy tomato broth — along with entrees like rabbit pithivier (stewed rabbit baked in pastry, pearl onions and beech mushrooms).

What Alex ate: My fellow diner and I started off with the bread service and then ordered the beef short rib bourguignon (braised beef in red wine, pommes puree, root vegetables, mushrooms) and the chorizo-crusted summer cod (tortellini of summer squash and tomato, herb puree, poached vegetables and riesling sauce).

  • You definitely don't need a knife for the braised beef — it falls apart. I want more of the sauce and tortellini that comes with the cod dish.

By the numbers: Entrées range $31-$45.

When and where: 5-10pm Tuesday-Saturday at 101 W. Johnson Ave., Suite B.

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