Friday, June 24, 2011

Tusk & Trotter

110 SE A Street
Bentonville, AR 72712

Food: 4 Sporks (out of 5)
Service: 3 Sporks
Atmosphere: 4 Sporks
Price: 3 Sporks
Worth Returning: Yes, absolutely
Coke or Pepsi: Coke
Sweet Tea: No
Beer/Wine: Full bar
Patio: In the future tables will be outside in front of the restaurant

5 friends and I spent an afternoon at the Tusk & Trotter. No, it is not an Italian Jogger.  Although if you say it really fast it does sound like it is. T&T is a new restaurant opened one block south of the Bentonville square on Southeast A Street.  They are calling the Tusk & Trotter an American Brasserie. I learned from our friends at Wikipedia that a brasserie is a type of restaurant with a relaxed upscale setting, which serves single dishes and other meals. This is true for the T&T as we relaxed and soaked up the surroundings. I also learned that the name Tusk & Trotter is a tribute to the beloved Razorback and there is a map on the wall of a giant hog in the main dining area that will help you understand the connection. The menu features locally sourced meats and produce with a range of options from burgers, fish, to steak and pasta dishes.

Fortunately, and not by design, all six of us ordered different dishes. Unfortunately, we were in a hurry and didn’t order appetizers. But that gives us a good reason to go back, especially when there are Risotto Balls and Maple-Crusted Pork Belly on the menu…YUM.  The six things we tried were Roasted Supreme Chicken Breast, Truffled Shellfish Risotto, Kobe Dog, Mediterranean Pizza, Panko-Crusted Red Snapper Tartine and Poutine.  From this list you can already tell that the menu is quite eclectic, yet the prices are quite reasonable.
The Kobe Dog and the Snapper received good reviews.  The pizza, Chicken Breast and the Risotto also received very good reviews. The risotto would have gotten a better rating but it was a bit cold and we should have sent it back for a little more heat. The Kobe Dog was served with truffle frites, their version of French Fries.  Truffle Frites are fresh cut French Fries drizzled with white truffle oil and were very good. The Poutine stole the show and was AWESOME. Poutine is a dish which originated in Canada that consists of the truffle frites covered in a cognac herbed glaze. T&T’s version has a slice of meat loaf set on top of it.  Did I say it was AWESOME?
The general manager and one of the partners came by our table. He shared with us that they were still going through some growing pains. They had only been open two weeks the night we were there but our service that night was still very good. The atmosphere is casual and the restaurant is a cross between a pub and a bistro. The bar area looks great with a big oak bar and both regular and high-top cafĂ© tables. A cool touch they offer is a large bottle of water left on the table during dining, but why such small water glasses? Growing pains or not, with the mix of casual dining and the eclectic menu, I thought the experience was very cool, once these guys figure this one out,  I think it is going to be a very popular downtown eatery and watering hole.  Definitely worth a return visit, or twenty.
P.S. On a lunch visit we enjoyed the locally sourced lamb burgers and risotto balls. The lamb burger was topped with house made pickles, feta, and a horseradish crema. Both were very good while the Risotto Balls were very rich and decadent?

Tusk & Trotter American Brasserie on Urbanspoon

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