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Discover Arkansas

Discover NWA: MOD, Modern Ozark Dining

At the prompting of Husband,  I’m starting a new blog series for the new year.

Since my Discover Arkansas series was such a success, I’ve decided to narrow the focus a little bit and do Discover Northwest Arkansas/NWA. I’ve lived in this wonderful area of the state almost my entire life and want to share all of my favorite places with you.

I plan to do restaurant reviews, share itinerary ideas for out of town guests, explore events in the area and at some point make another Arkansas bucket list. If there’s something you’d like to hear about, let me know!

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For my inaugural post, I want to share my review of a new restaurant in downtown Bentonville – MOD, Modern Ozark Dining.

Via their website“MOD treats guests to a modern interpretation of the quality and simplicity of Ozark’s seasonal pantry. We enhance nature’s local bounty with our progressive approach to global foods and preparation techniques.” 

Here’s the deal – it’s a prix fixe menu with fresh ingredients in a modern space. I’ve been dying to check it out ever since it opened. Lucky for me, I actually won a dinner for 2 (and Razorback basketball tickets, woohoo!) on Facebook so no harm, no fowl. We had heard it was “an experience”, but we weren’t sure if it would be pretentious, not enough food, etc.

Here’s my review via photos –
(Spoiler: we loved it!!)

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img_2055[Not a big wine selection, but a good mix of cocktails. Next time we will try the signature G&T]

F I R S T  C O U R S E 
3 appetizers to share

img_2058Hot Coal Roasted Onion Ravioli – I can’t entirely remember what this is except that it had cheese in the middle and toasted breadcrumb like things on top. I do remember the waiter said it’s not actually pasta, but the flavors and the different textures were perfect together.

img_2059Corn Hushpuppies – I loooove me some hushpuppies, and to be honest, you can get better ones next door at Pressroom, but these were still pretty tasty albeit a little fancy for a hushpuppy.

img_2060Brandade – Again, not entirely sure what this is, but this was the best appetizer of the three. First of all, the sourdough bread from Little Bread Co. in Fayetteville was a DREAM. Seriously, I’ve been thinking about it all week. I could eat just the bread, but husband loved the sauce you dipped it in as well – it was cheesy/potatoey/oily and delicious.

S E C O N D  C O U R S E

I’m not sure how this happened, but this was our favorite course of the night and I didn’t get any pictures! Shame on me. But it was just that.stinking.good. This course was a departure from the prix fixe. In addition to the set menu, you can add on additional sides. We added two things –

Breadbasket – Two types of bread from Little Bread Co. that were simply divine, and a housemade spiced butter that melted in our mouths.

King Crab Wontons – This. This is what we will remember from MOD. These wontons were simply incredible. They had a housemade sweet and sour sauce drizzled on top that enhanced all the flavors and had you licking the bowl for more. If you go, and these are on the menu, pay the extra money and add them!

T H I R D  C O U R S E 

img_2064Dry Aged Sirloin – We both chose the sirloin for our entree (because when are you ever going to turn down free steak?!) However, there were 3 options to choose from: 1 meat, 1 seafood and 1 vegetarian. I’d say we chose wisely. The steak was cooked perfectly and the surrounding veggies (celeriac, truffled potato pave and grilled romaine) were delicious, even down to the dried cherries on top. If we had only had this to eat, we still would have been extremely happy.

F O U R T H  C O U R S E

img_2066The dessert was probably my least favorite of it all, but it was honestly exactly what I needed. I didn’t need anything heavy and this little bite of lemon sorbet on a gingersnap cookie (or so I think it was) was so refreshing.

Overall, we decided together this was the best meal we’ve had in Bentonville hands down. The service was impeccable. The atmosphere was clean and modern. And most importantly, we loved every single thing we ate.

I honestly can’t wait to go back and try a new menu. They switch it out about 4 times a quarter, with the 4th being the “best of” the previous 3 menus.

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Of course, as long as they don’t get rid of the King Crab Wontons, we will be back.

xo xo


Discover Arkansas: Mount Magazine – Paris, Arkansas

IMG_0814{Mount Magazine Lodge: views from our balcony were just breathtaking. I could have sat here all day!}

IMG_0771{But we decided to get a drink at the restaurant … I really could have sat here all day!}

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IMG_0813{Gorgeous wedding in Blue Mountain – congrats Kelsey and Kyle! <3}

IMG_5890{Good morning, Arkansas – you sure are stunning.}

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{We did a little bit of hiking on our way out – highest point in Arkansas!}

IMG_0841{And of course, when in Paris you must see the Eiffel Tower!}

We were here for less than 24 hours, and we’re already planning our next trip!
xo xo

See more Discover Arkansas posts here.

 


Discover Arkansas: Stand Up Paddle Boarding

Ever since I heard about stand up paddle boarding a few years ago, it’s been on my bucket list. I have never been into water sports, but I love being in or near the water. I’ve tried surfing several times (fun fact: I went to surf camp in Santa Barbara for a week when I was in middle school) and enjoy it, but it’s still pretty hard. I thought this would be the perfect solution to be on the water, but not too strenuous.

When SUP first became popular it was only on the coast or in bigger cities. I knew it would take a while to come to NWA. I thought I would get an opportunity to try it before it did, but unfortunately did not. Today, husband and I tried it for the first time, and we are HOOKED. It was exactly like I imagined. I felt so at peace on the water, and just fell in love. Don’t get me wrong – it was hard at first. I was so unsure of myself and my “sea-legs” standing up on the board for the first time, but once you get it, you get it, and it’s like you’re walking on water.

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We got up early (6am on a Sunday!) and drove about an hour to a section of Beaver Lake near Eureka Springs. We rented the boards through SUP Outfitters. It was the perfect time to be on the lake – there were no boats out yet, it was about 80 degrees and the water was so calm. It was absolutely beautiful. We had so much fun together exploring the lake. There was only one problem … it was too short! We went for an hour and time seemed to run out just as we were getting the hang of it. Next time, we’re planning to go for 2-3 hours and take a little cooler out with us. Who’s ready?!

After our morning on the lake, we headed to Eureka Springs for brunch at Local Flavor Cafe.

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[the best appetizer: baked brie + blood orange mimosas]

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[huevos rancheros – mine and husband’s favorite]

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[cheers to all of our sides of the best cheese grits]

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[love these beautiful ladies and all of the adventures we get to go on together! and love that we all wore the same hat!]

xo xo

Read all my Discover Arkansas posts here.


Blackberries for Days [Photos + Recipes]

Y’all, last weekend I went blackberry and raspberry picking and it was the most fun thing ever. (How Arkansas of a statement was that??)
I went with E and M, and M’s adorable little girl (see cutest ever pictures below). We spent about two hours picking berries, eating a few off the vine, taking pictures and enjoying a beautiful Saturday morning together at McGarrah Farms. We went early so it wouldn’t be so hot and humid like it’s been lately, and it was PERFECT. It felt like Fall outside and we loved it!
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[she started eating the second we started picking]
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[they were so beautiful and big!]
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[enjoying the beautiful weather]
Screen Shot 2015-07-01 at 5.52.52 PM[my bounty]
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After our picking (3 quarts! So many blackberries!) we were all so excited to decide what we were going to make with our fruits. Of course I went straight to Pinterest, and there were so many delicious ideas! I was seriously drooling just looking at them. One thing I didn’t make, but looked amazing was this Prosciutto, Blackberry & Basil Pizza – YUM.
Here are some pics and corresponding recipes of what the three of us made:
Screen Shot 2015-07-01 at 5.54.17 PM[skinny blackberry margaritas via – TIP: more tequila needed]
Screen Shot 2015-07-01 at 5.54.25 PM[blackberry & raspberry oatmeal crumble bars via]
Screen Shot 2015-07-01 at 6.45.39 PM[pioneer woman’s blackberry cobbler via]
Screen Shot 2015-07-01 at 5.54.42 PM[M’s blackberry cabernet sorbet via]
Screen Shot 2015-07-01 at 5.54.34 PM[E’s blackberry mojitos via]
Are you drooling yet? Want some blackberries? Come on over, because I STILL have some left and at this point, feel like I might turn into a blackberry myself!!
xo xo
See all my recipes here and other fun things to do in Arkansas here.

Photobook: NWA Food Festival

I’ve talked before about how excited I am about all the amazing things that are starting to come to my little hometown of Bentonville, Arkansas – a world-class museum, breweries, stylish new restaurants, a FILM FESTIVAL. Seriously, we’re growing up fast and I love it. We were actually just named one of the newest hipster towns across the US – hilarious, and awesome.

We’ve hosted the LPGA tournament for several years now, but for the first time ever this year we added a food festival at the Walmart AMP. Thursday night was Taste of NWA, showcasing 35 local restaurants featuring the best in southern comfort food. Friday night was a beer and burger fest that we did not attend – mostly because we didn’t have tickets, secondarily I don’t think I could have eaten that much two nights in a row.

We went Thursday night with some friends and had no clue what to expect since it was the first year. We left shocked at how much food and drink we consumed for such an affordable ticket price, and we had so much fun! It was hot. Boy, was it hot, but with a cold drink in one hand and a new food to taste in the other, we could get past the heat.

Screen Shot 2015-06-27 at 7.49.19 AM[one of our first stops – pedal pops. they loved us so much they took a pic and put us on their facebook page and we loved them so much we came back for seconds at the end of the night…]

Screen Shot 2015-06-27 at 7.46.38 AM[scattered throughout the food tents were breweries, wine tastings, bacardi and coke, and whiskey tastings (and some amazing iced coffee from kennedy’s that we really needed by the end)]

Screen Shot 2015-06-27 at 7.46.24 AM[love doing these fun things with husband!]

Screen Shot 2015-06-27 at 7.47.20 AM[and here you go, a picture of [almost] everything I ate. #dontjudgeme by the end we were all so full, but couldn’t stop because we wanted to try everything (which we couldn’t and didn’t). I was definitely in a food coma that night and into the next day, but it was so worth it.]

Screen Shot 2015-06-27 at 7.45.39 AM[end of the night pedal pops again + more beer – things started getting weird]

Screen Shot 2015-06-27 at 7.45.53 AM[wait, this was really the end of the night – the boys doing whiskey shots]

Screen Shot 2015-06-27 at 7.47.30 AM[had such a fun night with these wonderful friends!]

xo xo


Discover Arkansas: Whitaker Point/Hawksbill Crag

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Screen Shot 2015-06-21 at 8.22.34 PM“Lord, our Lord,
how majestic is your name in all the earth!

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You have set your glory
    in the heavens.
Through the praise of children and infants
    you have established a stronghold against your enemies,
    to silence the foe and the avenger.
When I consider your heavens,
    the work of your fingers,
the moon and the stars,
    which you have set in place,
what is mankind that you are mindful of them,
    human beings that you care for them?

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You have made them a little lower than the angels
    and crowned them with glory and honor.
You made them rulers over the works of your hands;
    you put everything under their feet:
all flocks and herds,
    and the animals of the wild,
the birds in the sky,
    and the fish in the sea,
    all that swim the paths of the seas.

Lord, our Lord,
    how majestic is your name in all the earth!”
– Psalm 8

See all my Discover Arkansas posts here.


Discover Arkansas: Fayetteville Farmers’ Market

Screen Shot 2015-05-30 at 4.01.54 PM[my first farmers’ market of the season!]

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Screen Shot 2015-05-30 at 3.58.52 PM[veggies on veggies on veggies]

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[love the live music on each corner]

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Screen Shot 2015-05-30 at 4.00.59 PM[stopped in at bouchee bistro for coffee + macaroons on the patio,
then a walk through the anchor – an adorable new home decor store]

Screen Shot 2015-05-30 at 3.57.11 PM[surprise run-in with my sister-in-law!]

Screen Shot 2015-05-30 at 4.01.39 PM[great family saturday morning adventure!]
xo xo

See all my Discover Arkansas posts here.