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!
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!!)
F I R S T C O U R S E
3 appetizers to share
Hot 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.
Corn 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.
Brandade – 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
Dry 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
The 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.
Of course, as long as they don’t get rid of the King Crab Wontons, we will be back.
3 years ago, almost to the day, we did our very first ale trail with one of our favorite couples. This was way before the ale trail was even a thing.
I called it NWA Brew Hop, and wrote a blog post about it. (Of course.) What followed was our “Summer of Saddlebock”, and a growing love of local craft beer.
Since then, Fayetteville started the official Fayetteville Ale Trail complete with a passport to get stamped at each brewery.
Yesterday a group of us attempted the Ale Trail again. While we didn’t make it to all of the breweries (not sure we ever will), we sure did have a lot of fun and sure did drink a lot of beer.
1ST STOP : S A D D L E B O C K
2ND STOP : C O R E
3RD STOP : B L A C K A P P L E C R O S S I N G
4TH STOP : F O S S I L C O V E
FINAL STOP : A P P L E B L O S S O M
[Sadly, we didn’t get any pictures here. Probably because we were so dang hungry! And the food was delicious.]
B U S S E L F I E S
[Thanks, Abby for bringing the selfie stick! It was totally clutch.]
[Final selfie with the entire bus!]
Thanks to Pinnacle Limo for the ride – $30/person for 4 hours. And shoutout to our awesome driver, Don!
Who’s ready to do the North Route next weekend??
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.
[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…]
[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.]
[had such a fun night with these wonderful friends!]
B E N T O N V I L L E F I L M F E S T
What: An inaugural film festival celebrating women and diversity, co-founded by Geena Davis
When: May 5-9
Where: Venues all around NWA
[opening ceremonies at crystal bridges. first photo via bentonville film festival]
[the only movie I got to see during the festival, but it was incredible!]
[movie showing + panel with robert de niro!]
[thursday night baseball game + showing of a league of their own]
[hosts of the baseball game – geena davis + rosie o’donnel. photo via chris davidson]
[volunteering at crystal bridges and got to see some awesome panels]
[closing ceremonies with the husband]
[loved spending time on the blue carpet with kaity + had some awesome celeb sightings! from top: courtney cox, khandi alexander (aka mama pope!), melissa joan hart, soledad o’brien + nick cannon, bruce dern]
F A Y E T T E V I L L E F O A M F E S T
What: A craft beer sampling festival, showcasing 300+ beers
When: May 9
Where: Walton Arts Center parking lot, Dickson Street
4 days working from home
6 home-cooked dinners in a row (my personal best)
2 Walmart trips, $200 spent on groceries
30 oreos eaten
2 TV series watched from start to finish (The Blacklist, The Big Bang Theory Season 7)
35 TV episodes watched
1 movie watched (Love Actually)
10 pots of coffee made
4 blog posts written
5 school days off for the kids and 5 days of rejoicing we didn’t have kids
25 photos taken of puppy playing in the snow
15 hours of video games played
259 oz. of alcohol consumed (6 beers, 6 straw-ber-itas, 3 bottles of wine, 1 growler)
1 bad fall on the ice
4 magazines and 9 book chapters read
7 presents wrapped
Innumerable posts read on Facebook and Twitter about the storm
3 additional hours spent planning for my party next week
60 group text messages sent re: snowpocalypse
5 DAYS OF INSANE CABIN FEVER
This weekend was a BUSY one, rolling right off of a busy week for Halloween. (Fun fact: Walmart Home Office does Halloween like you’ve never seen. #amazing) I’m pretty sure every weekend will be busy until 2014, but this one was special in that we had 5 guests in town none of which had never been to a Razorback game. My parents invited some of their friends they’ve been working with in Ohio to Northwest Arkansas for the weekend – coming in from Ohio, West Virginia and Texas. It was a great weekend with lots of laughs, good food and beautiful weather. (We won’t mention the Hogs’ loss.)
As our guests were coming in town Friday, we also had another commitment that night – my mother-in-law’s surprise 50th birthday party that turned out just perfect. Enjoy some photos below from the weekend!
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Hope you had a great fall weekend! Our next weekend adventure features a 1-year-old birthday party and a wedding!
Saturday night we had an adventure.
We set off with another couple to go Northwest Arkansas brewery hopping. You might be as surprised as I was to learn just how many craft breweries there are in the area. We went to 4 and there were 4 more we wanted to go to, so of course there’s already a brew hop round 2 in the works.
Here’s my review of the night and the brews!
Core Brewing and Distilling Co: A little sketchy, very small (though they’re expanding), located behind Northwest Arkansas Newspapers in Springdale. Not our favorite beer overall, but you can get a lot for cheap. A flight of everything currently on top (7-8 beers) for $6.
Favorite Brew: Raspberry Ale
Saddlebock Brewery: Awesome place, out in the middle of nowhere Arkansas, with a fantastic two-story deck to sit outside. Overall, best brews.
Favorite Brew: Arkansas Farmhouse**
**also winner of favorite brew of the night
Apple Blossom Brewing Co: Newest of the four and favorite atmosphere, indoor/outdoor seating and restaurant, unique decor. Along with our brews we also had amazing (and huge!) fried pickles and alfredo fries.
Favorite Brew: Gris Cast Wheat
West Mountain Brewing Company: Best thing about this place? It also has pizza and really really good pizza at that. In all honesty, we didn’t even drink at this one. All we wanted was pizza and a bed.
Next time on the tour: Tanglewood, Fossil Cove, Hog Haus, Brewskis