White plate with salmon, caper berries, lemon, onion, and horseradish-mustard sauce
A friend and I always select a nice restaurant for a dinner during the middle of the summer. This year, we went with Brave New Restaurant
, which, despite its popularity, I've somehow managed to miss until now. I've only ever heard the best things about Brave, but I was anxious to experience the place for myself.
We asked to be seated on the patio, the heat outside not enough to keep us from the quiet view of the river. We began our meal with glasses of merlot to warm us even further. After debating between several of the appetizer options, we began with Smoked Fish
($11), which includes a chef's choice of fish along with lemon, caper berries, onion, and a sauce made of mustard and horseradish. The cool salmon combined with caper berries and the horseradish in the sauce was an ideal way to whet our appetites for the meal to come.
I selected Duck with Duck
($29) for a main, which included perfectly-cooked duck breast and a richly flavored duck sausage in a lingonberry glaze. It also came with wild rice, carrots, and squash. I was particularly impressed with the vegetables. Obviously fresh, they were also lightly seasoned and lightly cooked, with plenty of life left in them. The generous portion of duck breast was rare and so tender, and it paired well with the not-too-sweet sauce. Together with the sausage, it was quite a serving. Luckily, I had a friend with a big appetite who was able to help me finish it off.
Duck breast and duck sausage, wild rice, carrots, and squash
My friend selected Stuffed Quail
($29). The dish comes with two quail stuffed with wild boar sausage, red rice, vegetables, and a Marsala wine sauce. Again, I was bowled over. Wild board can be a finicky meat to cook, so I was pleased to find it well seasoned and with a nice texture. The quail, too, was savory and mouth watering, particularly when combined with a bite of rice.
Quail on a bed of rice with carrots and squash
If, like me, you've somehow missed Brave New Restaurant up to this point, it's time to change that. Make a reservation if you think about it, though an early weekday dinner will likely have plenty of seating available. Or, try Brave for a tucked away lunch. Either way, the top-notch service, great food, wine list, dessert, and coffee will leave you happy and your appetite satisfied.
Brave New Restaurant
2300 Cottondale Lane #105
Little Rock, AR 72202