Green means more than beans and leafy things at several environmentally-conscious restaurants. Some 25 restaurant owners and managers, including state Sen. Kathy Webb (owner of Lilly's Dim Sum), Scott McGehee (Boulevard Bread), Capi and Brent Peterson (Trio's), Ron Maxwell (Governor's Mansion administrator) and others, have formed an informal Green Restaurant Association. They'll get together at 2:30 p.m. June 2 at Lilly's to meet with vendors of biodegradable products and local food producers and a representative of the city's sustainability task force (appointed by Mayor Mark Stodola last month) to discuss business recycling. The group is also researching energy-efficient equipment. Lilly's and Boulevard already use biodegradable takeout containers and cups and so forth and recycle other waste. Webb said all in the food business are welcome, whether they're ready to go green or not. Many of those attending the previous two meetings took part in the “Lights Out Little Rock” event in April, when restaurants doused the lights and served dinner by candlelight to emphasize the need for businesses to conserve energy.
RED RIVER CATFISH & BBQ We love truck-and trailer-food — tacos, catfish, barbecue, you name it. It's cheap food on the run and generally well-suited for no-utensil snacking. Now comes another worthy entry where the Adams catfish operation once set up before moving to permanent quarters. The heaping pulled pork sandwiches had a lot of takers while we waited for our catfish. But any regret was overcome by three good-sized and crunchy catfish filets, surprisingly well-fried crinkle-cuts, good fried okra, passable pups and slaw (sweet to our taste). All of this for only $7.50. A fried peach pie was smoky hot, with feather-light pastry. Smoked chicken and turkey and fried shrimp are also included on the menu. Third and Chester. 231-8433. L M-F. Credit cards.
BENE VITA The grilled Italian sausages with roasted onion and pepper medley, served in a hot cast-iron skillet with melted cheeses and toasted ciabatta, are listed on the antipasto menu but you can make a lunch out of them, and one of us did. (They're also lunch-priced at $8.95.) Not bad, but not something to rave about either. Pretty much the same could be said, except it is on the main-course menu, of the beef tips ragu with mushrooms and pasta ragu in a roasted tomato sauce. On the other hand, the soaked salad is something to brag about, and so is the homemade tiramisu. We didn't try the pizza on this trip, but it's some of the most interesting-sounding in town — “prosciutto, artichoke hearts, portobellos, ripe olives, topped with a poached egg, virgin olive oil, and parmigiano-reggiano” and “prosciutto, black olives, asparagus, roasted tomatoes, parmigiano.” Outdoor dining is available on a covered deck. 3701 Old Cantrell Road. 666-8482. Full bar. CC L Mon.-Fri., D Sun.-Sat. $$