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What's cooking/Capsule reviews Sept. 14



What's cooking

Adam Rosenblum and his wife, Christina Latendresse, who had to evacuate New Orleans because of Hurricane Katrina and ended up “falling in love” with Little Rock a year ago, plan to open their new restaurant, Imagine, on Oct. 5, Rosenblum said.

Imagine will be in the new Pleasant Ridge Town Center, at 11525 Cantrell Road.

Despite their New Orleans background, Rosenblum and Latendresse are planning a restaurant far removed from the Creole or Cajun style that is associated with the Crescent City. Imagine will focus on what Rosenblum calls “progressive American” with lots of Arkansas ingredients and produce in the food. Rosenblum said there will also be some European influence in the dishes.

“We want to show you don’t have to go all over the world to order good when some of the best stuff is right here,” Rosenblum said.

Imagine will be open for lunch and dinner seven days a week. Sunday’s plans call for a specialized brunch as well as regular dinner service. The restaurant’s phone number is 801-5530, and its website is www.imaginearestaurant.net.


Capsule reviews

UPDATE: STARVING ARTIST CAFE The first time we ate here, we were more impressed with the idea of the place than the food, but it was such a good idea — a restaurant with art on the walls and in the air — we returned. To our great delight, our luncheon choice had a certain amount of artistry as well! It was shrimp and fettucine in a spicy reduced tomato sauce; excellent. Our friend had the smoked turkey panini, a sandwich thickly layered with turkey, mozzarella and homemade roasted red pepper mayonnaise. It was as rich as Warren Buffett, and as generous too. Our friend fawned over the roasted potatoes that came on the side. The place was packed, as well, and, true to theme, a painter toiled away in one corner on a European street scene. The walls are, of course, covered in artwork by local talents; the proprietors, Jason and Paula Morrell, celebrate the literary and performing arts as well, scheduling music during meals, taping by Paula Morrell’s “Tales from the South” broadcast for KUAR on Monday nights from the restaurant and hosting book release parties, etc. We’d report on the strawberry crepes, but we couldn’t find a place for them. Nobody’s starving here but the artists. 416 W. 7th St. Wine and beer. CC $$-$$$ 372-7976 LD Tue.-Fri, D Thu.-Sat.

UPDATE: BULLDOG Some folks plan their travel on Highway 67 around a stop at Bald Knob to eat at the Bulldog, a hamburger joint that’s a step up (a giant step up as far as dessert) from a dairy bar and right off the highway. The burgers are fried, the buns are greasy and that’s just the way we like them. But the piece de resistance on a recent visit was the strawberry shortcake, a homemade concoction that included ice cream and whipped cream along with sweet thin-sliced strawberries on a buttery crust. Last time we drove by, we noted a sign touting peach and strawberry shortcake. Sadly, it was only 9 a.m., and we didn’t stop; even more tragic is that shortcake season is over. Dry your tears, though: The homemade chocolate, coconut, pecan and lemon ice box pies should substitute well enough. The menu is broader than burgers; the Bulldog is known for its barbecue and has a daily lunch special. You can eat in here — but note, the Bulldog dispenses with formal touches like plates; your meal’s wrapper will have to do. If you have a problem with that, bring your own plate. After all, our hamburger and dessert came in at under $6. 3614 Hwy. 367 N. CC $$ 501-724-5195. BLD daily.

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