Lilly’s Dim Sum Then Some in West Little Rock will help Lesley Byrne, a Wisconsin chocolatier, launch an African chocolate collection this Thursday (Sept. 28), with Lilly’s Nancy Tesmer pairing wines with the artisan chocolates. Byrne is the owner and founder of Lesley’s Life is Sweet in Rhinelander, Wis.
The event will run from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. at Lilly’s, 11121 N. Rodney Parham Road. Tickets are $50 per person, and the proceeds benefit the African AIDS Orphan and Zimbabwe’s Mother of Peace projects through a partnership with Heifer International.
Sherwood has a new restaurant: Gabriel’s, owned by Steve Gabriel, a veteran restaurateur in the area. The restaurant is at 7412 North Hills Blvd. Hours of operation are 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. Monday through Saturday. The telephone number is 833-3233.
BURGE’S This bright Heights lunchroom (open evenings Thursday and Friday) serves its highest calling with its smoked turkeys and hams and cherry limeade — it never disappoints in any of those categories. But we were in the mood for catfish the other day, another reliable, if not as celebrated, offering. We were satisfied, if not ecstatic, over the result. We didn’t get a single sip of river from any of the fillets, and we were happily hushed by the puppies. The coleslaw is the vinegar variety; mayonnaise fans might prefer Burge’s smoked potato salad instead. The pickled green tomatoes, on the other hand, are not an option. You must order them. 5620 R St. CC $$ 666-1600 L Mon.-Sat. LD Thu.-Fri.
RENO’S ARGENTA CAFE We feared that Argenta wasn’t big enough for both Reno’s and the next-door Cornerstone Pub, but they’ve been coexisting for almost a year now, and both establishments’ doors are still open. It had been awhile since we’d been in Reno’s, and we had forgotten how extensive the menu is — a half-dozen salads, at least that many appetizers, plus more than a dozen sandwiches, pizzas, and a handful of entrees. This time we bypassed the sandwiches and pizza (we’ve tried selections from both before, and been happy, although we remember the pizza crust as being too thin to support what came on top) and ordered the Delta catfish entree, with fries and a small salad. Reno’s fries their catfish in a thicker, darker batter than the cornmeal we’re used to, but it had a good flavor and a great crunch. The seasoned fries were almost as dark as the catfish, and at least as tasty. We had to keep reminding ourselves that the catfish was marginally healthier and so should be eaten first. Oh well. 312 Main St., North Little Rock. CC $-$$ 376-2900 LD Mon.-Sat.