Little Rock has quite a few great fine dining establishments. These restaurants are perfect for special dates like anniversaries, Valentine's day or just a romantic night out. Most of the places on this list are a bit pricey, but well worth it. I enjoy most of them for any special evening, not just romantic ones. They are listed, more or less, in order of formalness. Brave New and Ashley's are the more formal, traditional fine format and places like Loca Luna serve fine dining food in a more casual format.
Brave New Restaurant is can't miss for fine dining. It has a gorgeous view, great decor and an innovative menu featuring lots of fresh seafood. Located on 2300 Cottondale Lane, Little Rock. Prices average $20-30. Lunch Mon-Fri: 11:00 a.m. -2:00 p.m. & Dinner Mon-Sat: 5:00 p.m.-10:00 p.m. 501-663-2677.
Some say this place has the best steak in Arkansas. They also have seafood, veal and some other entree items. My favorite thing about Sonny Williams' is the piano bar. The entrees average around $30. Dinner Mon-Sat: 5:00 p.m.-11:00 p.m. The Piano Bar is generally open Wed-Thu from 7:00 p.m. to at least 11:00 p.m., but the schedule varies. 501-324-2999.
One Eleven puts an elegant twist on southern cuisine. Their menu features locally grown products whenever possible. One Eleven is located restored, historic Capital Hotel and features an excellent wine list and one of the most innovative menus city. Serves breakfast, lunch and dinner. 111 West Markham Street, 501-370-7092.
Located in the Marriott Hotel, this restaurant serves up upscale comfort foods and seafood. Dinner hosts a raw bar option. Entrees average $30. Located at 3 Statehouse Plaza in Little Rock. 501-399-8000.
South on Main serves upscale Southern food in a sophisticated atmosphere. Their menu features locally grown products whenever possible. It's a playful menu with a mix of modern and old south (for example, chicken livers are on the menu, something you won't find at most upscale restaurants). Entrees average $20. Located at 1304 Main St.
If your significant other likes Italian food, this is a great date restaurant. The food is superb, the atmosphere is romantic and the service is usually among the best you'll find in the area. The prices seem steep when you first glance at the menu, but they're actually comparable to most Italian chain restaurants. Located in Argenta, 425 Main Street in North Little Rock. 501-376-3463.
Trio's was once the only place I'd suggest for fine dining. They've got some competition these days but the quality of their food hasn't changed. The atmosphere is elegantly casual. Located at 8201 Cantrell Road, Suite 100. Prices average $15-20. Lunch Mon-Sat: 11:00 a.m.-2:30 p.m, Dinner Mon-Sat: 5:30 p.m.-9:30 p.m. 501-221-3330.
Casual elegance is what you'll find at The Terrace Mediterranean Kitchen (formerly Terrace on the Green). Someone described the restaurant to me as Middle Eastern, and while there are some Middle Eastern items on the menu, it also features French and Italian dishes. They also have a great Jamaican Jerk. I would classify it as a Mediterranean restaurant. Average price is $10-20. Located at 2200 N. Rodney Parham Road in Little Rock. Lunch Mon-Fri:11:00 a.m.-2:00 p.m., Dinner Mon-Thu 5:30 p.m.-9:30 p.m., Fri-Sat 5:00 p.m.-10:30 p.m. 501-217-9393.
A casually elegant spot. Many come here for cocktails, but the menu, while limited, is pretty good. They have a nice lounge area and a deck perfect for having a good time. Located in the Hillcrest neighborhood at 605 N. Beechwood Street. They're open 4:00 p.m.-2:00 a.m. on Monday through Friday and 4:00 p.m.-1:00 a.m. on Saturday.
Loca Luna has a fun atmosphere and an interesting menu, but they are on the more casual side of fine dining. They call it a bistro but its menu is full of items you wouldn't find at an ordinary bistro. Prices average $12-20. Located on 3519 Old Cantrell Road, Little Rock. Lunch Mon-Fri: 11:00 a.m.-2:00 p.m., Brunch Sunday: 11:00 a.m.-2:30 p.m., Dinner Sun-Thurs: 5:30 p.m.-9:30 p.m., Dinner Fri-Sat: 5:30 p.m.-10:30 p.m. 501-663-4666.