On Friday, our merry meeting of the minds (err, stomachs) took place in West Little Rock’s Chenal Promenade at Bravo Cucina Italiana. We have heard fabulous things about their dinner menu so we decided we’d go against the grain and have lunch at the Italian hot spot.
If you like an open and airy floor-plan, Bravo is gets an ‘A’ for ambiance. Between the columns and the decadent draperies we were expecting an opera performance at any moment. And since our pants are expandable (naturally) we happen to have a heart for the ‘fat lady’. That being said, if you’re planning business espionage or have some rockin’ gossip you need to catch up on, you might want to request a booth. Banquettes are located on the perimeters of the room and have a less out-in-the-open feel.
The menu is large and the lunch specials quick and to the point. Many people have the misconception that a fine Italian meal has to be eaten in order and chosen from specific sections of the menu. On this particular day, we were thinking of bathing suits to be donned and decided we would listen to our inner health nazi (initially at least…you’ll see shortly that the mindset was futile).
Food for thought (har har)…’Antipasto’ is typically eaten first, followed by a ‘primo’ dish such as pasta or soup. If you have any room left a ‘secondo’ will consist of meat or fish. And of course, there’s always the ‘dolce’ (i.e. dessert).
It was Friday so we decided to waylay on the drink menu first. Razzberritini’s all around. Then, we chose the Chicken, Spinach and Bacon Flatbread as an appetizzle. The flatbread was creamy with delicately cut scallions scattered about the plate. It gave us faith that Bravo would be a superb place for drinks and apps before planning your assault on Little Rock nightlife.
The star of the meal was the Chianti Braised Beef Ravioli. The brown butter sauce and crispy sage made up for the over minced beef in the ravioli. The sweet potatoes were cooked to perfection and the portions of pasta were appropriate for an Italian meal. Salads were ordered (reluctantly) and we would say that one should stick with their speciality…carbs.
And since ‘Bravo’ naturally makes one thing of an encore we couldn’t say no to the dessert and boy oh boy were we glad we succumbed . The Carnegie deli cheese cake was holy-heck-let-me-forget-all-my-sensibilities-fantastic. The Carnegie deli is world famous for two things; corned beef and cheesecake. So obviously if you can get one of those delicacies in L.R. go for it, right? The creme brulee topping served in a pool of creme anglaise made us want to give the entire experience a standing ovation.
Bravo Cucina Italiana, 17815 Chenal Parkway, Little Rock – (501) 821-2485