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: 11-2 & Dinner Mon-Sat: 5:00-10:00pm. 501-663-2677.
Ashley's puts an elegant French twist on southern cuisine. Their menu features locally grown products whenever possible. Ashley's is located elegantly restored Capital Hotel, and features an excellent wine list and one of the most innovative menus city. Serves breakfast, lunch and dinner. Their Sunday brunch is a can't miss. 111 West Markham Street, 501-370-7092.
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.
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: 5:00-11:00pm. The Piano Bar is generally open Wed-Thu from 7 to at least 11, but the schedule varies. 501-324-2999.
Located in the Marriott Hotel, they serve Italian entrees, pastas, risottos, pizza and sandwiches. Located at 3 Statehouse Plaza in Little Rock. 501-399-8000
Casually elegant, 1620 offers a varied menu including fresh seafood. The atmosphere is warm and inviting. It's perfect for a date. Be sure to try the daily specials. Average entree is $30. Open Monday-Friday: 5:00-10:00 p.m. Located at 1620 Market St, 501-221-1620.
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: 11:00am-2:30pm, Dinner Mon-Sat: 5:30-9:30pm. 501-221-3330.
8. The Terrace Mediterranean Kitchen
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:11:00am-2:00pm, Dinner Mon-Thu 5:30-9:30pm, Fri-Sat 5:00-10:30pm. 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 a.m. on Saturday.
Acadia is a little bit casual, a little bit fine dining. The dishes have a refined Cajun flair. They have a great deck in nice weather. 3000 Kavanaugh Blvd, 501-603-9630.
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: 11:00am-2:00pm, Brunch Sunday: 11:00am-2:30pm, Dinner Sun-Thurs: 5:30-9:30pm, Dinner Fri-Sat: 5:30-10:30pm. 501-663-4666.