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Dining in Bentonville

Pecatonica, Illinois
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Dining in Bentonville

Our son and daughter-in-law are coming from Dallas, and we're meeting them in Bentonville for a weekend. For a birthday celebration, I'd appreciate good ideas for excellent meals--both dinner and brunches. We'd like to have a great cocktail and some place that has goodt atmosphere and a nice dining experience. I've read the tripadvisor restaurants, but would appreciate information on where locals would go. Many thanks.

little rock arkansas
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for Little Rock, Arkansas
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1. Re: Dining in Bentonville

I haven't yet tried the new restaurants on the square in Bentonville. My favorite restaurant in the state is James at the Mill in Johnson, just a few minutes down the interstate. Be sure to meet Chef Miles James and ask him about his late father-in-law, who designed the building. He is one of the best architects in the state's history. If you don't have room reservations, the companion hotel, Inn at the Mill is not only a beautiful place with many amenities, it is also a bargain. The restaurant is pricey but worth it for a special occasion.

Mississippi
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2. Re: Dining in Bentonville

Consider River Grill. Fred's is fun too. I second Jim on James at the Mill. Enjoy your visit.

http://rivergrillesteakhouse.com/

http://www.fredshickoryinn.net/

Pecatonica, Illinois
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3. Re: Dining in Bentonville

We have reservations at Inn at the Mill. I am looking forward to that and eating there also. I appreciate the other suggestions too, axle. I'll report after we go in October!

little rock arkansas
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4. Re: Dining in Bentonville

When my wife and teens go to James at the Mill, we like to sit at the bar facing the cooking operation. It's lots of fun to watch and to talk to the chefs. But with the special occasion, you probably would prefer a more standard table arrangement. One cool place to sit is upstairs near the balcony railing or downstairs by the windows where you sit among some huge trees inside the restaurant and can look out at the mill. James is one of the few places where I like to save room for dessert. They are made from scratch and look (as well as taste) pretty cool instead of coming packaged from some supplier like most places. If you are into wine, ask Miles James to recommend a glass or bottle to go along with your meal. They even have the kinds of wines which go with dessert. Save up your money. Unlike the adloining hotel, it's pricey but I think you get what you pay for.

little rock arkansas
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for Little Rock, Arkansas
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5. Re: Dining in Bentonville

I just noticed that you are staying at the mill. Ask to see the Frank Lloyd Wright or another special suite while you are there. The rooms are real nice but it's petty cool to see the very unusual suites designed by Mr. Lambeth in varied styles. Take advantage of the wine and cheese hour at 5 or something. Do not expect a typical country breakfast. It will be more unusual than that. Granolas, fresh fruit, pastries etc. I like their breakfast but it's different. Also don't be disappointed by the setting of the Inn. Though they have done a nice job with the inn's grounds (huge Koi ponds and waterfalls etc) they could not protect it from nearby development. What used to be a natural setting for the historic inn and new hotel, is seriously impacted by adjacent crass development and roads . It's still real nice but be prepared for the above!

Pecatonica, Illinois
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6. Re: Dining in Bentonville

Wow, JimJade3, thanks for all the information! We are pretty excited at using Bentonville as a meting spot because our daughter-in-law wanted to see Crystal Bridges, too. We are going to judge the Sam's National Kansas City BBQ contest there, and prize money is $100,000. It is Saturday, October 13 at Sam's Corporate Offices, and I'd encourage anyone to go and check it out. Several sponsors will do samples for lunch and competitors (the best of several hundred that started out) are deadly serious with this kind of prize money. We went to Bentonville last year to judge, and really enjoyed War Eagle Mill, Pea Ridge, and a wonderful craft fair. I'll let you know how all turns out. Thanks again.

little rock arkansas
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7. Re: Dining in Bentonville

Wow, that sounds like an amazing event. Are you sure you will have room for a fancy dinner after all that free barbeque??? :) By the way, leave time to see the temporary exhibit space at Crystal Bridges to the LEFT of the entry. The permanant exhibit is to the RIGHT as you go in and takes you through several buildings and bridge-like links between them. It is an amazing chronological history of American art. Some people spend all their time there, and miss the changing exhibit space which is to the LEFT of the entrance. The last time we were there it was a great exhibit of some of the most famous pieces of the Hudson River School paintings. Also leave time to visit the gift shop which has many cool items and is across a courtyard from the entrance and finally try to leave time to walk the footpaths around the museum property if the weather is good.

Pecatonica, Illinois
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8. Re: Dining in Bentonville

We just wanted to thank axle and jimjade3 for their wonderful information. We had a great time in the Bentonville/Fayetteville area. We did eat at James at the Mill and it was wonderful--especially the way food is presented. We had crab, a pasta dish, steak, and it was all very good. Also had dessert and can highly recommend the creme brulee!

Our stay at Inn at the Mill was wonderful. We did relax with wine and cheese by the koi pond. We also went to the farmers' market at the square in Fayetteville, then hiked in Devil's Den and walked through Prairie Grove Battlefield. The Crystal Bridges is breathtaking, and they had the new exhibits on luminosity and Moshe Safdie. Probably our favorite meal was at Mesa Table Bistro on the square. It had a very nice atmosphere, our server was wonderful, and the meal was excellent from start to finish. Their cheap dates (bacon wrapped dates) are not to be believed! We also enjoyed coffee from the Press Room and kids went to a yoga session and had massages on the square Saturday morning, which they both loved. What nice people and a beautiful area. We're so glad we planned time in the area. You have so much to offer both in history, scenery, and dining. Thanks for all your help. Our trip was better because of you!

little rock arkansas
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for Little Rock, Arkansas
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9. Re: Dining in Bentonville

Thanks for the report. Can't wait to try the Mesa Table Bistro. Sounds great. Glad you enjoyed your stay in NWA.

10. Re: Dining in Bentonville

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