Changing Zaffino’s, Bennett’s delivers remarkably fair price ranges for huge parts

Even folks like us who did not get more than there approximately generally enough regret the reduction of Zaffino’s by Nori, a good Italian cafe on Kiehl Avenue, Sherwood’s major east-west “drag.” Zaffino’s shut in June 2020.

But its successor, Bennett’s by Keith & Co, a scion of an upscale Jacksonville sandwich shop, not only fills the room but fills a niche that the closure of Zaffino’s remaining empty: No, the menu just isn’t Italian, but Bennett’s offers pleasurable fantastic dining and at just about shockingly fair charges.

It occupies the very same two storefronts in a strip heart which is much easier to see if you happen to be driving up (or down) Kiehl Avenue if you place a notable pedestrian bridge more than the chaotic highway. Zaffino’s layout was L-formed and “vertical” Bennett’s is more square-ish, with a popular open kitchen at the rear and hardwood-topped tables with thinly padded, vinyl-seat, hardwood ladder-back chairs. Along or in close proximity to the partitions (log finishes distinguish a exhibit wall just within the entrance), they’re lit by an eclectic assemblage of eclectic hanging bulb combos in the center of the room, the lighting is largely oblique.

We stated the rates. Appetizers, which at $12, $13 and $14 glimpse dear on the menu, are in fact priced and sized to share (see beneath). Entree charges, which assortment from $18 to $28, are effectively matched to part measurements. Plate presentation is leading-notch, as well.

Gallery: Sampling — Bennett’s by Keith & Co

Our tomato bisque, the soup of the day ($4 cup, $6 bowl) was wealthy, delicious, thick, tangy, peppery — and tepid. It came with four croutons in a metallic “thimble” cup, crisp and evidently household-manufactured, but there were only 4, so we experienced to utilize them a whole lot extra sparingly than we would have favored.

Tuna ($23), sushi-quality ahi tuna steak evenly breaded and “cooked to uncommon,” in a fried- caper lemon sauce with 2 times-baked sweet potato (whipped with spinach and Gouda) and sauteed asparagus. The herbed crust was a minor thick and could have a bit gotten in the way of the fish. Also partly blocking our way: a significant pile of microgreens. Frying the capers included a flavor dimension to the lemon- caper sauce, a mattress somewhat than a topping — it flowed beneath the sweet potato and asparagus, maximizing the latter, but as a consequence there was not very plenty of of it underneath the tuna the place we essential it. The sweet potato concoction was one of a kind in our knowledge, the cheese supplying it a relatively exciting tang, but we would have almost certainly liked just basic whipped sweet potato with, say, some butter just as substantially.

The two spherical-ish products we saw on other tables ended up not, as they appeared from a distance, pre-meal Ding Dongs snack cakes, but pumpernickel rolls with herbed butter, a great accent to the meal.

On our next take a look at, we opted for the Rooster Cacciatore ($18), a pounded-flat hen breast in a gentle and frivolously herb-spicy breading, tender enough to minimize with a fork, topped with a loaded, brown mushroom “gravy.” (Put a pork cutlet in there and you could in all probability have named it a schnitzel.) It came topped with a enormous parmesan crisp and, as with the tuna, much too quite a few microgreens. On the aspect: a goodly portion of tasty, lightly “onioned” environmentally friendly beans.

Bennett’s Trio ($13) is listed amid the “Starters,” but there was sufficient guacamole, queso and salsa, served in 3 individual bowl-ettes, to make a food in by itself. It was certainly frustrating for one particular diner — we would only counsel it if there’s two or additional to share. The guac was tangy and onion-y, but we only tasted avocado (or considerably of anything else in addition to onion and citrus) sporadically. The brick-red salsa blossomed a lot more as a subsequent-day leftover, chunky and lively with garlic. The Rotel-like yellow queso was first rate but regular. We would have loved all 3 extra if our chips had been as refreshing as the menu promised they weren’t but in any way stale, but presuming they experienced been made fresh new that early morning, by supper time they had gotten just a bit “rigid.”

Bennett’s decor includes a log-themed function wall and, about some tables, a whimsical assortment of hanging gentle bulbs. (Arkansas Democrat-Gazette/Eric E. Harrison)

A person day before long we will attempt a person of Bennett’s burgers, on the menu for lunch and dinner, which seemed tremendous on others’ tables.

The lunch menu is rife with upscale sandwiches, together with the grilled cheese ($10), which, while the menu didn’t say so, also concerned tomato and spinach, which we asked the kitchen area to maintain. The outcome was a substantial and pleasant sandwich on multigrain bread the cheese experienced melted more than enough to be soft but not runny, so the mouthfeel was a bit spongy. Accompanying was a modest metal fry-basket of crisp, tasty, house-created chips.

For lunch, diners get at the entrance sign up and get a number at dinner, it’s entire desk company. On our initially evening meal visit the position was shut to full and servers, every with 4 tables to cover, were being stored on the operate. On our second evening meal take a look at, we had to talk to the server for a set up and she by no means introduced the bread, however we observed other servers taking it to other tables.

Oh, and we propose you ask about specials. We didn’t, our next-check out server didn’t volunteer the data and we missed out on a scallop dish which, based on a photograph we later on noticed on Fb, we strongly suspect we would have loved.

Bennett’s by Keith & Co

Handle: 2001 Kiehl Ave., Sherwood

Hours: 10:30 a.m.-2:30 p.m. Tuesday-Saturday 5-9:30 p.m. Thursday-Saturday 10 a.m.-2:30 p.m. Sunday

Delicacies: Eclectic/New American

Alcoholic drinks: No

Credit history cards: V, MC, D, AE

Wheelchair access: Sure

Reservations: Substantial parties

(501) 392-8530 | fb.com/BennettsDining

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