Ristorante Capeo, North Little Rock

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Whit and Chloe in the hotel room playing "Cool Math"games.
These two were also the instigators for walking to the restaurant...
Martin and I both agreed that it's from our Walking School Bus...
Why ride when you can walk???  :)

Capeo was WONDERFUL!! And it's located
just over the bridge from downtown Little Rock

Good Lord, Martin ordered up this beer...it had a 10% alcohol
label and tasted like oil, I thought.  He said because it had a
devil on the label and was called the "sixth glass" that after
drinking it, you thought you just had your sixth beer...lol!

Chloe ordered up this Chocolate Mousse and finished the whole
thing...she's got quite the sweet tooth....

Big Dam Bridge 58 and 106 bike ride...we're missing Kara and Kyle
Bob & Polly Hardin, Beth Bradshaw, Cecilia Killough, Stan Bradshaw
and Martin....Jackie's there in the distance putting his air pump in the car

I'd guess there were about 5000 cyclists...

At the halfway point aid station at Mayflower, Ark
Me, Cecilia, Bob, Polly, Kara, Beth and Stan...little did we know
there were 6 hills coming and the 50 was actually 58...whew....
Friday, September 23, 2011

I tell you Kara can pick restaurants!  She suggested this one just over the river from downtown Little Rock where we were staying for the Big Dam Bridge bike ride.  It's always a good to carb up before a big day of exercise.  And I was mentally ready for the 50 mile bike ride, I had my sensor, energy jelly beans, Gatorade but lemme  tell you...that ride was 58 miles with 6 hills, 2 of which most of us got off and walked....it was a tough day and I have to confess that I was nearly in tears the last 2 miles when I was by myself and faced another hill!  But we all MADE IT!!

But, now to this fabulous find in North Little Rock.  We had a reservation at 5:30, early I know but we had the 4 kids in tow because we couldn't find a sitter, so Kara wanted to get dinner rolling so we could get the kids to bed.  We had a wonderful waitress Jessica, who got our drink orders rolling and told us about the specials.   I had the house Chianti and I loved it, I didn't write down the name but it was great.

For dinner, Jackie ordered one of the specials, as did Martin and Kara, the Cannelloni with beef tenderloin and Shitake mushrooms.  What an unusual dish with tenderloin and a rich, creamy white sauce, but let me say that it was divine.  It was just the right size too as all our entrees were.  There's nothing worse than being served a ginormous portion that could serve 3-4 people on a single plate.  The cannelloni was so good I'm still dreaming about it.  I ordered the Penne Alarabiatta featuring a spicy tomato sauce with Hot Red Peppers.  I loved it and shared it with Chloe event though she said it was too hot for her.  I loved it.  I should also mention the large squares of butter served with toasted, thin bread sticks in little packages that were on the table when we arrived.  The kids, and I, enjoyed dipping our sticks into a little dab of butter.  They also brought fresh french bread with our wine and beer, it was perfectly crusty.  (what a sentence...:))  My penne was $8.50 and Jackie's cannelloni was $12, that's amazing!

For dessert, Martin ordered chocolate creme brulee and Kara said it was wonderful.  Chloe ordered chocolate mousse and nearly licked her plate clean.  We loved Capeo, it's atmosphere and they were nice to put up with our 4 kids in tow.

I found this on the internet about Ristorante Capeo that opened in 2003:

Brian and Eric Isaac, who were raised in Batesville, Arkansas, go way back in the kitchen. As the result of a deal made with their mother when Eric was 13 and Brian 15, the boys were responsible for cooking the family meals. Eric had an affinity with cooking from the start: his first meal for the family: southern fried chicken, steamed broccoli, and fettuccini alfredo.
During college Eric worked in a succession of restaurants in the Little Rock area. Eric was first exposed to fine dining when he was hired to work as sous chef at now defunct Cassenelli 1700 under Jeff Medbury. After a year or so as sous chef, Cassenelli's sponsored his training at the Italian Culinary Institute for Foreigners in Costigliole d' Asti, Italy. The valedictorian of his class, Eric landed an internship atCảpeo , an acclaimed ristorante on the Italian Riviera in Leivi, Italy. When his training was complete, he returned to the United States to assume the executive chef position at Cassinelli 1700.
Within weeks of his return from Italy, Eric received a five star review from the Arkansas Times and a perfect review from the Arkansas Democrat Gazette. After the Vino e Cucina food show in New York City, Eric received an invitation to become a member of the highly acclaimedJames Beard House, and to team up with three chefs from New York City to serve a dinner labeled "Great Italian Chefs". This dinner was reminiscent of a dinner Eric hosted at Cassinelli 1700 called "Traveling Toques" in which famed chefs Roberto Donna, Michele Orsino and Vittorio Capparelli along with Isaac received rave reviews for a charity dinner.
Since Eric's departure from Cassinelli 1700, he has been employed as Executive Chef at Maumelle Country Club and at Riverfront Steakhouse. In 2002, Eric teamed up with his brother, Brian, a mortgage banker with a passion for food and wine, and together they conceived Ristorante Cảpeo, a place to bring "pranzare italiano autentico," authentic Italian taste, from one of the greatest culinary nations in the world, to North Little Rock.
The brothers decided on the (then condemned) Cook building in the Argenta Historic District of North Little Rock  as the location. Construction actually began with the help of their grandfather, J.O. Isaac, in February 2002, with the creation of wine cellar, which now holds approximately 1,000 bottles. While the facade of the 116 year old building was being restored, the brothers were busy inside with design and construction.
In June 2003, Ristorante Cảpeo, named in tribute to the establishment where Eric was trained, opened with a blast. Chef Eric Isaac orchestrated a staff with over 75 years combined experience. Because of their unsurpassed excellence in preparation and service, Ristorante Cảpeo has hosted many successful private parties including a dinner for the Chaine des Rotisseurs, and counts many celebrities, both local and national, among their clientele.
They take pride in the fact that they have created a successful business in a historic downtown area. They are optimistic that the area will continue to progress with nearby Alltel Arena, the addition of the trolley that connects Argenta to the River Market area and the Clinton Presidential Library, the rejuvenation of the Baker House Bed & Breakfast located across the street, and the relocation of the Arkansas Travelers to North Little Rock.
The brothers invite you to come in, relax, break the bread and enjoy some wine.
Buon Appetito!

When you are in Little Rock for a bike ride, concert or any other reason, you've got to go to Capeo.  Delicious and creative Italian food, great service and the price is right.

Ristaorante Capeo, 425 Main Stree, North Little Rock, Ark., 72114 501-376-3463

Wynne Presbyterian Church Sunday School Kickoff, Sunday, September 11, 2011

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Jackie and Chloe rode their bikes from our house out to the farm,
about 5 miles...notice I need to straighten her helmet :)  I drove
the brunch items over so I didn't ride with my food in a backpack!  lol!

Everyone socializing before church

Jeanie has a great sand pile for the grandkids that Katie Bradshaw,
Evan Huff and Linton Bradshaw all enjoyed it!

Jeanie wrote the service and had the youth lead the service...
it was so fun to have the young people of the church up there!

Presbyterians can COOK!! Look at this spread!

The sand pile was a hit!

This was the start of one of Jeanie's games...the egg race!
Harmon with Chloe, Margaret and Stella

Jeanie also had a Treasure Hunt...it was so fun for the kids!

It was a beautiful day for an outside service!

The donkeys were fun to watch...look at that baby following behind!
Sunday, September 11, 2011

What a moving morning it was watching my favorite Sunday TV program, the CBS Sunday Morning Show.  Our church has a tradition of about 10 years now of going to Harmon and Jeanie's farm on the first Sunday after Labor Day to kick off the new Sunday School classes.  We have potluck brunch at 10 am with a service.  Our church is without a pastor right now and no interim was available so Jeanie, my mother-in-law, had the service laid out and had programs printed.  It was a wonderful service led by some of our youth.  The one thing our church is known for and that is to have no choir and not very good singers.  Luckily, on this September 11 Sunday, Jeanie had America the Beautiful slated for the first verse only.  And it all cracked us up outside under their beautiful 40 year old maple shade trees, that we didn't even have Nema Cockrill to lead us.  Paul and Nema are hard working and volunteering Presbyterians who can sing.  We made it without Nema but it wasn't pretty because we sounded like row, row, row your boat because we were off rhythm.  Cecilia and I loved it, we were standing in the back row cracking up!  It was a fun day with all the games Jeanie had slated and the social time was fun with all the great food.  A big thanks to them for having our church family over for over a decade!

Simple Pasta Sauce

Ahh the wonderful tomatoes from Jenny Walker on the bay road....
they are divine and inexpensive....I've been eating 2-3 a day!

I grew two types of Basil this summer...the common Sweet Basil,
on the left, it's so divine!  I grew Thai Basil this year too, it has pointed
leaves and has a licorice flavor

I added black olives instead of green or Kalamata
Wednesday, Sept. 21, 2011

I found another great cookbook that uses a ton of fresh ingredients that my mom gave me way back.  The cookbook is from the Junior League of Pasadena.  This one is ready in less than 10 minutes and if you serve with french bread from my local grocery store Hay's, you've got an easy, nutritious recipe!  Here's this one, I love it and I'll show you how I modified it!

Simple Pasta Sauce

3 medium tomatoes, cut small (I used 8 because I had them)
1 15 oz. jar marinated artichokes with juice (I used 8 oz)
1/4 cup chopped basil (I used 1/2 cup because I had it)
1/2 cup any olives (I prefer Kalamata but used black)
1/2 cup grated fresh Parmesan
1 lb. cooked pasta (I used spaghetti)

Mix all ingredients and serve either warm or cold.  Add additional Parmesan when serving.  I also added Crushed Red Pepper for a little kick.

Munchkin, Gumball and Chunk...(and soccer and birthday)

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Jackie and I ran the Cooper Young 4 mile race last Friday and
Chloe went to play with her BFF in Marion, Bailey Bigger.
Those two have been buddies since birth...how fun!

Chloe at soccer pictures Saturday.  She's on Westmoreland
team and has had a good time even though they are about 3 kids
short for substituting.

Her shirt is a little bit too big!

I cannot believe I got an action shot of her near the ball...
lol! She likes to just let the big players get in on all the action!

The other night Chloe was body slamming Jackie and this was her invention...:)

Look at that retainer...she's been told to keep wearing
it by her new Orthodontist Dr. Fergus in Jonesboro...
and it has made a HUGE difference in straightening her
 bottom teeth, Chloe's done a good job of keeping it in!

Kara's birthday meal at Jeanie's...delicious Carrot Cake by Cathy
Helton....Kara with Whit, Chloe and Stella

Chloe's new fosters from the Birdeye Store...she's named these lab
mixes, Munchkin, Gumball and Chunk...she's done a better job this
time with cleaning and feeding her strays!  They are about 7 weeks
and are adorable.  They'll be ready for forever homes AFTER NEUTER!
Wednesday, September 21, 2011

I know I haven't been blogging much lately..it's been so stinking busy!  I thought I'd share what we've been up to!  Soccer, orthodontist, fostering, Kara's birthday, riding bikes and on and on!  It's been a fun fall so far but busy!  I'll get back on track soon on new restaurants and cooking soon!!!

Pasta with Heirloom Tomatoes and Brie, Birdeye

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Look at that stinking fresh basil...this is what it looks
 like right before the fresh pasta...yeah, that's garlic hanging on the edge..This is so stinking great....I love it!

What fun fun it was to have K-2 BFF Lizze Brawner for an
overnight visit, she's the swwweeetttistttt lady EVER and Whit
can totally hang with the ladies...so fun having him over!
This is our homemade slide off the swing set slide, adding a water hose
and the slip and slide and a pool to stop their force, what fun!
Friday, August 26, 2011

A few years ago Kara told me about how she makes homemade granola out of a cookbook from San Juan Island.  I had somathat granola and got a copy of the infamous cookbook.  It's absolutely divine.  Two years ago when our tomatoes were plentiful, I was searching for a recipe to utilize the homegrown fruit.  I stumbled upon this recipe and it is to die for.  I don't grow Heirloom tomatoes and any variety works I'm telling you.  I do use half the cheese and oil it calls for and it just as delicious and rich with half as much.  I do serve with my local grocery store Hays' french bread.

Pasta with Heirloom Tomatoes and Brie from La Cucina Anna Maria, San Juan Islands

4 ripe heirloom tomatoes, cut into 1/2 inch cubes (I use any variety)
1 lb. Brie, rind removed, cut into small pieces (I use only a 9 oz. wedge)
1 C. fresh basil, cut into strips (I usually do a dice)
3 garlic cloves minced
1 C. plus 1 Tbsp (Good lord that's A TON, I used a little less than 1/4 C)
1/2 t. salt
1/2 t. pepper
1/2 C. grated Grana Padana or hard Italian cheese (I used Hays Parmesan from their specialty deli that I totally adore!!)
1 lb. pasta (I used linguine noodles)

1. Combine all ingredients except pasta, cover and sit at room temperature 2 hours.  Stir periodically.
2. Cook pasta and toss with tomato sauce.  Serve with fresh pepper and additional cheese.  Serves 4-6.

From the Recipe and I quote:  "My mom used to make this all summer long when garden fresh tomatoes were at their peak of ripeness.  You can make it without any Brie but the melted Brie gives the sauce a wonderful creamy texture.  At Coho, we use this tomato sauce as a topping for brushetta."

This is divine I'm sayin....:)