EATS & DRINKS
Bean and Vine
A coffee and wine bar featuring delicious chef-prepared eats
By Case Dighero
Photos by Meredith Mashburn
3000 S. Pinnacle Hills Pkwy., Rogers
There’s something wonderfully satisfying about enjoying the perfect meal at an American bistro – that moment of exhilaration in finding traditional French technique interspersed with ingredients and heritage from a given locale in the U.S. The High South region certainly has its share of dynamic chefs leaving indelible culinary impressions on the restaurant scene, and I’m always inspired when something new and unexpected graces our already robust landscape. Lately, I’ve discovered a relatively hidden gem that has all the makings of becoming the next great restaurant in Northwest Arkansas – perhaps the entire state.
Bean and Vine in Rogers opened its doors in spring 2019 and chef Garyn Folden has devised a stylized, albeit compact, menu that ranks alongside any high-profile restaurant in Benton County. His devotion to traditional Americana, French and Italian techniques gives him accessibility, but it’s his nuanced care in the details that make him one of the most exciting new chefs in the region.
The 31-seat restaurant, which also offers 22 additional seats on the patio, hosts a long, lush bar adjacent to a snug dining room with tables and seafoam green banquettes that are ideal for lounge dining. The vibe is low key, chill and sexy – not unlike the menu. The wine list is impressive; I highly recommend any one of the six flights offered in steady rotation, especially the Pinot Makes Me Smile flight ($20) boasting a trio of strong Cali reds. The flights are a great deal and an even better way to become acquainted with the staff and cadence of the meal at hand.
Lunch is served Monday through Friday, offering affordable, delicious archetypes that include a hearty Meatball Sandwich ($12) bathed in butternut squash marinara, an Ozark BLT ($10) brandishing Bansley’s Berkshire Ridge Farm pork belly, and crowd favorite Veggie Banh Mi ($10) stratified with al dente vegetables, pickled carrots, radish, jalapeno pepper, cilantro and sesame aioli on a traditional French baguette.
Bean and Vine also hosts an impressive brunch on the weekends, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Why wouldn’t we start with a bottle of bubbly nestled against a sidecar of a condensation-laden carafe of fresh squeezed orange juice ($21)? Brunch demands mimosas, but perhaps more importantly it requires eggs, bacon and maybe something healthy – and Chef Folden has included something at brunch for everyone. The Butternut Squash Hash ($12) tows the line between good and evil with your choice of two eggs, any style, draped over roasted squash, caramelized onions, potatoes, Swiss chard and goat cheese crema. However, all sins are forgiven when ordering either the Avocado Toast ($9) finished with marinated tomatoes and topped with spinach and poached eggs or the Berry Power Bowl ($8) packing a healthful protein punch of Greek yogurt, banana, fresh berries, almonds and honey.
Still, Chef Folden is most in his element at dinner, showcasing talents that stick the landing somewhere between elegant sensitivity and robust confidence with a nuance and style that is all his own. As mentioned previously, the compact menu hits on all cylinders for just about any diner, juxtaposing a masculine Charcuterie Board ($19) with myriad cured meats and cheeses against delicate and pretty Roasted Cauliflower Florets ($9) arranged as a wreath and dusted with mustard, fresh dill, lemon aioli and parmesan cheese; or perhaps consider the Charred Brussels Sprouts ($9) bathed in barely sweet apple-glaze then tossed gently with pine nuts, crispy pork belly and tangy goat cheese crema.
My favorite is the Pasta Bolognese ($19), a rich, gorgeous slow-simmered sauce made with milk, tomatoes, carrots, pork and beef luxuriously coating wide swipes of homemade pappardelle noodles topped with goat cheese, pine nuts and rosemary oil. This dish transcends space and time, truly a tour de force of Italian tradition teetering on High South subtlety and swaggering, without question the most delicious example of pasta ingenuity gracing the west side of I-49 between Fayetteville and Kansas City.
The menu boasts several small plate and entree items that are ideal for sharing with large parties or small groups – standouts include Bordeaux Braised Short Rib ($26); Maple Leaf Farms Duck Breast ($21) embellished with balsamic grapes, pine nuts and butternut squash puree; Bansley’s Local Pork Belly ($17) prepared creamy and crispy atop chipotle-carrot puree with Swiss chard and blackberry compote; and House Made Scallop Tagliatelle ($26) with wobbly, seared scallops caressed with flat ribbons of pasta, tomatoes, Swiss chard and earthy mushroom broth.
Chef Folden draws inspiration from many places that include the Mediterranean, French countryside and Vietnam, yet still manages to seamlessly carry those influences into his passion for Americana and High South cuisine. He shows an authentic aptitude for this nouveau practice that few have attempted, and even fewer have achieved. Bean and Vine in Rogers may be one of the new kids on the block, but it already feels like they’re here to stay for generations to come.