top of page

EATS & DRINKS

Lady Slipper 

 

138 SW Second St., Bentonville | (479) 715-8499 | www.ladyslippernwa.com

 

By Case Dighero | Photos by Meredith Mashburn

At this point, Ropeswing Hospitality Group, the managing entity behind Bentonville restaurants The Preacher’s Son, Pressroom and Sunny’s, knows its brand and the importance of not only serving, but also representing a community.

 

Ropeswing has worked hard to set the bar high, and its latest concept, Lady Slipper, has more than met it. If the managing, governing side of Lady Slipper is satisfied, then the rest of us who are fans of chef Arturo Solis and the charismatic team around him are over the moon. The group churns out a food and drink experience immersed in an atmosphere that is singular and as energized as any new restaurant to open in Bentonville. Lady Slipper is not only one of the most genuine, harmonious concepts at Ropeswing, it’s also a lot of fun.  

Executive Chef Arturo Solis and General Manager Jeremy Decarlo

Octopus

Lady Slipper Smash Burger with Paris on Ponce cocktail

Carmelized Apple Bread Pudding

The first come, first serve concept gives the destination an intentional speakeasy feel, propelled further by the intimate seating and bar, shrouded in noisy ambience and low light. Familiar and not-so-familiar faces crowd the bar and perimeter tables, representing a wide swath of Bentonville society, a slightly more subtle nod to the neon Momentary mantra, “You belong here.”

 

The bar menu, much like Lady Slipper’s ambience and vibe, is simultaneously opulent and inventive while remaining completely accessible. It’s easy to get lost beneath the giant dueling chandeliers that hover above the bar, but cocktail guru Morgan Shamblin snaps us out of our hazy fog with a smattering of pretty, delicious drinks. My favorite is the Princess and the Fig ($14), a masculine punch of rye coiled around a balsamic fig shrub and orange liqueur. Other notables include the rather ethereal La Dolce Vita ($12), prosecco-coerced fresh strawberry and Campari, or perhaps the after-dinner intentioned Paris on Ponce ($13), devised with pecan-infused bourbon and sweet potato syrup. And be sure to keep an eye out for specials, especially around Valentine’s Day, because I wouldn’t be surprised to see something featuring gin and a raspberry-rose shrub…shhh. 

 

Still, if there's a tour de force cocktail at Lady Slipper, it's Phae's Forest, Shamblin's stunning “shared” drink experience served in a clear glass decanter with Tanqueray gin, Lillet Blanc, orange bitters and honey, embellished with a terrarium of fresh seasonal plant life that could include but is not limited to fresh mint, sorrel, rosemary, raspberries, blackberries, cucumber, green apple and citrus peel. The drink is a showpiece and is worth the trip alone.

The food menu is meant to be shared, a tapas experience with myriad small plates perfect for just about any situation. Solis’ experience and passion for travel shine throughout the menu. His Miami upbringing is evident, with hints of an affinity for a mashup of Southern soul and both classic French and Mediterranean cooking. The menu reads like an edible atlas of sorts, starting in Arkansas with delectable Beets ($10), bright cubes of earthy gems nestled against cultured cream and fresh watercress; then it’s off to the coast of Sicily for Octopus ($24), poached and slightly charred in a delicate honey glaze, then served over black lentils and a bright and happy chimichurri. Of course, Spanish tapas screams shareable, and the archetypes of Crispy Potatoes ($9), a large mound of fried potatoes smothered in tomato-paprika and garlic aioli sauces, along with a bowl of delightfully sour Citrus-Marinated Olives ($6) are all represented at Lady Slipper.

 

French cuisine also has a place here, and the bistro-represented Steak Tartare ($18) is served classically in a round mold with caper remoulade and homemade crackers — all delicious, but I would be extra satisfied with a bag of Solis’ crackers to-go. The menu weaves in and out of place and culture, but perhaps my favorite of all is the very domestic Smash Burger ($12), an adorable stratification of juicy, fried beef patty supporting pickles, bacon and the only cheese that gives the best, most accomplished melt: American. This one is a must, whether early in the evening or late at night when sustenance is mandatory for survival; the Lady Slipper Smash Burger is nothing short of exquisite.

 

One can expect the menu to reflect chef Solis’ fancy, as well as the seasons, so be sure to ask about nightly specials no matter how often you make it your destination for dinner or sips. On a recent trip, I thoroughly enjoyed a crispy monolith-shaped fritter that yielded a delightfully loud crunch beneath creamy, delicate pork. It was part of the nightly special, and I was lucky to catch it that evening. Desserts are perfectly abridged, featuring Caramelized Apple Bread Pudding ($8) and Chocolate Mousse ($9), devised of dark custard with toasty hazelnuts and Amaretto.  

 

Undoubtedly, Lady Slipper was designed to simultaneously nurture and entertain, and it does all of that and more, but perhaps most importantly, it does it in a manner that ensures that guests and operators alike have fun.   

Valentine's Special cocktail, Talking Hearts

The Princess and the Fig

Classic Vesper Martini

La Dolce Vita

SHARE THIS STORY

bottom of page