Aquafire Restaurant and Bistro
New establishment for esteemed chef heats up Dickson Street
Posted: October 28, 2012 at 6 a.m.
A new name on Dickson Street is circulating among the ranks of the most popular restaurants in Northwest Arkansas.
Aquafire Restaurant and Bistro, located where the 36 Club reigned for 20 years, presents a contemporary menu with moderate pricing that makes it ideal for anything from a special occasion to a spontaneous drop-in meal.
Aquafire is open for lunch and dinner Tuesday-Saturday and closes in the afternoon from 2-5 p.m. Flavorful house specialties include maytag bleu tomato salad, roasted duck burrito and local trout cakes.
The daytime menu offers expanded sandwich options, including a crispy cod sandwich and a grilled chicken club.
The evening menu includes richer entrees, such as sauteed sea scallops, wild boar scaloppini and a grilled filet mignon.
Aquafire is owned and operated by seasoned chef Randy McGuffin, former owner of Blackboards and Basil’s restaurants. McGuffin marries decades of knowledge and experience with innovative trends utilizing high-quality local ingredients. His culinary creations are naturally flavored, and the items listed on the menu craft a sensory craving for the guests.
Fresh-baked bread is complemented by house-infused strawberry butter. Appetizers include fried oysters with fire-roasted green chili sauce and a chipotle cream; local trout cakes with shrimp tarter sauce; and fillo dough-wrapped brie with a peach-cherry chutney.
The fresh fruit and berry salad tops mixed greens with strawberries, blueberries, mangos, apples and roasted walnuts — all served with a side of raspberry vinaigrette.
Entrees range from a seafood pan stew with lobster, grouper and shrimp simmered in a saffron wine broth with tomatoes, squash, zucchini and bowtie pasta; red wine and rosemary-braised buffalo brisket with whipped potatoes and green beans; and roasted vegetable crepes with a truffled brie mornay.
A number of dishes have become staples on the menu, but McGuffin is inclined to present a variety of options to keep the menu fresh and interesting. Each week, he re-evaluates what is offered in effort to maintain a balance of selections to satisfy the guests.
Many restaurants change out their menu a few times a year or seasonally. At Aquafire, McGuffin and staff work closely so that a few new dishes can be perfected and offered on a much faster rotation.
Aquafire is now taking reservations for all hours and private parties from 15-70 guests. There is no room fee and the menu can be catered to fit the needs of the guests. More information is available by calling (479) 442-9682 or online at facebook.com/aquafirerestaurantandbistro.