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story.lead_photo.caption Lynn Atkins/The Weekly Vista Abby Milam saw an opportunity in Bella Vista for a new restaurant, The Veggie Table, which emphasizes fresh, locally grown vegetables, although there's also meat on her menu.

BELLA VISTA --When Abby Milam returned to Northwest Arkansas to be closer to her parents, she realized there were opportunities in the Bentonville area.

Her experience as a chef in fine dining establishments, brought her to Louise at the Bentonville Air Field. When her rental house was suddenly sold, she bought a house in Bella Vista and realized she loved the area.

But Bella Vista needs more restaurants, she said, so she decided to open her own.

The Veggie Table isn't vegetarian, she said, but it is healthy and fun.

"This is how we ate growing up," she said. With enough vegetable options, you don't need as much meat, and most Americans probably eat too much meat.

As a child, her entire family loved to cook. She remembers her father waking her up at five in the morning just to taste his new biscuit recipe. She was the only one to cook professionally though.

The vegetables will be fresh with the menu changing seasonally. There's a summer salad with cabbage, red leaf lettuce, charred corn, avocado and tomato and a Waldorf chicken salad on an oat waffle.

People will be able to bring home some of their favorite vegetables, with a small Farmer's Market along one wall.

Milam had some help from a neighboring business, Audrey's Resale Shop, when it came time to furnish her new restaurant. The tables and chairs in the center of the room came from Audrey's, along with a collection of teapots and teacups that will be used to serve both tea and desserts. The large booths on the other side of the store came from the AQ Chicken House in Fayetteville.

She'll be serving hot tea, coffee, wine and beer, and hopes to provide a comfortable spot for friends to meet.

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Lynn Atkins/The Weekly Vista Abby Milam found many of the furnishings for her new restaurant, the Veggie Table, at a neighboring business, Audrey's Resale Shop.

Lynn Atkins may be reached by email at [email protected]

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