Arkansas is known for being “The Natural State.” I love living here and experiencing everything it has to offer. One of my favorite things to do is frequently visit a town called Fayetteville. It’s located 45minutes North of Fort Smith (my hometown). I came across the gem known as Ella’s a few years ago and I’ve been wanting to go back ever since. I recently got that opportunity. Ella’s is located at The Inn at Carnal Hall in Fayetteville, AR. I’ll be doing a post about my stay there, but today we’re going to talk about comfort food. My new friend and Executive Chef, Jonathan Morrow, knows a lot about good food. So Laura, Luke, and myself ventured to NWA in search of southern cuisine!
Make your way through the entrance of Carnal Hall into the Historic entry way to find a black door with Ella’s inscribed above it. Enter and you immediately check yourself as I felt underdressed. The elegance radiates from the moment you enter – you know you’re in for a good meal. Chef sat us down and told us we would be sampling an all new menu not yet released.
We were in for a four course Chef’s tasting that included Spring Berry Salad, Shrimp & Scallop Cakes, Trout, and a Marinated Pork Chop. After traveling all day, all I wanted to do was eat and I couldn’t wait to do it.
The first three samples were amazing, and then my favorite of all favorites. The Pork Chop. I don’t know about you guys, but I’ve had some amazing Pork Chops in my life. This one has to be one of my favorites. Chef Jonathan let me inside the kitchen to see how it was made before we tasted it. Let me tell ya, it makes me hungry all over again to look at these images!
Sous Chef starts by seasoning a Pork Chop from Cypress Valley Farms in Hot Springs, AR. After seasoning the throws it on the grill for a moderate cooking time, then into the oven until baked to perfection!
Then Boom! One of the best Pork Chops I’ve ever eaten. It’s served with Bre compound butter, side of succotash including: red & green lentils, fennel, scallions, corn and asparagus, all from local farmers market.
Chef Jonathan and his team were amazing to work with, not to mention the food was heavenly. Chef had his initial start at Ella’s then transferred to many other local restaurants such as Meridienne Bistro and Tuck & Trotter. He then returned to Ella’s presenting his signature style blending French Cuisine and Southern Find Dining.
Ella’s is open daily with brunch on Saturday and Sunday. If you’re in the area, stop by and tell my new friends at Ella’s HI.
This post would not be complete without me on my phone and a few images of what I wore…