By Todd Barron @ FoodieCuisine.com
My wife and I went to dinner in Little Rock’s Rivermarket district over the weekend and decided to eat at Bosco’s Restaurant and Brewing Co. Bosco’s has been in the Rivermarket for several years and is one of the few places around Little Rock that brews their own beer. They are primarily a restaurant but call themselves a “Restaurant for Beer Lovers” since they focus a lot of energy on the micro-brewery they have.
Their homemade beers are some of the best in the state and have great flavor to them. They change the beers offered around quite a bit so you can expect to find something new to try every few months. For dinner my wife had the Downtown Brown ($4.50) which is a strong and flavorful dark beer. They have many other choices including a sampler which gives you all of their beers in shot glass sizes for trying out. I recommend ordering it if you have never had their beer.
The restaurant is dark inside with booths and tables to choose from. There is a large bar to one side while the restaurant is on the other side. There also exists a brick oven in the back for pizza making and has stools around it to eat at (and to watch them make pizzas.) I’ve never sat around the pizza area but it looks like it could be fun. Overall the bar has a casual feel to it that can be loud but not too much so. The bar can get busy but it does not affect the experience in the restaurant.
For our appetizer we ordered the Smoked Duck Spring Rolls ($7) and for dinner we both ordered the Cedar Planked Salmon ($20). I didn’t get a photo but the Smoked Duck Spring Rolls came out in about 5 minutes and had a nice flavor to them. They were fried till crispy and served on a plate with a slightly spicy red sauce. I wished they served them with more sauce since it tasted so good but it was enough to be pleasing. The spring rolls are small but filled nicely with meat and well balanced. Overall I liked the appetizer and would order it again.
Our dinner arrived about 15 minutes after our appetizer did and both plates look identical. The Cedar Planked Salmon looks like its cooked in the brick oven as the cedar plank it sits on was slightly charred (which was a good thing.) The cedar infused a great flavor into the salmon and the soy glaze over the top was wonderful. I especially like how the seasoning and glaze they used prevents the fish from tasting “fishy”.
As you probably know, salmon is one of those fishes that can be overpowering due to the fat and oil content. At Bosco’s, their cedar salmon dish succeeds in keeping this from being a problem and it results in one of the best filets of salmon you can order in town. The garlic mashed potatoes served on the side were great as well and had a nice texture to them. The only complaint I have is that my grilled asparagus had the texture of wood and was inedible. The asparagus needed about 5 more minutes of cooking. I recommend ordering the salmon if you ever go to Bosco’s and plan on doing so again myself.
For dessert I ordered the Cinnamon Bread Pudding ($6.50) to go as we were tired by this time. It didn’t take long to eat but we had been to a friends birthday party earlier and were ready to go home. I tried it when I got home and was very impressed. The bread pudding didn’t look like much but it tasted great. Especially good was the vanilla ice-cream that had specs of vanilla bean in it. I usually don’t get excited about vanilla ice cream but theirs tasted very good. I recommend ordering this dessert in the future.
Bosco’s is a regional chain with locations in Little Rock, Memphis, Nashville, and Franklin but is small enough to feel like a one of a kind place and changes enough as well. I’ve enjoyed going there for years and plan to keep going there into the future. Give them a try!
The dress is casual and you do not need reservations. I also recommend the Muffaletta sandwich for lunch (they do not have it for dinner for some reason,) and the Black Bean Tamale for dinner. I also like the side of Garlic Fries they offer. They are not healthy but taste great.
Boscos River Market
500 President Clinton Ave.
Little Rock, AR 72201
Hours of Operation
Mon – Thur: 11 AM – 11 PM
Fri – Sat: 11 AM – Midnight
Sun: 10:30 AM – 10 PM