By Todd Barron @ FoodieCuisine.com
I went to Bravo! Cucina Italiana at the Promenade in Chenal twice last week for a business lunch on one day and a casual lunch on the other. I usually don’t go to chains very often but after the business lunch on Friday, I took the chance to go again on Sunday with my family. It was a beautiful sunny day and we chose to eat outside in their spacious outdoor eating area. Bravo! has a very nice appearance on the inside (and out) and I must say that I felt a little underdressed in my hole filled jeans and Arkansas Razorbacks T-Shirt, but such is life on a lazy Sunday.
We started with the Grilled Steak Flatbread ($7.99) appetizer that they describe as “Tenderloin, grilled to medium rare and sliced, served over arugula, with red onions, Portobello mushrooms and Reggiano Parmesean cheese”. It came out promptly and reminded me of a huge dorrito (but not in a bad way) topped with arugula, tender steak, caramelized onions, mushrooms, and aged parmesan cheese. The steak was very flavorful and the onions added a nice punch to the bread. It was very good and I had to stop eating it lest I fill up on the appetizer. I also forgot to mention that they brought out fresh warmed bread with a spiced olive oil to dip it in. It was much better than the typical bread and oil appetizer you get at other restaurants and is something I will look forward to in the future.
For my entree I ordered the lasagna and salad combo called the Mezza Lasagna Insalata ($10.99). I opted for the Insalata Della Casa salad as the salad choice. They describe the entree as “Half order of Mama’s Lasagna with choice of Caesar, Chopped or Insalata Della Casa”. The salad that came with it is described as “Chopped greens, cucumber, tomato, bacon, crispy pasta and creamy Parmesan dressing” (Included w/Lasagna; Normally $3.99).
The salad reminds me of a 7-layer salad (a southern dish,) and was exactly as described. Did I mention it was huge? It’s a very large salad and could most likely be a meal in itself if you weren’t very hungry. The parmesan cheese sauce was very creamy and the bacon added a great smoky flavor to the dish. I will definitely order it again!
I was expecting a modest slice of lasagna since I ordered the combination plate but I received a huge piece of lasagna. I can’t imagine what a full order would look like. It had a lot of cheese over it and was heated thoroughly. The meat was on the fatty side and it had too much cheese for my liking. The sauce was okay but nothing exceptional. All in all it wasn’t bad, but it wasn’t great either. It needed less cheese, more spice, and finer meat. I won’t order it again but I will order the salad.
My wife ordered the Pasta Woozie ($11.99) that they describe as “Fettuccine Alfredo with grilled chicken and fresh spinach”. It was a full order and the size represented “full” as it was huge. It also tasted great. The alfredo sauce was cheesy and the pasta had a nice bite to it. The chicken was very tender and the spinach was well seasoned and cooked. I wish I had ordered her dish as I liked it much better than the lasagna.
As an honorable mention I can’t forget that I had the Spaghettini Carbonara ($9.99) for lunch previously and it was very good. The pasta was cooked perfectly and it had a very smooth Parmigiano-Reggiano sauce to it with tender asparagus throughout. My only complaint is that I couldn’t taste the egg. I was expecting a soft-boiled egg on top but that’s not what I received. Overall it had a great flavor to it though and is something I’d order again.
I left lunch (both times,) very satisfied for the money spent and had a good time. I’m quite surprised to find a decent Italian restaurant that is a chain. I normally don’t like chains but Bravo! does a good job and although it doesn’t have the personal touch of a local unique restaurant, they do have good food. I recommend you give them a try.
Promenade at Chenal
17815 Chenal Parkway
Little Rock, AR 72223
(p) 501.821.2485 | (f) 501.821.2486 | Add to Contacts (V-Card)
Hours of Operation
Sunday- Thursday: 11:00 am-10:00 pm
Friday & Saturday: 11:00 am-11:00 pm
BRUNCH – Sundays: 11:00 am-3:00 pm