Those of us with the bug are all feeling it…that scraping behind the skull, an uncomfortable-ness with status-quo. Some of us pull up stakes and load-out the covered wagon in search of Peoria, others of us join the Navy rescue-swimmers, still others of us set our sights on college and the great beyond.
In true ‘Mullins’ fashion, we don’t just simply put the down payment on Harley’s and tattoos, instead Kim and I have jumped full-on skinny-dip style into the restaurant business. Yes, after years and years of instagraming, learning, reading, studying we decided to put my culinary chops to the test and hung out our shingle in the great booming metropolis, Clarksville, Arkansas.
For you culinary types, a word of warning…opening a restaurant is less about your mad chef skills and more about paying taxes, organizing wait-staff, ordering kegs, and making sure the damn place is clean. All of which I have to give credit to Kim. I’ve had the easy part so far. Kim has been taking on the stress full-shouldered into the wheel, and I have to say she is REALLY good at it. I can’t believe the things this crazy woman can do. All that and she still runs home and sets the mouse-traps.
I sit at the airport now, trying to catch a few ‘Zs’, and painstakingly muscle my way through a more permanent menu concept. It’s not where I want it to be yet. It’s amazing how just scratching in a few ideas can be so painful. Here’s what I have so far….
- Filet de Puree:
Two perfectly grilled Black Angus filet medallions with a smooth chimichurri, fresh seasonal vegetables, and a seasonal root-puree!
File’s like all red meats go well with just about anything. For some reason, I like this one with something fruity. Yeasty and Hoppy beers both work well, but Big House Chardonnay is a favorite with the veggies on this one.
- Rosemary Rib Steak
We hand-cut thick rib-eye steak hearts, slide them onto rosemary spears and grill them to perfection. Served with fire spuds and garden veggies.
This one is so versatile, if you are feeling red and mellow, or maybe you need a nice pilsner, either will make you happy, happy, happy.
- Chicken of the Woods
Chef confits leg-quarters for several hours, then sears them till the skin is crispy, crispy, crispy! Covered with woodsy crimini mushrooms and served with fire-spuds, this one is guaranteed to tug at the corners of your mouth.
The richness of this dish should really be paired with a crisp chardonnay, but a deep and mellow Cabernet adds notes to the crimini’s.
Don’t worry folks, I am still working out the fan-faved Mezze platter, and something from the ocean.
A new list of sandwiches are coming as well as an incredible burger! I really fought the whole idea of a burger, but after the introduction of the Foxes special, slider sampler I realize that we really need a classic Clarksville burger. I rolled out the Blue Buffalo, Wild Wagyu and the Elk, and it’s really a tie between the three. If I had to guess the Buffalo is flat killing it, but the Elk is not much behind it. The Elk went over MUCH better than even I had imagined. The lean wild meat pairs really well with slow-sauteed mushrooms, and smoked Gruyere.
The Caprese salad is nearing the end of it’s life. What makes this salad come alive is garden-fresh tomatoes, and fresh garden basil. Without either, there is no real POP to the dish. Rather than try to force it through the winter months with greenhouse tomatoes, I feel it’s more honest to let it sleep until next year when we will most definitely bring it back.
Fall is coming! My favorite time of year….so get ready for some killer soups bound to hit your tastebuds in the very near future!