Incorporating local, seasonal flavors has been a huge part of Tusk & Trotter’s success since they opened just off the Bentonville square in mid-2011. For a restaurant with a meat-centric menu like Tusk & Trotter, there may be no better season than fall.
One of the things that will standout quickly is the heavy incorporation of duck and foie gras to the menu. Both blend perfectly with fall seasonal flavors and is a bit of a welcome departure from the pork dishes the spot is known for. The new “Gumbeau” brings duck into a traditional gumbo. You can also catch it on the Air & Water which combines a striped bass seared in duck fat and topped with foie gras butter. It is a great blending of the two meat categories.
Throughout the menu there is a great integration of local products. A new cheesesteak graces the entrees using Kent Walker Cheese out of Little Rock. Arkansas farm cooperative, Grass Roots, provides a number of items like the ham chop on the Farmhouse, and the ground lamb on fan-favorite Teeree burger. You will also find a good deal of pork from Bansley Berkshire, located just outside Harrison. Bansley has gradually become a favorite source of pork on most restaurants around the state for good reason.
“We really love being able to work with local producers to develop a menu,” owner and chef Rob Nelson tells us. “There are some great new items on this menu that we are excited to roll out.”
Fall is not all about the meat however. A nice poached pear salad incorporates local hydroponic greens with pears that are usually very good around this time of year. For something a bit more filling there is also the Ozark Autumn Flatbread pizza that features local apples, pears, and figs along with a number of greens and cheeses. It might not be full on vegetarian (thanks to the cheese), but it is a fantastic meatless option.
Probably the best part of Tusk & Trotter has always been their charcuterie boards. The menu standard Charcuterie and Cheese board is joined this time around by a much lighter biscuits and jelly that is worth checking out. The starter keeps with the foie gras theme of the menu with a tasty, salted, foie gras torchon. It is paired with pepper jelly, and thrown together on a buttermilk biscuit it may be the best snack on the menu.
The new menu starts today (Oct 11), and is a fairly substantial menu overhaul that has more than 10 new items and a number of reincarnations of previous dishes. Get in and check it out.