Voted one of the best Italian restaurants in Arkansas, DeVito’s of Eureka Springs showcases fresh farm-raised trout and Italian specialties.
Last month I had the opportunity to spend a weekend in Eureka Springs Arkansas. I had never been before, and it’s a pretty easy 3 ½ hour drive from Stillwater. I stayed in a cottage just on the edge of downtown, and easy walking distance to basically everything.
I drove out on Thursday, stopped in Bentonville AR to see the Walmart museum, the Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art, and have a great lunch at Eleven at Crystal Bridges. I called it an early evening Thursday night after dinner at Grotto Wood Fired Grill and Wine Cave. I got a good night’s sleep, and hit the ground running the next morning.
At dinner Thursday, I met a very nice couple who own a clothing and jewelry boutique downtown. They gave me some recommendations of where to eat, including DeVito’s of Eureka Springs, rated one of the top restaurants in town. I walked and window shopped downtown for a couple of hours Friday morning, and went to DeVito’s for lunch.
DeVito’s is a very cute place. Most of the shops and restaurants downtown are small, and DeVito’s is no exception. The restaurant opens at 11:30, which I found odd. I don’t think I’ve ever seen a restaurant that serves lunch and isn’t open by 11am. DeVito’s also closes between lunch and dinner. There is a full bar as you enter, and a doorway leads into a very small dining room. There are only 5 2-top tables, and one 4-top. I realized later in the visit that there is another dining space in the back, beyond the kitchen. There are a few more tables, but I would say the entire place still seats less than 50. DeVito’s has a rooftop patio, but it was closed due to the heat.
Eureka Springs is a very eclectic town, and there are lots of local artists. DeVito’s features quite a few pieces of art on their walls. One of the owners does the art hanging in the front room; the art in back is by other artists, and the pieces change monthly.
DeVito’s has quite a large wine/drink list. It’s rare to get a wine list at lunch, but Eureka Springs is a vacation town, so the rules don’t necessarily apply. I didn’t care for any wine quite that early, so I passed.
My server looks so young! I’m sure he’s in high school, but he looks about 12. I wondered to myself how he would do, and he impressed me. He’s very friendly, knows his stuff, and handled the tables with ease.
The DeVito’s lunch menu is surprisingly large for such a small operation. The menu includes appetizers, salads, sandwiches, from the grill, and pastas. The pastas offer several options for toppings and/or sauces. The sauces and bread are prepared in-house daily.
I don’t do well with large menus, so I decided to start with toasted ravioli while I reviewed entree options
The ravioli is fantastic. The breading is light and crispy, and very flavorful. The sauce is a little thicker than regular marinara, and you can tell that it is homemade. The ravioli is not scorching hot, but burning your mouth with scalding hot cheese is not fun.
When I moved to Oklahoma from Maryland, I refused to eat seafood for the first year. I finally gave in, and will eat seafood, but I am still very particular about it. So I’m honestly not sure why the smoked trout BLT caught my eye. I looked at everything else, but my eyes continued to go back to the trout. When I tossed out the trout option to my server, he immediately said anything with trout I would be very happy. I still wasn’t totally convinced, until he said that their trout is locally farmed by the owner’s brother, and comes in daily. I decided to be very adventurous and go with it. The sandwiches come with your choice of pasta salad, potato salad, or chips. My server raved about the potato salad, which made my decision an easy one.
I must have glossed over the word “smoked” in the menu because I was caught completely off-guard by the smoked fish. Smoked trout is definitely too dry for my tastes, but the sandwich itself is delicious.
I was impressed with the amount of bacon, and the bread is nicely grilled. The sandwich definitely needs some kind of dressing. I considered asking, then changed my mind and decided to power through. After just a couple more bites, I changed my mind again. I stressed to the server that it was my personal taste, not the sandwich. He brought both mayo and his personal favorite, a horseradish sauce. The horseradish sauce was fabulous. It has a kick, but is not overpowering. I used some of both, and it completely changed the texture of the sandwich.
The potato salad is outstanding. Big chunks of creamy potatoes, and the sauce is extremely flavorful. I could easily devour a huge bowl of the potato salad. My server said he eats it for breakfast every day, and has since since he started working here. I understand why.
Will I go back? Definitely. I want to sit on the rooftop patio, and try some of the different dishes on the menu.