The monopoly tycoons of the 19th century traditionally did their wheeling and dealing at exclusive restaurants, cleverly concealing the fact that they still lived with their moms. Succeed in launching a delicious experience with today's Groupon: for $30, you get $60 worth of upscale seafood, steaks, and more at Ferneau, located in the heart of the historic Hillcrest neighborhood. Diners must call ahead and reserve a table.
Award-winning chef Donnie Ferneau serves artfully prepared, upscale entrees at his namesake restaurant. Though Ferneau imports daily fresh fish from around the globe, the restaurant also cooperates with local farmers to infuse dishes with regional flavors. Ferneau's dinner menu starts with an array of appetizers, including the A J Poki nachos ($15)—ahi tuna, spicy mayo, and cucumber sunomono crowned atop a plate of wonton chips. Next, munch on an arugula salad ($11) enlivened with apples, candied walnuts, and tangy goat cheese. Seafood solicitors can order the pan-seared grouper ($29), paired with pineapple and ginger relish, and meat mavens can feel as manly as a wooly-mammoth rodeo rider while digging into the 12-ounce rib-eye ($35), served on a bed of smashed potatoes. Elegant evenings are well-capped with a glass of Stags Leap merlot ($11) from Napa Valley or another fermented beverage from Ferneau's page-turning wine list.
Besides the delicious comestibles, Ferneau offers a West Coast–inspired atmosphere, complete with calming blue accents, sleek modern vases, and a spacious dining floor. Ferneau also offers two outdoor patios, so wine sippers and seafood nibblers can enjoy a warm, tranquil evening dining with Mother Nature, dining with their mother, or dining while discussing the nature of mothers with a haunting apparition of Sigmund Freud.
Arkansas Times featured Ferneau, and its readers awarded the restaurant the Best Cocktails of 2007 and Best Wine List of 2006. Wine Enthusiast gave the restaurant an Award of Distinction for 2006 and 2007. OpenTable reviewers gave the restaurant the Diners’ Choice award for Most Booked in Arkansas. Arkansas Democrat-Gazette also featured Ferneau. Yelpers give it an average of 4.5 stars, and OpenTable reviewers give it a 4.4-star average:
- The quality of the food is as good as ever, if not better than it was early on. The atmosphere is still comfortable and welcoming. The service remains excellent. – Eric E. Harrison, Arkansas Democrat-Gazette
- The restaurant was EXCELLENT. The food was great, the atmosphere was wonderful, and the service was exceptional! The staff really went above and beyond to make sure we had a wonderful time. – OpenTable.com reviewer who dined on 07/21/2010
- Third time here. Everytime has been a great experience all around. Creative, fresh,well-seasoned food; comfortable atmosphere; great service every time. – OpenTable.com reviewer who dined on 06/05/2010