Experiencing Great Restaurants and Delicious Libations


Eleven at Crystal Bridges – Bentonville AR

in the Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art

600 Museum Way Bentonville AR

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I am going out on a limb and saying that this must be the most expensive building ever built for a museum cafeteria. It spans the river (forming one of the Crystal Bridges), with tension cables holding up the wood arched roof framing spaced far enough apart to put bands of skylights between them The side walls are frameless glass panels inset into the floor spanning up to the underside of the wood arches beams. Smaller glass pieces angle out in-between the wood arched frames to complete the enclosure.

Serving hamburgers, fries, ice cream, chicken salad fruit plate, and other cafeteria food. You place your order and are given a plastic card with a number on it that you are instructed to place in the metal stand in the middle of your table. Runners bring your food to the table when it is ready. What a juxtaposition sitting in the spectacular space that must have cost tens of millions of dollars.

Oh, yes the chicken salad and fruit plate was good.

My blog post of the Crystal Bridges Museum

My blog post of the Interior and the Art Collection of the Museum

Eleven at Crystal Bridges Website

The Hive – Bentonville AR

Visited April 27-30 2013

Located in the 21c Museum Hotel, Bentonville AR

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The Hive lounge and dining room are an extension of the 21c Museum Hotel’s gallery display space. ¬†Among the paintings, sculpture and photos on the wall, it also appears to be the display space for the “artsy” guests in the hotel. It was full on a saturday night, overflowing into the breakout space of the banquet / special events room.

The drinks are professionally prepared by top notch bartenders ( with one exception – an obnoxious guy that thought he was funny, and nobody else did). The food was really good, although the menu is somewhat limited in selection. First night I had skate, I thought it was a little overcooked. The second night I had salmon, perfectly prepared. Both nights I had the Cavatelli appetizer, which was prepared differently each night (first night was better with the wide parm shaving over the top). Dessert was a chocolate smorgasbord on a plate.

The artwork is impressive, and I did not realize how impressive until the second night I had a chance to look more closely at the pieces. The Rhino is made of wooden matchsticks, the moose is made of table legs, and the tiger is a “time-lapse” sculpture made of construction barrels.

I recommend staying for several nights, you will appreciate the drinks, the food and the artwork much more.

My blog post of the Hotel

My blog post of the Hotel Guest Room

The Hive website