Hjem Restaurant 


Blinis, spekeskinke, tyttebaer applesauce, lefse crisps — it's the little things that put Norway into this Norwegian bistro on the square. It's a chic, pricey little place — so little in fact that it will lose about a third of its space when winter comes and outside seating won't work — with some excellent food. If you're poor like us, you can order an appetizer and a salad and be satisfied; if you're a Tyson or a Hunt or a Walton or other Northwest Arkansas-rich, go ahead and have the 10-ounce marbled Wagyu beef ribeye ($36) or the wild Alaskan sockeye salmon ($28) or the fresh grilled mackerel ($27). The burger is $12, but delicious, Wagyu served on a fresh lovely brioche with spinach, slices of beet and juniper mayo. We tried the cornmeal blinis with creme fraiche and salmon caviar; the salmon eggs were fishier and less salty than the beluga to which we are, ahem, accustomed. A blackberry, goat cheese and bacon salad in a balsamic vinaigrette was unusual; the blackberries could have been sweeter and the bacon less smokey, but it was a tasty and quite creative concoction. Cloudberries made for a heavenly dessert: They topped a cheesecake on a rosemary-infused shortbread crust. We hesitated a bit on the rosemary, but our tastebuds quit expecting the flavor of beef to follow the herb and the crust grew on us. We ate too well to sample the thin-sliced apple-smoked duckbreast sandwich our teen-aged companion had, but she nodded her approval of it. Pronounce it "yem" and go for the "yum." 1 E. Center St. 479-966-4344. LD Tue.-Sat. $$$. Wine and beer.


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