All that Jon would tell me was that we were going on a weekend road-trip. Without a clue of where we were going, I packed a bag and we headed on the highway Saturday afternoon. Gorgeous fall colored trees lined our way as we drove east. Even when we crossed into Arkansas, I still had no idea where we would end up, but we were really enjoying the drive.
When we pulled up to a picturesque and very romantic bed & breakfast, the Laughlin House, I was struck by how beautiful Bentonville, Arkansas is. And it was barely a 4-hour drive away from OKC. Jon had really found an amazing place for a weekend getaway.
To add to the surprise, we were celebrating my birthday that was about a week away. Jon had made reservations at a restaurant called The Hive, located in the 21c Museum Hotel in the heart of Bentonville.
We had some time before dinner, so we walked down the street to the opening of Compton Gardens that has seemingly endless hiking trails (about 40 miles worth) and is adjacent to the Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art. The trail leading to the museum winded through a stunning forest with a glimpse of a river at nearly every turn. There were many families gathering at various spots to take holiday photos among the garden’s perfect fall backdrop.
Dinner at The Hive was an amazing experience. 21c Museum Hotel is really cool, and I’m thrilled that OKC may get one in the near future. The lobby resembles a hotel, and a long hallway with connecting rooms contains various art exhibits from around the world.
The Hive, located within the hotel, had several works of art on exhibit, but the most eye-catching were the green penguin statues that could be found in random parts of the restaurant.
We quickly learned that your coolness factor went up exponentially when you had one of the penguins join you at your table. Although they were in high demand, Jon was able to grab one for our table, and the penguin definitely added some color to our dining experience.
A tiger crouched on the wall next to our table, made even more dramatic by the lighting.
We loved the food – even the veal marrow bones were interesting. Although he didn’t like the bone marrow as much as I did, Jon got massive points for trying it. I thought the diver scallops were amazing, and although they came with red kuri squash and roasted broccoli, I ordered a side of the roasted brussel sprouts and butternut squash at the recommendation of our waiter. I’ve honestly never eaten vegetables so perfectly roasted and incredibly delicious in my entire life.
Yet another surprise ended our dinner, when an awesome apple crisp topped with salted caramel ice cream came out on a chocolate decorated plate. I made a wish, blew out the candle and, of course, loved every single bite of the dessert.
The Hive is definitely a restaurant I’d love to re-visit, and next time we might want to try it for brunch. Their brunch menu boasts a waffle covered in roasted bananas and chocolate peanut butter sauce. Mmm….
Coolness Factor: Jon – 5.0 Kristin – 5.0
Coolness Factor is a 1 to 5 rating with 1 being “this restaurant needs help!” and 5 being “this restaurant rocks!” – factoring in food, atmosphere, staff and more.