by Leanna K. Potts
124 Spring St.
Dinner 5 to 9 p.m. Wednesdays through Sundays, lounge opens at 3 p.m.
Rogue’s Manor restaurant and inn and is nestled against a rock escarpment at the top of Spring Street in Eureka Springs near the post office. Located in one of late 19th century homes that Eureka Springs is famous for, it is tastefully decked out with all the gingerbread characteristics of that era.
Thirteen years a wing was added on the Sweet Springs’ side of the historic home and Rogue’s Manor restaurant was opened by Smith Treuer and Chef Debbie.
The restaurant is surrounded by an old-fashioned garden with walkways surrounding Sweet Spring grotto. Wooden and glass front doors open to the golden glow of chandeliers reflecting against the burgundy and cobalt blue walls, beaconing diners to come inside. The tavern and restaurant occupy the lower floors of the building with inn rooms on the second floor.
The tavern is located to the back of the building and is extremely enticing. The outside rock escarpment, complete with a small waterfall, can be viewed through a large plate glass wall giving the room a primal, cave-like feel. You can sip single-malt scotch, wine, premium liquors or mixed drinks to your heart’s content. Or, if you just want to kick back with a beer, there are plenty of labels to choose from.
We started our evening with a drink in the tavern. The restaurant doesn’t open until 5 p.m., but the tavern opens at 3 p.m. As we sipped our drinks we talked with Stella, the tavern bartender, about the food and history of Rogue’s Manor and listened to the soulful voice of Billy Holliday and other blues and jazz singers of the ‘20s and ‘30s era. Stella, told us that the owners wanted to create a medieval castle feel and advised us that the meals—especially the steaks and rack of lamb—were absolutely “decadent.” As we soon found out, she was absolutely right!
The main dining area is actually made up of four separate rooms spread throughout the old house. The ceilings are ornate pressed tin. The heavy, burgundy velvet drapes in what was once the main parlor and dining room of the home, lend the atmosphere a posh luxury feel that is warm and comforting. The tables have ample space for the large platters and the tufted-leather, burgundy captain’s chairs add to the comfort.
The dining areas located in the wings of the house both have large windows with beautiful views of the surrounding gardens. Large oil paintings, textiles and artifacts from all over the world hang on the walls. The overall feeling is that of walking into an inn of a bygone era. Diners are enticed to take their time and “dine” rather than rush through their meal. The atmosphere is one of calm, comfort and the food is to be savored.
Our waiter was professional and well versed about the menu. Dinner prices are from $13.95 to 39.95 and include salad, bread, potato or rice and vegetable. I chose the Baked Alaskan Red Sockeye Salmon ($22), which came with a lemon dill sauce. The salmon arrived perfectly done. On the side was a medley of vegetables and wild rice pilaf. It also came with a salad and a small pot of fresh baked whole wheat bread that made one salivate just from the yeasty odor it exuded when it was placed before us.
My dining companion had the Lobster Tail and Filet Combination with the garlic and horseradish mashed potatoes and vegetables. He was more than pleased with both. He commented to the waiter that he had never had such a well-prepared lobster tail; that it literally melted in his mouth with each bite. The steak was so tender it could have been cut with the fork.
This was a dining experience that we both look forward to enjoying once again in the near future.
Stella said many of their patrons come back for the Sea Bass, Seafood Casserole (scallops, shrimp and salmon lightly sautéed with white wine, Sherry and herbs and topped with Hollandaise sauce before being baked) or the rack of lamb and lobster tail combination.
Popular appetizers are the Potted Montrachet (goat cheese, sun-dried tomatoes, artichoke hearts, Kalamata olives and herbs served with toast points) and the Smoked Salmon, which is smoked on site. Also recommended was the Curried Seafood Chowder. There were some equally enticing pasta and chicken dishes including—Tarragon Chicken and Curried Chicken.
The restaurant opens at 5 p.m. with the last seating at 9 p.m. but I suggest getting there early as it begins to fill up by 7 p.m.