Haven 55 is a ca­sual fine din­ing oa­sis

Go to Haven 55 for the de­li­cious Amer­i­can Re­gional cui­sine, stay for the view

Northwest Arkansas Democrat-Gazette - - FEATURE ARTICLE - BY ADDI MCNEEL NWA DEMO­CRAT-GAZETTE

Haven 55 is set on a cliff­side where you can view cas­cad­ing wa­ter­falls and peo­ple over in Camp­ground at the Falls play­ing in Lit­tle Sugar Creek. From the out­side, Haven 55 just looks like a charm­ing lit­tle mom and pop shop that would be fun to stop by and wan­der in on a road trip. But in­side is where the magic hap­pens. Open the doors and the floor-to-ceil­ing win­dows in the back re­veal a peace­ful oa­sis. Take a seat, or­der a drink and re­lax while the chef pre­pares ev­ery­thing from scratch.

Haven 55 has only been open since June of 2012, but its his­tory goes way be­yond half a decade. The restau­rant and Tav­ern, which opened a year later, is on the site of the old Haven­hurst Mill. The mill was built in 1868 and re­mained in op­er­a­tion un­til al­most a cen­tury later when it burned in 1962. Years later the build­ing was made into a restau­rant. Ex­ec­u­tive chef, Alan Bone, de­cided to lease the build­ing when the op­por­tu­nity arose and turned it into what is now known as Haven 55.

Chef Bone stud­ied at the Or­lando Culi­nary Academy where he grad­u­ated with the high­est honor of summa cum laude. When peo­ple ask his mother, back of­fice man­ager Pam Bone, how they were able to get a Le Cor­don Bleu chef to come to the small town of Pineville, Mis­souri, Bone just laughs and replies, “Well, he was born and raised two miles from here.” Chef Bone stud­ied un­der mul­ti­ple chefs and worked with pro­fes­sion­als for eight years be­fore de­cid­ing to move back to his home­town and open up his own restau­rant.

The Amer­i­can Re­gional cui­sine nods its head to the chef ’s Le Cor­don Bleu ex­pe­ri­ence with its use of sauces in the pre­pared dishes. One steak is served with a creamy, crum­bled bleu cheese sauce for a ten­der, melt-in­y­our-mouth ex­pe­ri­ence. An­other steak is plated on a wine re­duc­tion with shal­lots for a more sa­vory bite. The chick­ens can come with de­lec­ta­ble sauces as well. One chicken dish, the name­sake “Haven 55,” is served with a creamy por­to­bello sauce. An­other is served with a wine re­duc­tion with ar­ti­chokes and mush­rooms. The prices don’t al­ways match the del­i­cacy of the food ei­ther, in the best pos­si­ble way. One could or­der a 16 oz. prime cut New York Strip with two sides for only $25 – and the beau­ti­ful view of the cas­cad­ing wa­ter­falls and creek are com­pletely free!

Al­though the fare is mostly up­scale, there are a few south­ern-style fried foods avail­able

on the menu, like the hand-cut pommes frites, and fried green beans. Ev­ery Tues­day Haven 55 has a fried cat­fish din­ner avail­able, which is served as an en­tire, large filet in­stead of those small strips in­di­vid­u­ally fried.

The menu is lim­ited with only eight en­trees, but Tues­day, Wed­nes­day and Fri­day nights have ad­di­tional din­ner menu items added as a spe­cial, like the fried cat­fish on Tues­days, prime rib on Wed­nes­days and fresh catch on Fri­days. For lunch, cus­tomers can try a va­ri­ety of sand­wiches like the Croque Mon­sieur, a Salmon BLT, and a BBQ pulled pork sand­wich. Noth­ing on the menu is pre-cooked. It’s fresh, and made to or­der the sec­ond a cus­tomer de­cides to get that dish. But noth­ing worth hav­ing comes easy. The meal might take a lit­tle longer on busy nights to reach the cus­tomer be­cause the chef doesn’t start cook­ing un­til it is or­dered so that pa­trons get the fresh­est meal pos­si­ble. Be­cause of this, seat­ing is ev­ery thirty min­utes to en­sure the best pos­si­ble ser­vice and food.

Next door to Haven 55, in the same build­ing, is The Tav­ern, where cus­tomers can grab a drink while wait­ing for a ta­ble in Haven 55 or just to wind down. It has more ca­sual bar fare, like burg­ers and pizza, but even those items will be made with great de­tail as well.

The Tav­ern has a large wood fired brick oven to cook piz­zas in and a good se­lec­tion of do­mes­tic and im­ported beer. It is only open Fri­day and Satur­day from 5 p.m. To 1:30 a.m., but each night has a spe­cial event. On Fri­days they have live mu­sic and Satur­days are Karaoke night, so come pre­pared for a great time.

The dic­tio­nary def­i­ni­tion of “Haven” is a place of safety or refuge. Upon look­ing at what the Bones have built here, it is un­der­stand­able why. The serene views and com­fort­ing food cre­ate an at­mos­phere un­ri­valed. So ven­ture on out, drive on up, and find refuge in Haven 55.

Haven 55 is open Tues­day through Satur­day from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. for lunch and 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. For din­ner. To view Haven 55’s lunch and din­ner menu, or to find out about any clos­ings and more visit Haven55.com.

SPE­CIAL TO NWA DEMO­CRATGAZETTE

Haven 55 of­fers many fine din­ing plates in a ca­sual set­ting. Lunch and din­ner menus are avail­ble on­line at Haven55.com

The cat­fish at Haven 55 is avail­able on Tues­days and is pre­pared as one large cat­fish fil­let with two sides avail­able.

SPE­CIAL TO NWA DEMO­CRAT-GAZETTE

At Haven 55, each meal is made-to-or­der, so the seat­ing ar­range­ment is ev­ery 30 min­utes to en­sure the best qual­ity of ser­vice and the fresh­est food.

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