Dizzy’s Works Hard to Fill Void Left by Vermillion’s Demise

Dizzy’s Gypsy Bistro
200 Commerce St., Little Rock

(501) 375-3500

Cuisine: “Italian Greek and American Comfort Food”

Dress Code: None

Noise Level: Low

Price Range: $6.95-$29

Reservations: Seven or more same day

Receipts: N/A


Although Mike Selig’s Vermillion is a tough act to follow, Dizzy’s Gypsy Bistro makes a valiant effort.

We arrived around 11:30 at Dizzy’s in downtown Little Rock. Although the space the restaurant occupies hasn’t changed structurally since Vermillion made its home there, the décor is vastly different. Colorful trinkets and ornate objects abound.

We chose a table against the wall, mostly for the soft glow of an elaborate dinner lamp. Though light still poured through the large windows across the room, we imagine this lamp would offer soft but ample dinner lighting.

A server greeted us shortly after we sat and returned just as promptly with our order. And here’s another aspect we liked about Dizzy’s: even the glasses, etched with an eclectic design, contribute to the relaxed but whimsical ambiance.

We began our lunch with the Wimberly Shan’s Spinach and Artichoke Dip ($8.99), a hefty portion of creamy dip mixed with mozzarella and parmesan cheeses. The fresh and colorful chips crackled nicely. We’re sticklers about fresh chips. Nothing ruins an appetizer like stale chips. We must also note that this dish could easily serve seven or eight people, so beware.

Hands down, the most impressive dish we ordered was the Pamela Joyce’s Truffle Ravioli. The cheese ravioli arrived immersed in a decadent truffle cream sauce with sun-dried tomatoes and tender chucks of chicken. The chef chose an accent herb of fresh tarragon, which pairs brilliantly with an egg-based pasta.

Another of our party ordered the Heritage Smoked Turkey sandwich ($8.99), which Dizzy’s served with garlic mayo, hot pepper cheese, tomato and onion on a kaiser bun. The diner enjoyed the sandwich more than the fries, which didn’t dazzle her. Despite a sprinkling of parmesan cheese, the fries lacked flavor.

The Jack, Pico and Guacamole burger ($9.99) provided an interesting twist on the classic lunch offering. We particularly appreciated the artisan bun on which the patty was presented. In addition to stale chips, we also loathe buns that disintegrate from burger grease. This bun remained intact for our chewing pleasure.

For dessert, our party shared the Looking for Ms. Goodrich offering ($7.95), a double chocolate cake dipper served with a cup of Gevalia Colombian coffee with whipped cream and a shot of Kahlua or Bailey’s on the side. The tasty treat satisfied our collective sweet tooth.

The restaurant’s location downtown and the pleasant and fairly quiet atmosphere make it a fine spot for a business lunch meeting. The server was pleasant, and we were in and out in about an hour.

We’ll definitely be back for the truffle ravioli.

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