Ristorante Capeo offers simple Italian dishes made with the freshest ingredients prepared in an open kitchen. Seeing a void for Italian dining in this area, Eric Isaac and his brother, Brian, opened this restaurant more than 17 years ago. Chef Eric trained in various regions throughout Italy, cultivating a passion for the food and wines.
Capeo’s menu endeavors to share a taste of this passion and presentation. Some menu items just come out of nowhere while others evolve over time.
Eric started his cooking career at the age of 14 when he was hired to wash dishes at the Ramada Inn's restaurant in Batesville, AR, his home town. On his first day, one of the cooks quit, so on his second day he was promoted. A couple of weeks after he was trained, the head cook who trained him quit. So it was just Eric for quite some time. After attending UCA, he moved around and ended up at Cassinelli's in North Little Rock. That changed everything for him. After four years or so, Eric was able to attend culinary school in the Piedmont region of Italy and worked in Liguria for a while. When he got home, Eric started saving his money and talked Brian into partnering up. They rolled up their sleeves and renovated a one-hundred-plus year old building at 425 Main St.. Argenta wasn't as we know it today. The brothers’ uncle owned the building. It was condemned and he said they could have it cheap, but they had to do the work on it themselves. That meant major cleanup. They literally dug dirt out to make the wine cellar and poured the concrete floors. Eric built the bar and cabinets. It took a year and a half.
Ristorante Capeo is named after a restaurant where Eric worked in Italy. It was on a mountaintop looking over the coastal town of Chiavari and the Mediterranean Sea. It's in the Liguira region, locally called the Italian Riviera.