The Pinecrest Bed and Breakfast Asheville NC

Archive for the ‘Asheville Dining’ Category

Fabulous Meal at Ambrozia Bar and Bistro

April 7th, 2014 by stacy

ambrozia_1We have kept very busy this winter checking out new restaurants and bars and circling back around with a few of our well-established, tried and true local favorites. I have to say we have savored some stellar food and sipped more than a few delectable cocktails over the last several weekends.

This past weekend we had a fabulous meal at Ambrozia Bar and Bistro, as did a good number of our guests of the Inn.  Sipping coffee on Sunday morning and chatting about the previous night’s experiences, everyone agreed that the food was remarkable, delicious and the chef very talented.

Ambrozia Bar and Bistro opened its doors earlier this year and is located in the fine dining desert of Asheville: a.k.a. North Asheville. The chef, Sam Etheridge recently relocated to Asheville from Albuquerque, New Mexico. His intention was to reincarnate his previous award winning restaurant in New Mexico and add a southern twist. I think it’s important to mention that several folks from his restaurant in N.M. decided to follow in his footsteps and also relocated to Asheville. Together, they have created a great venue.

Oftentimes, new restaurants are plagued with service issues and it takes some time before they gain a steady service footing.  We experienced excellent service; the staff was friendly and the attention to the customer’s needs received high marks.  There was a real sense of fluid motion and thoughtful customer service that usually comes only with a seasoned restaurant.

The focus is farm to table with an emphasis on seasonal ingredients. The bar is wine focused and extensive but not ambrozia_2overly pricey. We enjoyed a lovely, reasonably priced Tempranillo. The wine was so delicious; we are now eagerly searching local purveyor’s inventory to purchase some bottles for enjoyment at home.  The menu includes snacks, platters, small plates and suppers.

We started off with the Beet salad – rosemary infused goat cheese, orange, watercress and vanilla-bean vinaigrette.  Hands down the best beet salad I have ever had. It was so creatively presented.  The Brussel sprouts -Benton’s bacon, Texas Pete Cha, compressed apples and preserved lemon crème fraiche were so delicious we had to order another plate after scarfing the first down.  The Sea scallop carbonara with fresh fettuccini, Benton’s bacon, English pea puree, parmesan foam and a 63 degree egg was out of this world.  The scallops were perfectly prepared.  Again, the creativity and the presentation were executed fabulously.  The Steak frite was a flat iron with smoked fries and a house steak sauce with gorgonzola aiollo and brussel sprout slaw.  The steak was prepared perfectly and the sauce delicious.

Several guests have told me that the Dirty burger which includes seared foie gras and fried egg and truffle fries is out of this world. Also, the NC Ahi Tuna 3 ways has been highly recommended by reputable sources who have also enjoyed their trip to Ambrozia.

We were all impressed with the presentation, taste and delivery of all our meals. Ambrozia is definitely a must visit and a great addition to the vibrant food scene in Asheville.

Find more great restaurant reviews at our Asheville Bed & Breakfast Blog. For reservation information, visit http://pinecrestbb.com/reservations/ or call 888-811-3053.

 

Our Epicurean Wonderland Gets Bigger…Nightbell Cocktail Lounge Joins the Party

March 25th, 2014 by stacy

food 2We are so spoiled by living in the epicurean wonderland that is Asheville.  Unfortunately, because of this it takes a lot to wow us these days — even with so many excellent restaurants and watering holes to choose from.  Irregardless, we feel it is incumbent upon us,  in the name of service to our guests, to research every nook, cranny,  bistro and cafe — leaving no new establishment unturned. Not snow or sleet, I digress…

As if she needed any more press, Katie Button’s new cocktail lounge, Nightbell, down on South Lexington Avenue, and right behind her restaurant Curate, turns out to be a classy, intimate setting that honors the traditional art of cocktails.

We were there on the early side of a Saturday night and so the mood was mellow and good for conversation.  Word on the street is that it really picks up later in the evening and the space around the bar could get a bit mosh-y, but in a lively, friendly sort of way.

Whatever your culinary desire, you will not have any difficulty finding something savory or sweet.  The “savory” offerings are served up in small plate portions and include hush puppies (with a honey, mustard dipping sauce), fish and chips, a lobster roll and duck and waffles (duck confit and an airy waffle).  We partook in the oysters which came with tinctures of lemon, garlic, fennel, thyme and horseradish, but some around our circle of friends much prefer the whole and unadulterated version of accompaniments.

On the sweeter side, you can have anything from root beer floats (vanilla bourbon and nitro coulant, with tart cherry and a house root beer syrup spiked with bourbon), dark and stormy cocktails (a frozen treat layered with rum, roasted pineapple, ginger beer, grilled lime, five spice and mint) to a mascarone cheesecake in morello cherry, chocolate forest and pistachio moss or petit fors.

Cutting to the chaser — Cocktails, old classics, new perspectives and out of the ordinary are the main attraction here.  The food 3focal point of the establishment is the walk up bar.  We had an (okay, maybe two)  old-fashions (with Redemption Rye and an iceburg cube – done right), a Negroni,  a Rye Sling (made with Bulleit Rye and chai infused cocchi di torino).  All great examples of what a cocktail can be in the hands of a talented tender and a little creativity.

A smaller, by Asheville standards, collection of beers (6 draft/6 bottle) and wine(a diverse palette palate of 6 – 10 selections) is offered, but nonetheless a diverse lineup to whet any discerning (or just thirsty) whistle.

The ambiance is sophisticated.  The lighting is on the darker side and there are cushioned seats toward the back with small tables to set your work of potion art down.  A perfect setting for close friends or even a romantic date if you time it right.  Straight to the top of the charts, this Asheville establishment should be put on your list as a must visit.  In honor of the cocktail.

For more on our restaurant reviews and outings around town, visit our blog at http://pinecrestbb.com/blog/.  Our Bed & Breakfast is dedicated to enhancing your culinary experience while visiting, both here with our farm to table breakfasts and around Asheville.  For reservations at our Award Winning Asheville Inn, call 888-811-3053.

 

A Look at Asheville’s Vibrant River Arts District

February 21st, 2014 by stacy

The Asheville River Arts  District, or RAD as it’s called, is the best place to dig up a big heaping slice of Asheville and shop for great art to boot. Visitors can watch local artists as they create one of a kind masterpieces right before your eyes. RAD has studios of almost every imaginable kind, most open 7 days a week, all year long. You name it; it’s all here from art galleries and pottery studios to doggie day care, hair salons, night life, bakeries, a theater, restaurants and more. Plus wellness workshops, painting and photography classes, lectures and almost else anything you can think of to stimulate the senses and help tap into your creative side.

Check out some of the classes available at Roots + Wings School of Art @ 342 Depot Street, The Asheville Darkroom @ 109 Roberts Street, The Village Potters @ 191 Lyman Suite #180, Asheville Glass Center @ 140 Robert Street, or the Cloth Fiber Workshop @ 122 Riverside Drive.

mag fields river arts district

The Magnetic Theatre

Not ready to commit to a class but want to partake in the fun? Then check out the 1st Fridays at the RAD or 2nd Saturdays starting March 7th. The River Arts District sponsors a series of art focused weekend events across the WNC region. Participating artists and businesses hold kiln openings, art retrospectives, art installation, museum openings, gallery receptions, music, theatre & dance performances, open studio days & more. Check out the calendar of events starting next month to find out what’s up and coming this spring.

RAD is also home to the legendary 12 Bones Smokehouse, the White Duck Taco shop, Wedge Brewing Company, Clingman Café, the Grey Eagle and many other fantastic places to dine and enjoy live music near the river. If you haven’t been to the River yet, put this little gem of a destination on your list of great places to visit in Asheville and get going!

For a complete list of studios, restaurants and things to do at the River Arts District, check out http://www.ashevillerad.com/visit/.  For accommodations at our award winning Asheville Bed and Breakfast just a short ten minute drive from the river, call 888-811-3053 or visit www.pinecrestbb.com for room availability. We hope to see you soon!

Our Visit to Asheville’s New Rhubarb Restaurant

December 29th, 2013 by stacy

gn dinner

Goat Cheese Gnudi

In our never ending quest to discover new culinary finds in Asheville, we dined at one of the latest eclectic restaurants downtown, Rhubarb. We had read the reviews so we knew there’d be plenty of new flavors, and there was. After all, how often do you come across a lobster corn dog? A tasty twist on an old classic for sure, albeit a bit pricey for what amounted to gourmet carnival food. We also tried the crispy Brussels sprouts & cauliflower. We thought the portion was small, and the fried texture overwhelmed the delicate vegetables a bit, but it was a nice attempt to serve fall vegetables in a new fashion. Overall we shared two appetizers, a salad and an entrée and more than a couple glasses of wine. Our dinner selection proved to be the highlight of the evening, with the most interesting combination of flavors. We shared a salad with charred farro, turnips, crispy beets and grilled kale and an entrée with goat cheese gnudi (a light airy gnocchi like pasta made with yellow branch cheese) – lightly sauteed with roasted shallots, local mushrooms, wood grilled radicchio and toasted pumpkin seeds. The flavors were an unexpected delight. Overall the atmosphere was subdued and comfortable and the service was exceptional.

We had a great dinner, but with what ended up being a hefty price tag for an ordinary night out, we will probably save our next visit for a special occasion. That said, I would definitely recommend it to anyone searching for bold new flavors in a serene downtown setting.

Visit www.pinecrestbb.com/blog for more about our Asheville adventures. To inquire about Inn reservations at our Asheville Bed & Breakfast, call 888-811-3053. We hope to see you soon!

New Edison at Grove Park Inn Delivers Innovative Dining

November 15th, 2013 by stacy

Edison-5-edited

Image by Carolina Epicurean

In late July of this year the Omni Grove Park revamped its in house restaurant and opened the new Edison Craft Ales + Kitchen. The restaurant’s new look is eclectic and lively, with much of the ceiling light provided by Edison-esque looking light bulbs – nodding to the Inn’s history; Thomas Edison was a regular summer guest there in the early nineteen hundreds.  One thing that hasn’t changed is the scenic views and amazing sunsets at this top-notch restaurant overlooking the city of Asheville. The restaurant has an enclosed section as well outdoors seating. The restaurant features large fireplaces and comfy couches and chairs to lounge inn as you sip wine or eat dinner.

Although the look and the name are new, the food and spirits featured on the menu continue to honor the local flavor and attitude of the region. The chic but casual restaurant carries ten North Carolina beers on tap, including several local ones. If you’re a beer lover, don’t miss the Centennial Pale Ale with a bit of hoppy spice and citrus undertones. The house beer is brewed exclusively for the Grove Park by Asheville’s own Highland Brewing Company.

If you haven’t been yet, you’ll quickly discover that the Edison’s menu is full of southern comfort food with a distinctively Ashevillian twist.  The oysters and cured meats are all fresh and fantastic with many items sourced locally. Everything we tasted was delicious without being overwhelmingly large or over the top. The deep fried egg with lamb and the prawns with red chili marmalade were both delicious! So the next time you venture out on the town to try something new in Asheville, put the Edison on your to-do-list. It’s well worth the trip.

The Edison is a short ten minute drive from our Asheville Bed & Breakfast. For more information or reservations at Pinecrest Inn, visit www.pinecrestbb.com or give us a call 888.811.3053. We look forward to seeing you soon.

 

Bakeries, Cake and Pies…Oh My! Asheville Bakeries Abound.

October 22nd, 2013 by stacy

I don’t know if I’d go so far as to say there’s a bread movement afoot in Western North Carolina, but I just might! There seems to be an abundance of all things baked popping up in and around Asheville. Some of the bakeries are old time staples, while others are new on the scene, with emphasis on fresh, local and gluten free breads and cakes. Check out some of what our grand little city in the mountains has to offer.

strada bake houseStrada Bakehouse
http://www.stradaasheville.com/bakehouse/
New on the scene is the Green Certified Strada Bakehouse. Started by the same owners who run the über delicious Strada Italiano Restaurant, this European-style bakery serves up artisan loaves baked fresh daily. Melding old world techniques with modern flavors, the bakery uses a several hundred-year-old, three-step process that yields some amazing breads. One big bonus, they don’t use preservatives, conditioners, or chemicals of any kind. Only four basic ingredients can be found in these breads: flour, salt, water and leaven.

Daily Fresh Baked Breads include Peasant Batard, Red Pepper Cheddar, Sunflower Wheat, Ciabatta, Semolina Sesame, Roasted Garlic & Asiago, and Chocolate Cherry. Stop in any day of the week to pick up a fresh loaf – except Mondays, they’re closed.

West End Bakery
http://www.westendbakery.com/
It’s always nice to talk about one of our favorites in trendy West Asheville – the West End Bakery and Café. This all around great, go-to-bakery uses only 100% organic flour and the freshest ingredients available. Everything served at the West End is made from scratch, and whenever possible they use locally grown produce and organic products. Gluten-Free offerings include a variety of muffins in flavors such as blueberry, pumpkin chocolate chip, and raspberry almond.
They also offer sandwiches made with their famous Gluten-free breads, but they’re popular so you got to be quick to get them. Your best bet is to order a loaf of Gluten-Free Bread to take home so you have some on hand. They also offer a rotating selection of Gluten-free desserts like Carrot cupcakes and Chocolate Mousse.

The Well-Bred Bakery & Cafe

Pastries and Cakes at Well Bread Bakery

Pastries and Cakes at Well Bread Bakery

http://www.wellbredbakery.com/
Just ten minutes north of Asheville in downtown Weaverville, the Well-Bred Bakery and Café offers gourmet pastries, cakes, cookies, artisan breads and other fine delectable treats.  The 2013 Trip Advisor Certificate of Excellence winner boasts made from scratch confections such as Espresso Roulade, Chocolate Éclairs, Classic English Toffee, Tiramisu, Swedish Crème, Peanut Butter Pie and a host of other sweets like Key Lime Tarts, Chocolate Mint Mousse, Austrian Tea Cakes, Pecan Praline Cookies, and much, much more. Their beautiful pastry case is a feast for the eyes. If you’re like me, you’ll have a hard time deciding what you want, and instead, just get one of each – to go of course. Look for their new location in Biltmore Village, opening soon.

City Bakery
http://citybakery.net/
Founded in 1999, family owned City Bakery is an Asheville staple. The downtown bakery offers a wide variety of breads daily, specializing in traditional French breads made by hand and using as little yeast as possible for more complex flavors. Their amazing pastry staff creates croissants, danishes, éclairs, cupcakes and more – fresh every day.

Their sandwiches, cookies and other bakery treats are equally as good. You can find them at three locations including downtown Asheville, Charlotte Street and a new location in Waynesville.

World’s Best Carrot Cake

http://www.worldsbestcarrotcake.com/

It’s no small feat to be awarded as the World’s Best Carrot Cake by Fox News, but this small, unassuming bakery located on the edge of Asheville and Weaverville, has claimed this award. If you thought all carrot cakes were created equal, think again. It wasn’t enough to offer just gluten free, all natural carrot cake (a big hit by itself), the cake geniuses at World’s Best Carrot cake also created Gluten-Free Carrot Cake, Chocolate Gluten-Free Carrot Cake and Orange Citrus Vegan Carrot Cake.
Each and every World’s Best Carrot Cake is made by hand, from scratch, in small batches with care and love. It truly is the World’s Best Carrot Cake and best of all, it’s right here in our own backyard.

The Bake Shoppe
http://www.bakeshoppeasheville.com/
The Bake Shoppe, located in north Asheville, offers elegant and tasty cakes as well as other wonderful desserts. Run by mother daughter team Juanita Mantel and Heidi Bryson, these talented bakers have been creating award winning cakes for over 35 years. Their specialty is beautifully decorated wedding cakes, grooms cakes and anniversary cakes. They also offer a wide assortment of cakes and pies including German chocolate cake, pumpkin praline pound cake, cranberry pecan pie, coconut cream pie and more. Be sure to place your cake and pie orders in plenty of time before holiday guests arrive.

Now if reading this doesn’t make you want to head out and find a local bakery to satisfy your cravings, we must have done something wrong! If you aren’t fortunate enough to have a bakery near you, be sure to visit one of ours the next time you stay at our Asheville Bed and Breakfast. We are so proud of our local bakers. If you need a recommendation for where to go for your favorite baked treat in Asheville, just ask our innkeepers Janna and Stacy.

For more information about our Asheville B&B, visit www.pinecrestbb.com.

Our Asheville B&B’s Favorite Coffee Joints

August 21st, 2013 by stacy

If you’re visiting our Asheville Inn this summer, you don’t want to miss some of the many great places to grab a cup of gourmet coffee or a hot fresh bagel and take in the local sights and sounds. Here’s our Top 5 Picks for Best Coffee hang-outs in Asheville.

 Izzy’s Coffee Deniz coffee
www.Izzyscoffeeden.com
74 N Lexington Ave
Asheville, NC 28801

Izzy’s in downtown Asheville is a true hipster coffee shop (although they call it a “den”). The brick walls and the dark interior certainly lend themselves to it feeling more like a den. It has a distinctively moody vibe and always smells amazing when you walk in the door. No matter whether you order an Americano, Cappuccino, Latte, Breve or a Homemade Chai, true coffee lovers won’t leave disappointed. In addition to serving superb coffee, Izzy’s has excellent live music, interesting art and lots of other libations too like handcrafted-beers, lemonade and Mimosas.

Fire Storm Café & Books
www.firestorm.coop
48 Commerce St
Asheville, NC 28801

Named as Asheville’s “ultimate Counter Culture cafe” by Asheville Magazine, Fire Storm is more than just a coffee shop and bookstore. It’s a worker owned cooperative that also hosts workshops, film screenings and fund raisers. In addition to getting your caffeine fix, you can also nosh on tasty bagels and gluten free desserts, as well as a wide selection of black, white, green and herbal teas. Having a sweet tooth? Don’t miss Storm’s signature Coconut Cream Breve paired with a brownie topped with Madagascar vanilla ice cream. All we can say is “welcome to a slice of heaven!”

Clingman Café River Arts District
www.clingmancafeasheville.com
242 Clingman Ave
Asheville, NC 28801

This pleasing coffee shop in the heart of the River Arts Districit is one of Asheville’s original coffee houses. The pretty space is filled with natural light, tall ceilings, and all sorts of pottery items from the studio next door. Proudly serving organic coffee and espresso, the Clingman Café may just be the only coffee shop where you can grab a gourmet sandwich and watch the trains go by. If you’re trying to eat light, try the apple, cranberry and arugula salad. Yummy! There’s also a pleasant outdoor patio area with market umbrellas – a nice shady spot to whittle away the afternoon with a gourmet bagel sandwich, a bowl of Granola, or an egg and sausage sandwich…all equally good. If you’re shopping in the River District, be sure to stop in.

High Five Coffee Bar
www.highfivecoffee.com
190 Broadway St
Asheville, NC 28801latte art

Formerly known as the Dripolator, this local favorite specializes in handcrafted espresso and coffee drinks. Known for its cool and uber talented Coffee Culture trained barista staff, the High Five serves an amazing espresso. This is the place for true coffee snobs. Try the Ethiopian or a simple but artfully served latte, sure to please the eye as well as the palette. Just a little tip, try a flavored coffee. High Five makes their own flavored syrups in house to avoid the use of corn syrup. Talk about dedicated to flavor! The location can be a bit hard to find…it’s on the North end of town, right after you pass under 240, located right behind Greenlife Grocery.

Battle Cat Coffee Bar
www.battlecatcoffeebar.com/
341 Haywood Rdbattlecat
Asheville, NC 28806

This hip, but laid back coffee shop in West Asheville is known for its Counter Culture coffee, breakfast tacos and cozy front porch. Grab one of their many specialty coffees like the Café Miel, made with espresso, honey and cinnamon or a Thai Iced Coffee and soak in the vibe. The place is pure West Asheville in all its glory! By most standards, they’ve got some pretty amazing grub too which makes it a great place to just chill and hang out with friends in an unpretentious environment…picnic tables and all.

 

Need more tips on great places to visit while in Asheville? Ask the innkeepers at Pinecrest Inn, one of Asheville’s best kept Bed & Breakfast secrets! While here enjoy a cup of our own fresh brewed coffee on the sun porch or meander out for a morning walk in our peaceful one acre English gardens. Call today for Inn reservations 888-811-3053 or visit www.pinecrestbb.com for more information.

 

 

Farm to Table Fresh Foods Abound at our Asheville Bed & Breakfast and Around Town

June 24th, 2013 by stacy

full sun farm

Full Sun Farm at the Tailgate Market

Asheville is renowned not only for its culinary diversity and wide selection of independent restaurants, but also for its strong farm to table dining reputation. “Eat Local” isn’t just a slogan in the mountains of Western North Carolina, it’s a way of life.

The area’s rich farm lands contribute a remarkable variety of produce, meat, fish (Trout) and dairy to the local food movement. Food critics and amateur foodies alike, agree they can taste the difference between farm fresh and frozen. There are many advantages of farm to table with the most obvious being the financial benefit to local farmers and growers. Not to mention that local chefs have endless opportunities to create seasonal inspired dishes made with ingredients harvested at their peak. Another great advantage is the freshness of the foods and the abundance of organic and free-range foods available. The area’s strong farm to table movement symbolizes fresh, healthy, and fiscally responsible living – now that’s a win, win in our culinary book.

blueberry slump

Blueberry Slump Cake

Asheville restaurants offering farm to table prepared dishes include Posana, Limones, Table, Seven Sows, Carmels, Blue Ridge Dining Room, Strada, City Bakery, Corner Kitchen, Grovewood Café, Marketplace, Plant, Sazerac, Tupelo Honey, Zambra and many others.

Asheville’s farm to table movement isn’t just for restaurants only. Our Asheville Bed & Breakfast frequents local markets weekly to pick the freshest ingredients for our breakfast dishes, including produce, fruit, bread and local made cheeses. Last week we served blueberry waffles using local blueberries and fresh strawberries with a riccota, yogurt orange sauce - both from Full Sun farm. I also prepared a blueberry slump on Sunday. Yummy!  Hurry over to Asheville, you still have time to get some! Blueberries will be available for several more weeks.

So if you’re looking for free-range or hormone-free meats, local fruits and vegetables, seafood from the Carolina coast, or local made cheeses, look no farther than any of the dozens of markets in and around Asheville. The Montford Tailgate Market and North Asheville Tailgate Markets are a short five minute walk from our Asheville Inn.

Hungry for a farm fresh breakfast? We’re waiting for you! Plan a visit to Pinecrest Bed & Breakfast in Asheville this summer and enjoy recipes made with local grown ingredients. Visit www.pinecrestbb.com for more information or call 888-811-3053 for Inn reservations.

Asheville’s Newest Brewhouse

April 16th, 2013 by stacy

wicked weed1Asheville’s Wicked Weed Brewery

The Wicked Weed Brewery has been on our list for some time – we’ve been hearing a lot of good things, but just had not been able to find the time to make our way over.

This is not your ordinary brewery.

Their mission is to craft big flavor, hop-forward beers that push their creative boundaries. They believe in the wildness of beer, its’ nonconformist attitude and its’ ability to resist being tamed.

They also offer a respectable wine selection and full bar for those who prefer other adult libations.

Housed at 91 Biltmore Avenue, the building which used to be an auto-repair shop and, later, Asheville Hardware has undergone a complete transformation inside and seems a much better use of space as a brewery. While the large, glass garage doors remain, the interior feels both industrial and luxurious at the same time with its reclaimed, polished wood and exposed brick.

The bars on both floors are made out of a 200-year-old piece of Black Gum that was sourced from the Shenandoah Valley in Virginia. Word has it that two musket balls, likely from the Civil War, are still embedded in the upstairs bar top.

Upstairs holds the restaurant and a full bar with 28 taps, a high-end liquor selection, indoor seating for over 100 people and an expansive, glassed-in kitchen. The roll-up, dining-room windows take up most of the front wall and overlook the Biltmore Avenue patio space just next door to the Orange Peel so you can have a full-experience date nite (without having to travel very far).

Downstairs is where the alchemy equipment is, where the brewing magic happens and the space also includes a Tasting Room. Brewery tours are available.

This is not your ordinary bar fare.

Jason Saunders, formerly of Table and Cucina 24, is a very talented chef and a local native who featureswicked weed2 seasonal fare that highlights high quality local ingredients. The menu is remarkable and creative and not a hot wing or bloomin’ onion to be found. Jason has succeeded in maintaining equal footing for the food — matching the panache of the brewery side of things – which is certainly no small task given the bold and brave offerings coming from downstairs. Saunders brands Wicked’s food offerings as “enlightened pub food.” Check out their menu and just try to keep your mouth from watering. Pay special attention to the Bison Burger with haystack shallots and blue cheese coleslaw or for those seeking a vegetarian option try the Black Bean , pimento cheese, crispy okra and chow-chow burger.

Wicked Weed Brewery, one of the latest breweries to be included on Asheville’s Ale Trail, encourages you to join the rebellion.

April is North Carolina Beer Month. Come explore all the unique offerings in one of America’s best states for craft brewing. Call or email this Asheville Bed and Breakfast to find out about festivals, special events, breweries, restaurants, beer tours and more. Cheers!

Asheville Restaurant Review: Seven Sows Bourbon & Larder

April 2nd, 2013 by stacy

rest1
As Asheville has emerged as a premier food destination, it’s become more difficult for new venues to find the space to cut out of the market. This makes opening a restaurant even more risky than normal. The competition is fierce out there.

Into the ring comes a brash new contender, Seven Sows, a collaborative effort between chef Adam Bannasch of Zambra, chef Mike Moore of Blind Pig Supper club and Jason Caughman of Pisgah Brewery. Seven Sows celebrates southern cooking and serves dinner and weekend brunches that feature local and heirloom products and a bar that focuses on bourbon.

We ventured out with friends to investigate this new eatery during its opening week. There were several birthdays around the table and I have to say that some members of the party were giddy with anticipation.

Through the doors, we found the décor rustic, nothing fancy – but definitely down home and welcoming. Authentic barn siding here. Tin roof there. A wall painting of a lady holding a ham. Nothing pretentious – you are here to eat, or drink, or both. No hoity-toity here – just good food and drink.

rest3And the menu – what fun! But, I get ahead of myself. Drinks first. It would be safe to say one of the better selections of Bourbon and Rye in the area. Actually, the selection of Whiskey, Irish Whiskey, Scotch, Brandy, Rum, Gin, Vodka, Tequila and Apertif’s are all top of the line. My husband chose the “Larceny” – for its name and he was rewarded by the butterscotch aroma and smooth, smoky flavor that warmed its path. Half of the party selected a bourbon of personal fancy (no easy choice given the list) and the other half chose grapes (of the fermented variety). Both halves were pleased with the selection and their decisions. Being a Bourbon enthusiast my husband could not resist following up the “Larceny” with a signature cocktail, a Buffala Negra (W. L. Weller 12 Yr Bourbon, Fresh Basil, Aged Balsamic, Fever Tree Ginger Ale, Simple Syrup concoction) that shoots up the charts as one of Asheville’s top elixirs.

For appetizers and to get into the theme, we sampled: Shaved Country Ham Board with selections of Benton’s Tennessee Month and Mangalitsa and Colonel Newsom’s Aged Kentucky ham. Pickled vegetable, grilled bread mustards, Texas Pete Mayo, and Sweetgrass Dairy Appalachian Cheese.

And Cone O’ Chicken Cracklins and the Buttermilk Hushpuppy Basket (with hot pimento cheese). We turned our gazes on to the entrees. Not one of our self-described “foodies” was adventurous enough to try the Pig Head Meatloaf with apple chutney, pickled mustard seeds, Southern Appalachia Sorghum, crispy pig ear and grilled bread, but maybe next time and after a few more bourbons.

We did have and enjoy the Mountain Goat with Brunswick Stew (and cornbread). No self-respecting southern kitchen could hang its sign if there were no fried chicken wasn’t coming out of it. No offense Gramma, butrest4 this buttermilk fried chicken with crawfish mac and cheese and giblet and egg gravy — oh my.

And more items you would not expect on a “new Asheville” menu. The Laughing Seed (a very popular vegetarian restaurant here in Asheville) is not laughing at this lineup of southern fare. Beeler’s Farm grilled Duroc Pork Chop, Quail, Foothills Braised Pork Shank and Dry Aged Cab Ribeye to name a few.

Given the birthday celebrations, we ordered one of each of the desserts, sampled and passed them around theres2 table — partaking in Crème Brulèe, Blueberry Buckle, Butterscotch pudding and a sweet Fudge sauce, marshmallow, Cheerwine Syrup treatment that elevated the traditional Train City’s Moon Pie. I was surprised not to see any banana pudding, but not a complaint was heard and none of these particular decadent treats made it around the table twice.

Side Historical Note: The south’s favorite snack food, the Moon Pie originated in 1917. During the 1930’s, the Moon Pie found its place in Southern folklore as part of the “working man’s lunch.” Coal miners and laborers would enjoy the biggest snack on the rack, a Moon Pie and a 10 ounce RC Cola each for a nickel.

This is fine southern cooking treated with creativity and respect. I don’t remember Mama serving up any such fixins.’ A great place to visit before you head out on your dirt track date or go to see a show.

Here at Pinecrest Bed and Breakfast we’d be happy to secure you a dinner reservation during your visit to this Asheville Inn. Please call our toll free 888-811-3053 or visit our website at www.pinecrestbb.com

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