The Pinecrest Bed and Breakfast Asheville NC

Posts Tagged ‘Foodtopia’

Things to Do this Winter in Asheville

December 11th, 2013 by Stacy Shelley

cataloochee ski

Cataloochee Ski Resort

shoji

Shoji Day Spa

Winter isn’t everyone’s favorite time, but for us it’s a time of quiet reflection, time to relax a bit and take in all the beauty around us. The mountains are spectacular this time of year and winter offers some of the best views when hiking (that is if you’re not intimidated by the colder temperatures.) There’s a certain exquisiteness about the trees in winter that you can’t truly appreciate unless you slow down on an early winter evening and watch the beauty unfold.  At sunset, the mountains thrust one last bit of sunlight tinged with pink and purple hues onto the sky’s canvas. The twilight sky seems to illuminate the now naked tree branches that sit in quiet repose. But beyond taking in the raw beauty of winter, there’s lots of other fun and relaxing things to do this winter in Asheville. Foodies still flock here to take in the vast culinary scene known as Foodtopia, then sit by a cozy fire at the end of a long day of site seeing and shopping. Here’s our recommendation of things to do this winter while you’re visiting.

  1. Hiking. Winter is simply put, the best time to take in the views. Just make sure you are packed properly. Here’s a trail guide that will help you choose the right hike http://www.blueridgeparkway.org/v.php?pg=61
  2. Antique Shopping. Slow down your pace and spend time browsing for antiques around town then take in lunch at a downtown café overlooking the square. Here’s a great list of Antique shops, put together by Romantic Asheville http://www.romanticasheville.com/antiques.htm
  3. Beer Tasting and Brews Cruises.  Asheville, or Beer City U.S.A. as it’s been named for the past four years, has dozens of brewery tours and beer tastings to choose from. A great way to spend a cool winter day indoors. Here’s a short list of places to do a beer tasting: Hops & Vines, Lexington Avenue Brewery, The Oyster House Brewing Company.
  4. Spa Day.  Ever visited an outdoor spa? Shoji Spa offers Japanese style outdoor hot tubs with mountain views, saunas and couples massage. For something more traditional, pick anyone of Asheville’s amazing spas and pamper yourself for the day.
  5. Gallery Hopping. Check out Asheville’s outstanding line up of art galleries. Here’s some of our favorites: Grove wood Gallery, Blue Spiral 1, Southern Highland Craft Guild, New Morning Gallery.
  6. Ski, tube or snowboard. Asheville is only about 30 minutes from Wolf Ridge Ski Resort, Cataloochee Skiing and Tube World.

Planning a visit to Asheville this winter? We still have some rooms available at our Asheville Bed & Breakfast. Celebrating an anniversary, birthday or special occasion? We’ll help you plan a special getaway with flowers, in room massage, a bottle of bubbly or anything else you may need for your special day. Pinecrest Inn is a beautiful, relaxing place to enjoy a winter getaway in Asheville. Call 888-811-3053 for reservations.

 

Asheville Restaurant Review: Seven Sows Bourbon & Larder

April 2nd, 2013 by Stacy Shelley

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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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