From the current edition of Food & Wine: A well-written celebration of Asheville’s budding world-class food scene.
Check out mentions of Curate, Wicked Weed, Green Man Brewing, French Broad Chocolate Lounge, Table, The Imperial Life, Cucina 24, MG Road, and Chai Pani.
Did you know that The Imperial Life was created in part so owners of downtown restaurants could hang out over drinks after their businesses closed? Read on for a solid article that gets Asheville:
Why Food Lovers Are Loving Asheville
The ingredients are local, but the chefs aren’t: Newcomers from all over—Brooklyn, Spain, India—are creating a world-class food scene in this small North Carolina town.
At the tapas restaurant Cúrate (Spanish for “cure yourself”), (chef Katie) Button understands how one could visit Asheville and stay inside: In her three years in town, she admitted, she’s barely left the kitchen. The raspy-voiced former neuroscientist, who’s been getting “cute as a” for as long as she can recall, was born in Conway, South Carolina. She trained at El Bulli in Roses, Spain; her husband and business partner, Félix Meana, grew up in Roses, where, as an 18-year-old, he opened a bar that became a hangout for El Bulli’s staff.
When the couple decided to open an authentic tapas bar in the US, Button was still working in Spain while Meana was launching a restaurant for chef José Andrés in Los Angeles. Button’s mom suggested Asheville. Meana moved there (having never seen the place), and a year later, Cúrate was serving what’s probably the best pluma Ibérica a las finas hierbas—a feathered loin cut infused with rosemary and thyme—outside of Catalonia.
Meana was a little worried about being treated as an outsider in the South, but he soon found that pretty much nobody in Asheville is actually from Asheville.
Remember when the NY TImes “discovered” Savoy? That didn’t work out so well, now did it? It’s funny, for years I wondered why Jacob Sessoms didn’t have national visibility. Now that he’s actually getting it, it makes me nervous. I have long enjoyed the luxury of being able to walk in and sit at the downstairs bar and have dinner without the rigamarole of a reservation. Already I fear that may be coming to an end. But then again, I’m just spoiled, I admit it. I hope Jacob and all the other restaurateurs mentioned in the article get famous and appear on the Food Network and make a zillion dollars.
Interesting that the reporter thinks that “pretty much nobody in Asheville is actually from Asheville…”
I think the only honest criticism you will ever see in this town will be on a blog. Are there any already?
Does this mean we will finally get real food criticism? No offense to the local legends, but one can hardly publish an honest critique when one is beholden to the advertising dollar? Most Asheville restaurants charge foodie prices, few (excluding those highlighted in this article) deliver the quality to match.
It’s about time. I’ve been subscribing to F&W for years, and they have been so consistently loyal to the West coast it made me sick. Especially articles about up-and-coming wineries, they ALWAYS forget about NC.