I am posting my personal Asheville restaurant preferences, based on what Kade and I tend to go for - things and places we crave most often. Some Asheville restaurants we've liked a lot, but perhaps have only been there once, for whatever reason - like Seven Sows, which just opened, and where we had brunch with friends this morning. In listing our favorites below, I decided only to include places where we've been more than once. Therefore, a few notables are not listed. Fig, The Market Place, and Cucina24 quickly come to mind.
Fully Satisfies: The Admiral, Pack's Tavern, Stonebowl, 131 Main, Stoney Knob Cafe, Table
Specialties: mussels, vegetarian sushi, Thai, vegetarian, Indian, tacos, barbecue
Setting: Zambra, Sunset Terrace, Curate
The biggest, most surprising omission is likely The Corner Kitchen, a place where we've actually eaten twice. It's also a restaurant where President and Mrs. Obama and actor Ben Stiller and a host Ashevillians and countless hungry out-of-towners have dined. Our experiences were average, and that's why I did not rank it.
My brother, who works at the Inn on Biltmore, assures me that if I tried the Dining Room, it would easily be in my tops.
Considering the plethora of high quality restaurants in Asheville, you'd expect there to be a number of talented chefs behind the scenes, and out front. And there are! A few names have made a national splash, and you can google to learn more about them. Katie Button is one.
I obviously love food, and I love traveling. Being married to an excellent cook (my chef!) from a country that's known for its centuries-perfected cuisine is quite remarkable to me, and personally humbling. Lucky is an understatement! Some of my best eating experiences are actually right at home! I also like to watch TV programs that combine my passions: the eating and the traveling. Without question, my standard bearer for a city or country or region having delicious, mouth-watering, cutting edge food is whether or not personalities Anthony Bourdain and Andrew Zimmern have paid a visit. Asheville (and greater WNC) was one of their stops.
Here's the definition of a foodie. For the record, I did leave with a menu in hand today. Take-home one, of course!
Finally, for more background, here are some articles/interviews that highlight the local food scene:
Why Food Lovers are Loving Asheville
Top Ten Foodie Cities
2013 Food Mentions and Accolades
Chef and the Farmer