The year in restaurants: Updates on some of Asheville’s newest eateries-attachment0

The year in restaurant­s: Updates on some of Asheville’­s newest eateries

More than a dozen new restaurants opened throughout Asheville in 2013, adding even more to the city’s lively restaurant scene. With the beginning of the new year, XPress checked in with some of the restaurants’ owners and chefs to see how things are going after their first few months in business. (photos by Alicia Funderburk)

Invitation to readers: Soup’s on!-attachment0

Invitation to readers: Soup’s on!

With winter now in full swing, many locals are cutting the chill by turning on their slow cookers or looking for the daily soup specials at their favorite local eateries. From borscht to beef-and-barley, area residents and restaurants are cooking up spoon-friendly nourishment in myriad forms. Xpress invites readers to share tried-and-true recipes and write about their favorite soup and stew offerings at local restaurants. Send your soup submissions to

Thirsty Monk’s Beer City take on the Big Apple ball drop-attachment0

Thirsty Monk’s Beer City take on the Big Apple ball drop

Not to be outdone by New York City, Asheville is about to introduce its own Beer City version of the Times Square New Year’s Eve ball drop. The ever-innovative folks at Thirsty Monk will ring in 2014 by dropping a decorated and illuminated beer keg down a 20-foot cast-iron pole at the stroke of midnight at the brewery’s newest location in Biltmore Park.

Dancing with spirit: Birth dancing fosters a connection among women-attachment0

Dancing with spirit: Birth dancing fosters a connection among women

Michelle Dionne, who teaches birth dancing and belly dancing classes in Asheville and the surrounding area, says that giving birth doesn’t have to look like it does in the movies. In classes and workshops, Dionne encourages women to give birth standing up and teaches core-based movements derived from ancient belly-dancing techniques. The goal is to help ease the pain, quicken labor and “keep [women] in their bodies, keep them focused where the action is.”

Two Hall Fletcher fourth graders use an iPad to show how they solved a math problem as part of a grant-funded pilot program at Hall Fletcher Elementary. Photo by Carrie Eidson

Teach and tech

In a fourth-grade classroom at Hall Fletcher Elementary, two boys are huddled around the pint-sized table they use as their desk. One is reading from Page 72, problem No. 4, in his math book. As the pair work through the problem, the second boy chronicles the process, recording each step on an iPad cradled in his hands.