SMALL BITES: A room with a Vue

FRENCH TWIST: Chef James Lumley is offering a fresh version of classic French comfort food at Vue 1913. Courtesy of The Omni Grove Park Inn
FRENCH TWIST: Chef James Lumley is offering a fresh version of classic French comfort food at Vue 1913. Courtesy of The Omni Grove Park Inn

A new restaurant, Vue 1913, has debuted in Asheville’s historic Omni Grove Park Inn, promising an American twist on the European brasserie. The name pays homage to both the inn’s panoramic views of the Blue Ridge Mountains and the opening date of the original Grove Park Inn, which was July 12, 1913.

Traditional French brasseries are cozy, informal eateries that serve drinks and hearty cuisine. Vue’s chef, James Lumley, relocated in August from South Florida, where he spent years as chef in various kitchens at the Ritz-Carlton Hotel in Naples and other resorts. At Vue, Lumley sticks with the brasserie theme by offering time-honored dishes, but he gives the concept local flavor by using ingredients sourced from area and regional producers. He buys locally grown produce from Asheville’s Mountain Food Products. Classic dishes like his clams casino feature seafood from the North Carolina coast and bacon from Tennessee’s nationally lauded smokehouse maestro, Allan Benton.

“It’s something special you have going on around here,” says Lumley, “how everyone is so tied in to food. I’ve been so busy here getting things going, but I look forward to being able to get out and meet a lot of the farmers in the area."

Vue’s winter menu features French onion soup, baked brie, deviled duck eggs, lobster agnolotti with wild local mushrooms and white-corn purée, and a seafood tower of oysters, shrimp, crab and lobster tails. Each day of the week Lumley will offer a classic special such as cassoulet, coq au vin, steak au poivre, crispy duck confit or house-made tagliatelle. Seafood entrees will range from pan-seared salmon and scallops to bouillabaisse packed with mussels, shrimp and scallops.

Currently, choices for vegetarians include salads and cheeses, plus a winter entrée of vegetable potpie with seasonal vegetables simmered in puff pastry. But TraceyJohnston-Crum, the inn’s director of public relations and community outreach, promises that a broader selection of meatless fare is in the works.  “That’s to start but more will follow,” she says. 

To accompany its French-inspired cuisine, Vue 1913 boasts a French wine cellar along with certified sommeliers to help diners choose the perfect vintage to accompany their meal.

Vue 1913 in southernmost tip of the Sammons wing, just past the Presidents Lounge at The Omni Grove Park Inn. Appetizers start at $8 and entrées at $21. Open for dinner nightly. Reservations are recommended and are available at OpenTable.com.

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