“Raw food is going to be the next big thing in Asheville,” says Tim Boissy, the executive chef of The Nectar Lounge. The new raw foods café, which will also feature vegan and gluten-free options, is slated to open in North Asheville near the end of August. “Raw food is an essential part of a balanced diet,” says Boissy, who has been vegan for the last 28 years and regularly incorporates raw foods into his daily meals.
Boissy feels that Asheville could not be any more ready for this kind of restaurant. “Asheville is one of the only towns of this size that can support a raw foods restaurant. The consciousness around food is here,” Boissy explains, noting that two new juice bars have opened within the last year and that the movement toward superhealthfood restaurants doesn’t seem to be stopping anytime soon.
Boissy’s interest in a healthy lifestyle led him to operate vegan catering service Veg-in-Out with partner William Najger for 12 years before moving to Northern California. There he met a 55-year-old woman who had just overcome stage 4 throat cancer with a superfood diet of raw foods, medicinal mushroom teas and green smoothies. Together they started Easy Living Foods, a ready-made raw food and superfood company, which within a couple of months found its way into almost every Whole Foods in the San Francisco Bay Area.
Boissy was deeply inspired by the impact food could have on a person’s health and well-being, but he lamented, “When I got to Asheville, the only restaurant really offering raw options was the Laughing Seed.”
The Nectar Lounge is Boissy’s latest and possibly greatest project. “The focus of The Nectar Lounge is ‘food is medicine.’ We want to create awesome and delicious food that is also healing.” The menu is made up of about 80 percent raw foods and will feature items including raw pizzas and large zucchini pasta bowls, raw flax nachos with cashew cheese, homemade raw goat cheese and organic juices. “We aren’t expecting anyone to follow a complete raw foods diet, but we do want to raise awareness and create more options for someone who wants to go out and have a nutritious meal,” says Boissy.
Particularly unique to The Nectar Lounge is its location and the educational opportunities available on site. The Nectar Lounge is on the first floor of a larger wellness center called Centerpoint Discovery, which also includes a fully renovated yoga studio and private practitioner rooms where restaurant patrons may take their health to another level.
“While the food will be incredible, we will also be focusing on education. Here we have the resources to offer classes and workshops on various methods of detoxing, cleansing, nutrition and juicing,” says Boissy.
While someone could just swing by for a kelp noodle bowl, The Nectar Lounge hopes to bring health full circle in a supportive and balanced environment by providing healthy food, nutritionists, meditation, yoga and movement classes in one spot. “The restaurant is just a piece of this larger vision for whole-body healing.”
The Nectar Lounge will be open seven days a week at 853 Merrimon Ave. (formerly Northside Bar & Grill). For more information, visit centerpointdiscovery.com.