The Bodega

Flavor: Creature comforts and community Ambiance: Funky and cozy The Bodega Community Market on Lexington Avenue is not your average “corner store.” For starters, even though that’s precisely what its owner, Wells Lowery, calls it, it’s not on a corner. And when this particular shopkeeper looks you in the eye and tells you that his […]

Small Bites

A Cellar celebration: The Cellar Door in Black Mountain is ready to kick off 2006 with a bang. Chef Chris Dole is preparing a special four-course, prix-fixe menu on New Year’s Eve that will include a champagne toast. Also available will be the restaurant’s “Fork and Cork” menu — small bites designed to be enjoyed […]

Amici Trattoria

Flavor: Traditional, upscale Italian Ambiance: Spacious, casual yet elegant Service: Attentive According to surveys by the National Restaurant Association, Italian food is the number one ethnic cuisine in the United States, and authentic Italian is becoming more and more popular. Just as some diners have run away from Taco Bell’s border toward a fresher Californian/Mexican […]

Small Bites

Corner News: All kinds of newsworthy things are occurring at the Grove Corner Market. The Grove Arcade specialty grocery store now offers catering, as well as lunch delivery for you office-bound types. The market also carries a selection of hard-to-find American microbrews that even avid beer connoisseurs might not be familiar with, like King Mocha […]

Hobnob Restaurant

Flavor: Continental with global influences Ambiance: Charming Service: Warm, welcoming, knowledgeable In addition to its famous white squirrels and waterfalls, Brevard is home to a wide range of dining options. There’s a generous handful of delis and pizza joints, some ethnic eateries, a steakhouse-and-saloon combo, and at least a dozen restaurants claiming a spot in […]

Small Bites

Restaurant recyclers: Restaurant owners, do you recycle? If so, the Better Asheville Recycling Coalition, a UNCA student group, wants to know. BARC educates the public about the environmental benefits of recycling and buying recycled goods. The group is currently working on a project to compile and distribute a list of local restaurants that recycle, in […]

Thai Basil

Flavor: Fresh-focused Thai Ambiance: Somewhat sparse, but comfortable enough Service: Decent to good My first foray to Thai Basil, a restaurant in the Grove Arcade promising “fine Thai food cooked in a natural, healthy way,” was shortly after it opened about a year ago. I enjoyed the food, the obvious reverence for fresh ingredients, and […]

Small Bites

Smart chicken: MBA Brand Smart Chicken is teaming up with Earth Fare to help those in need. What is Smart Chicken? It’s all-natural chicken raised without the use of growth hormones or antibiotics. Here’s the kicker: Now through Jan. 1, each time Earth Fare sells 10 pounds of Smart Chicken, MBA will donate one pound […]

Tupelo Honey Cafe

Flavor: Upscale Southern comfort Ambiance: Comfortably elegant Service: Friendly and proficient Tupelo honey, the rare nectar produced only by bees that live in the swamps where the tupelo gum tree grows, is a Southern delicacy prized for its distinctive flavor. Whether out of confidence, foresight or serendipity, Sharon Schott, owner of Asheville’s Tupelo Honey, could […]

Small Bites

Everything but the turkey: The Boathouse on Lake Julian wants to do some of your holiday food-prep for you. Through Dec. 31, the chefs there are offering “an array of sumptuous side selections and decadent desserts” to go. Side dishes are available by the pint (starting at $3.95) and by the quart (starting at $6.95). […]

Asheville’­s Big Beers

Any North Carolina beer connoisseur worth their weight in hops knows by now that “Big Beer” is finally here. In August, the state legislature amended its Prohibition-era definition of legal malt beverages to allow the sale of beer with an alcohol content of up to 15 percent (now that’s a big beer). Previously, only brews […]

Small Bites

Loaves and fishes: Love the feel of an open-air market? The Grove Corner Market has your fix. Check out the Friday Festival of Loaves and Fishes, a weekly sidewalk sale and celebration of community, food and drink at the Grove Arcade. Every Friday until Dec. 30, the market will host various wine and food tastings […]

Stoney Knob Cafe

Flavor: Mediterranean and American, among others Ambiance: Eclectic Service: Sometimes spotty Though it may not seem readily apparent at first, there is rhyme and reason to the concept of Weaverville’s Stoney Knob Cafe. “Eclectic” is perhaps the word that comes closest to summing up the restaurant, both in vibe and in flavor. The decor ranges […]

Small Bites

Through the grapevine: The Classic WineSeller is opening a new shop in Canton, and you’re invited to help celebrate. Sister to the Classic WineSeller in Waynesville, the Canton location also offers cigars, cheeses, fine wines, champagnes and ports. Ferris Camp of the Classic WineSeller group says that the new shop differs from the one in […]

Peking Garden

Flavor: Chinese Ambiance: A bit lacking, but not bad Service: Courteous and involved – take their recommendations on food choices There’s no shortage of bright little lo mein joints in the world. The Chinese restaurant – big or little, subtle or garish – is such a fixture in the landscape of our daily lives that […]

Small Bites

Singing for supper: When it comes to eating Italian food, there’s no better audio accompaniment than a little opera. During dinner hours this Saturday, Nov. 12, Amici Trattoria will present live performances by “dueling divas.” Two teams of three singers each will try to woo diners with their vocal stylings, and whichever team the crowd […]

The Lobster Trap

Flavor: Focus on fresh seafood; steaks and other foods available Ambiance: Casual but very nice Service: Friendly The Lobster Trap has made a bit of a splash (pardon the pun/cliché) in the downtown Asheville area since its opening earlier this year. The aesthetically polished seafood restaurant is the brainchild of Amy Beard, who, according to […]

Small Bites

Through the grapevine: At one minute past midnight on the third Thursday of each November, more than a million cases of Beaujolais Nouveau will be made available to an excited public all around the world. This year, the Asheville Downtown Association’s annual fundraiser, Nouveau Night, will be held on this day of global celebration — […]

The Noodle Shop

Flavor: Fresh Chinese, with a bit of fusion Ambiance: Sparse but nice; great little patio Service: Good I don’t get sick that often, but every so often I get whacked upside the head with something fierce enough to rattle the sinuses practically out of my head. The bizarre fall weather, combined with a nasty allergy […]

Small Bites

Cooking with love: To eat at the renowned Blanchard’s Restaurant, you’ll need to travel to the Caribbean island of Anguilla. But to soak up some of the spirit that guides the restaurant’s creations, all you have to do is pick up the new book by owners Bob and Melinda Blanchard, Cook What You Love (Clarkson […]

Jack of the Wood

Flavor: Pub fare with a Celtic twist Ambiance: Warm, cozy, intimate Service: Friendly Watching over the entrance to the Jack of the Wood Pub is the foliate face of the Green Man, a mysterious character deeply rooted in ancient folklore. It is said that this deity of the forest represents, among many other things, the […]