Small Bites


This week,
Xpress features a guest review from Gwendolyn Morton. Are you interested in submitting a restaurant opinion? Let us know. You must be unaffiliated with the restaurant in question, fair and honest. Submissions must be less than 500 words. E-mail your ideas to food@mountainx.com.

A $5 Lunch that is Très Délicieux? Mais Oui!

The Old World Bakery is a new boulangerie and patisserie in the St. John's Marketplace Shopping Center in Fletcher. The restaurant serves up a good lunch deal — think a full quiche lunch with a small salad of fresh mixed field greens and homemade dressing for only $5.

According to the owners Jacques and Miriam Delaunay, the healthy, made-from-scratch, all-natural meal is substantial for the price — it features, they say, over a half-pound of fresh veggies, eggs, cheeses and meats — vegetarian options are also available. As Jacques says, “You could easily spend more money at a fast food restaurant, but here you have higher quality food.”

The Old World Bakery is an authentic Parisian bakery so don't forget about the eclairs, the tiramisu and the lemon tarts for a post-lunch snack. They also carry ham-and-cheese croissants, brioche and pure butter rolls, plus breads, cookies, Normandie flan and many more French-style items. Everything is authentically prepared by Jacques and served by his wife Miriam. Prices are very reasonable.

The Old World Bakery is located at 235 St. Johns Road, in Fletcher in the St. John's Marketplace. The restaurant is open Monday through Saturday, from 7:30 a.m. until 6 p.m. For more information, call 654-0550.

Outstanding in the Field

Every year, a crew of travelers, armed with tableware and other various trappings of a fine meal, piles into a 1953 bus. They strike out on the highway, heading from town to town in a cross-country farm tour of sorts.

This is no tourist venture, however. This is Outstanding in the Field, a well-orchestrated performance cast to showcase the finest of local flavor. At each location, the crew invites local chefs of some merit to visit the farm of their choosing. They then work directly with the produce that is grown there, the meats that are raised in those pastures, all supplemented by other local goods.

Like a traveling culinary circus, the crew erects an al fresco dining area, complete with linen-covered tables, alongside rows of vegetables or stands of fruit trees. There, upwards of 180 guests will dine next to bouquets of farm-fresh flowers after walking the fields from where they were picked.

In our area this year, chef William Dissen of The Market Place restaurant has been selected to host the Outstanding in the Field dinner on Sunday, Sept. 19. The family style, local-centric meal will be served on East Fork Farms in Madison County, in view of the Blue Ridge Mountains.

“It's a huge honor,” says Dissen. “They ask, at least in my opinion, a lot of highly regarded chefs. I feel very honored that they chose me.” Dissen says that The Market Place seems perfectly suited to be a part of the Outstanding in the Field event — especially with more than three decades of promoting farm-to-table cuisine to the restaurant's credit. “As far as the premise of this restaurant — being farm to table — this is the coup de grâce. This is as farm to table as you get,” Dissen says of The Market Place, which he took over from Mark Rosenstein just last year.

East Fork Farms, as the host, will supply the lamb that will be served, as well as the rabbit, chicken and trout that will be featured in the evening's five-course menu. Stephen and Dawn Robertson, the farmers of East Fork, were guests at last year's Hickory Nut Gap Farm dinner last year, which featured Asheville's Table restaurant.

The event will kick off with a cocktail hour of sorts, says Dissen, that will start out around the trout pond. "We'll hang out, have some Chardonnay, some hors d'oeuvres, then do a little tour and come back into the field and start the dinner. It's all family style."

The event ticket may seem steep at $180, but, as Dissen says, "You're paying for the experience. You're paying for the quality of ingredients and the experience — you're sitting in Madison County overlooking all of the mountains. It will be pretty spectacular."

Dissen adds that he's happy to see the event return to Asheville. "With everything Asheville has going on — and how people support the local farmers, restaurants and tailgate markets — everyone is just praising everything local everywhere. This is an event that celebrates everything that Asheville stands for. This is as farm to table as it gets. We're going to be literally sitting in the middle of a field having a quality dinner that night."

For more information, visit outstandinginthefield.com.

Quick Bites

The New French Bar closed for good on Sunday, Aug. 15. There is no word yet what will replace the establishment, an Asheville institution for many years.

The watering hole never recovered from its expulsion from its popular location on the corner of Haywood Street and Battery Park Avenue, where the Flying Frog is currently located. Former bartenders include Les Doss, who went on to open the Usual Suspects with partner Kathy Taylor.

Speaking of the Usual Suspects, Doss and Taylor have sold their North Asheville restaurant. Xpress will offer a full report on the new establishment once the dust has settled.

In other news, the space formerly occupied by Instant Karma on Lexington Avenue is getting a major facelift. Dobra Tea is opening in its place. This will be the company’s third instillation — there is a location in Burlington, Vt. and another in Madison, Wis. Says neighbor Amber Arthur, owner of Izzy’s Coffee Den, “It’s looking really nice in there!” For more information on Dobra Teas, visit dobratea.com.

And finally, ED Boudreaux’s celebrates their 5-year Anniversary at the 48 Biltmore Ave location on Thursday, Aug. 26th. Live music, drink specials and $5 BBQ Sandwiches with potato wedges will make this event a party. For more information, visit edbbq.com.

— Send your food news to Mackensy Lunsford at food@mountainx.com.

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