Small Bites

Nova: Nova (pictured here), the ritzy small-plates spot that restaurateur Eric Backer introduced to downtown last year, has a new chef. Justin Burdett, who had served as sous under Nova's first executive chef, was promoted last month.

Burdett, a veteran of Hugh Acheson's lauded Athens eatery Five & Ten, has worked in a number of local kitchens, including the Market Place and Gabrielle's. He's revamped the menus at Nova, creating dinner dishes including a compressed melon salad, cold-smoked tuna with roasted olives, fried sweetbreads and a grain-mustard potato croquette tossed with a truffle vinaigrette.

"It's definitely seasonal, but it reflects his influence," Backer says of the new menu. "Outside of it being super-creative, it's fantastic."

The restaurant has also swiped the small-plates approach for its lunch menu, now offering diners a similar experience in the evening and at midday.

Nova is located at 109 Broadway. To learn more, visit or call 505-2152.

Firefly Farm:  Inspired by their event-hosting neighbors at Green Toe Ground, Elizabeth Gibbs and Scott Paquin are spiffing up their Burnsville farm for a white-tablecloth dinner later this week. Firefly's "Repast by the River" will feature a five-course French menu made from the farm's produce and grass-fed Devon beef. Dinner will be preceded by a farm tour and accompanied by live jazz.

The event begins at 6 p.m. on Saturday, Aug. 29, with tickets priced at $40 a person. To make a reservation, call 675-4739.

Craggie Brewing: Local artists have until Monday, Aug. 31, to submit their sketch for a mural celebrating all things Craggie — the Craggie prison, Craggie gardens and Craggie trolley — for a competition sponsored by the forthcoming Craggie Brewing Company. The brewery will select three winning designs by Sept. 7, with the second- and third-place finishers receiving beer-based prizes. The top winner will claim a cash prize and have until the end of the month to complete the mural, using supplies provided by the brewery. According to a release, the mural, on the side of Craggie's building at 197 Hilliard Ave., will serve "in lieu of signage." For more, visit

Greenlife: Groceries grow up so fast! Greenlife, the natural-foods store started by Chuck Pruett and John Swann, celebrates its fifth year in Asheville this summer. To mark the occasion, the store, at 70 Merrimon Ave., is hosting a customer-appreciation party this Saturday, Aug. 29, from noon to 6 p.m. Festivities include live music, giveaways, cooking demonstrations, children's activities and outdoor grilling. But the biggest draw for loyal customers may be the discounts: All items — other than alcohol, flowers and those already marked down — will be 5 percent off for the duration of the party. Even better, customers who attend the event dressed as produce will receive a special prize. To learn more, call 254-5440.


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