French Broad Chocolate Lounge: With so many chocolate lovers looking to linger at the French Broad Chocolate Lounge, which has emerged as the downtown-Asheville dessert place since the demise of Old Europe, the café had little choice but to add more seating. French Broad's second floor, featuring nearly three-dozen additional seats, debuted last month. Owners Jael and Dan Rattigan also plan to soon furnish an adjoining rear room as a private dining area.
But no matter where patrons are seated, the Rattigans are hoping they'll take advantage of the café's newest menu item: espresso. While the restaurant has always offered French-press coffee, it recently added a Marzocco espresso maker to its inventory, so customers can now order cappuccinos and lattes to match their brownies and truffles.
French Broad Chocolate Lounge, at 10 S. Lexington Ave., is open Sunday, 1 to 9 p.m.; Monday through Thursday, 11 a.m. to 11 p.m.; Friday and Saturday, 11 a.m. to midnight. For more information, call 252-4181.
Buffalo Wild Wings: A fried-chicken-wing chain with a stated aim of establishing 1,000 outlets nationwide is moving one store closer to its goal with the opening of an Asheville location. Buffalo Wild Wings, a 27-year-old franchise headquartered in Minneapolis, has hung its shingle outside the 4 Tunnel Road building previously occupied by Don Pablo's Mexican Kitchen. According to its Web site, Buffalo Wild Wings — affectionately known to fans as B-Dub's — annually serves 62 million wings in 14 signature flavors, including parmesan garlic, Asian zing and mango habanero.
Raw Food: Raw, raw, raw! That might just be the rallying cry of raw-food guru Matt Monarch and his new bride, Angela Stokes-Monarch, whose Web site proclaims she lost 160 pounds by switching to a raw-foods diet. The Monarchs will be the couple-in-residence at an upcoming "raw food extravaganza" in Asheville, jointly hosted by local businesses Selina Naturally and UliMana. In addition to lectures by the couple, the evening program on Friday, Oct. 30, includes a raw-food dinner catered by Greenlife and an afterparty with music by Arundas. The extravaganza, at 4 Celtic Drive in Arden, runs from 4 to 11 p.m.; tickets for the entire event are $50, with tickets for the post-dinner portion of the program available at half price. For reservations, call 867-7258.
Grove Park Inn: Gingerbread houses aren't just for oohing, ahhing and — eventually — eating: The Grove Park Inn this year is coordinating an educational tour around its holiday gingerbread-house competition, taking guests "behind the scenes" to learn more about gingerbread construction. The "Stories of Gingerbread" tour will be offered Monday through Saturday at 10 a.m. and 4 p.m., starting Nov. 23. The ticket price of $10 for adults and $5 for children includes a commemorative lapel pin. For reservations, call 252-2711, ext. 4094.