Small bites: Asheville Restaurant Week returns

ROOM AT THE TABLE: Once again, a number of local restaurants are serving up a variety of specials during the eighth annual Asheville Restaurant Week. Photo courtesy of Chestnut

Over 30 restaurants are creating special deals for the Asheville Area Chamber of Commerce’s eighth annual Asheville Restaurant Week, which takes place Tuesday-Sunday, Jan. 21-26.

The weeklong event “gives restaurants a boost during a typically slower time period,” says Erin Leonard, vice president of communications at the chamber. At the same time, Leonard adds, locals can “enjoy a winter special or try out a restaurant they’ve never been to.”

Bargello, The Bier Garden, Broth Lab, Button & Co. Bagels, Mountain Madre and Vivian are all new this year to the lineup. Returning businesses include The Admiral, AUX Bar, Benne on Eagle, The Bull and Beggar, Buxton Hall Barbecue, The Cantina at Historic Biltmore Village, Capella on 9, Carmel’s Kitchen & Bar, Chai Pani, Chestnut, Copper Crown, Corner Kitchen, Cúrate, The Greystone Inn, Hemingway’s Cuba, Isa’s Bistro, Laughing Seed Café, The Lobster Trap, The Marketplace Restaurant & Lounge, Posana, Red Stag Grill, Rezaz Pan Mediterranean, Rhubarb, Ruth’s Chris Steak House, Strada Italiano, Table, Tupelo Honey South, White Labs Kitchen & Tap and Zambra.

The specials vary widely but include such deals as a three-course meal for two for $30 at Chai Pani; a wood-fired pizza and beer flight for $12 at White Labs Kitchen & Tap; six tapas dishes for $30 at Zambra; and a three-course vegetarian Cuban lunch for $15 at the Laughing Seed Café.

“We are so fortunate in Asheville to have a great food scene,” Leonard says. “We hope Asheville Restaurant Week encourages locals to support these local restaurants while enjoying some great food.”

Asheville Restaurant Week runs Tuesday-Sunday, Jan. 21-26. For a list of restaurant specials, visit

Macaron and cider pairing

Bold Rock Hard Cider partners with À La Mode Macaron for a macaron and cider pairing on Thursday, Jan. 23. The menu includes the following: white cranberry cider paired with white chocolate cranberry almond macaron; Vat No. 1 paired with Florida sweet orange macaron with Champagne buttercream; ginger turmeric cider paired with candied ginger macaron; Reaper cider paired with blood orange Meyer lemon curd macaron. Tickets are $15. À La Mode Macaron will also be selling macarons separately from the pairing while supplies last.

The event runs 11 a.m.- 10 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 23, at Bold Rock Hard Cider, 72 School House Road, Mills River. To learn more, visit

Food as Medicine cooking class

The Hendersonville Community Co-op will host Food as Medicine, a two-hour workshop focused on digestive and gut health, on Saturday, Jan. 25. Registered dietitian nutritionists Carol Shimberg and Tatiana Arturo will discuss the connection between gut health and skin care, as well as the role of a plant-based diet in the prevention and management of chronic diseases. In addition, the event’s Facebook page notes, students will learn “simple, seasonal, delicious, nutritious and affordable recipes.” Tickets are $25 for the general public and $20 for co-op owners.

Food as Medicine runs 11 a.m.-1 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 25, at The Hendersonville Community Co-op, 60 S. Charleston Lane, Hendersonville. To purchase tickets, visit

Chili Cook-off at Homeplace Beer Co.

Homeplace Beer Co. will host a chili cook-off on Saturday, Jan. 25, featuring 12 competitors serving homemade recipes. The gathering will also feature a guacamole competition. Sampling is free, but a scorecard to vote for your three favorite dishes is $3.

The competition takes place 5-8 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 25, at Homeplace Beer Co., 6 S. Main St., Area C, Burnsville. To learn more, visit

Weird Science

The Blind Pig’s first event of 2020, scheduled for Sunday, Jan. 26, will be a five-course dinner inspired by the 1985 film Weird Science. The undisclosed location will be revealed to ticket holders as the date nears. Proceeds from the event will benefit Foster Our Future – Buncombe County Health & Human Services. Tickets are $65.

The dinner runs 5-9 p.m. Sunday, Jan. 26. To purchase a ticket, visit

Asheville Food Fan Awards

The annual Asheville Food Fan Awards returns Monday, Jan. 27, to celebrate and recognize individuals and businesses within the local food scene. VIP tickets are $100 and include early entry, one-on-one time with chefs, food and two drink tickets; general admission is $45 ($50 at the door) and includes food and a cash bar. Over 15 restaurants will be serving dishes at the event, including Sunny Point Café, AUX Bar, Cúrate and The Underground Cafe with DoughP Doughnuts. Co-organizer Stu Helm says, “People should show up hungry.”

The award show takes place 5-10 p.m. Monday, Jan. 27, at the Asheville Masonic Temple, 80 Broadway. To purchase tickets, visit

GoFundMe: Earthling Coffee + Espresso

Candler resident Kasey Trent recently launched a GoFundMe for Earthling Coffee + Espresso in an effort to help the Candler business recoup financial losses following a break-in. The campaign aims to raise $5,000; at press time, community contributions totaled $1,232. “Let’s show these amazing earthlings that we love them as much as they love us,” Trent writes on the GoFundMe page.

Earthling Coffee + Espresso is at 867 Smokey Park Highway. To contribute, visit

Bottle Riot

District Wine Bar has rebranded itself as Bottle Riot. Owners Barrett and Lauri Nichols renamed their River Arts District business following a trademark dispute brought by Peter and Martha Pollay of Mandara Hospitality Group, owners of the new District 42 inside the Arras Hotel. The new name, writes Lauri Nichols in an email exchange with Xpress, is part of the establishment’s overall mission to create a venue “void of the pretension and arrogance” often associated with the wine industry.

Bottle Riot is at 37 Paynes Way. To learn more, visit


Thanks for reading through to the end…

We share your inclination to get the whole story. For the past 25 years, Xpress has been committed to in-depth, balanced reporting about the greater Asheville area. We want everyone to have access to our stories. That’s a big part of why we've never charged for the paper or put up a paywall.

We’re pretty sure that you know journalism faces big challenges these days. Advertising no longer pays the whole cost. Media outlets around the country are asking their readers to chip in. Xpress needs help, too. We hope you’ll consider signing up to be a member of Xpress. For as little as $5 a month — the cost of a craft beer or kombucha — you can help keep local journalism strong. It only takes a moment.

About Thomas Calder
Thomas Calder received his MFA in Fiction from the University of Houston's Creative Writing Program. His writing has appeared in Gulf Coast, the Miracle Monocle, Juked and elsewhere. His debut novel, The Wind Under the Door, is now available.

Before you comment

The comments section is here to provide a platform for civil dialogue on the issues we face together as a local community. Xpress is committed to offering this platform for all voices, but when the tone of the discussion gets nasty or strays off topic, we believe many people choose not to participate. Xpress editors are determined to moderate comments to ensure a constructive interchange is maintained. All comments judged not to be in keeping with the spirit of civil discourse will be removed and repeat violators will be banned. See here for our terms of service. Thank you for being part of this effort to promote respectful discussion.

Leave a Reply

To leave a reply you may Login with your Mountain Xpress account, connect socially or enter your name and e-mail. Your e-mail address will not be published. All fields are required.