Small bites: Asheville Restaurant Week returns for its fifth year

FULL PLATE: "Asheville Restaurant Week gives an economic boost to local restaurants and offers a special prix fixe menu to diners during the winter," says Erin Leonard, director of communications for the Asheville Area Chamber of Commerce. "It is a great opportunity to get out to a favorite restaurant or try something new."
FULL PLATE: "Asheville Restaurant Week gives an economic boost to local restaurants and offers a special prix fixe menu to diners during the winter," says Erin Leonard, director of communications for the Asheville Area Chamber of Commerce. "It is a great opportunity to get out to a favorite restaurant or try something new."

What does the Cuban-inspired ropa vieja from The Cantina at Historic Biltmore Village have in common with Golden Fleece’s grilled octopus, Twisted Laurel’s duck pastrami sandwich and Copper Crown’s blackened catfish over jambalaya? Give up? They are all available during Asheville Restaurant Week, which runs through Thursday, Jan. 26.

Restaurants participating in the fifth annual event offer special prix fixe menus for lunch and dinner that include options ranging from $15-$35 per person.

For Kate Bannasch, general manager and co-owner of Copper Crown, Asheville Restaurant Week is a mutually beneficial event. Locals get to sample a wide variety of multicourse meals at establishments they might not regularly frequent, while restaurants get to prepare special fare primarily for locals during the slower winter season. “It is an event that appeals to every diner, from college student to retiree,” says Bannasch.

Katie Button, owner and executive chef at Cúrate and Nightbell, agrees. “It gives the restaurants a chance to impress,” she says. “It is also an event that is primarily supported by the local community. Having the support of the locals in your restaurant is the only way to have any staying power.”

This year’s participating restaurants include 131 Main, The Market Place, Addissae, Modesto, Ambrozia, Nightbell, The Blackbird Restaurant, Posana, Blue Dream Curry House, Red Stag Grill, Bomba, Rezaz, Buffalo Nickel, Rhubarb, The Bull and Beggar, Roux, The Cantina at Historic Biltmore Village, Ruth’s Chris Steak House, Chestnut, Salvage Station, Copper Crown, Sovereign Remedies, Corner Kitchen, Storm Rhum Bar & Bistro, Cúrate, Strada Italiano, Golden Fleece, Table Asheville, Isa’s Bistro, Twisted Laurel, Lexington Avenue Brewery, White Duck Taco, Marco’s Pizzeria and Wicked Weed Brewing.

Asheville Restaurant week runs through Thursday, Jan. 26. For more information, visit avl.mx/3aw.

Burial Beer dinner at Hickory Nut Gap Farm

Burial Beer Co. will be a part of Hickory Nut Gap Farm’s Winter Dinner Series this week. The meal will feature five beers — favorites and seasonal releases — paired with five courses that include locally sourced produce and meat from the farm. A free shuttle ride from Burial Beer to Hickory Nut Gap Farm will be available at 6 p.m. Guests will receive complimentary Burial Beer glasses.

The dinner is at 6:30 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 21, at Hickory Nut Gap Farm, 57 Sugar Hollow Road. Tickets are $67 (not including tax or gratuity). To reserve a seat, visit avl.mx/3at.

Fisherman’s Stew: Bouillabaisse to Cioppino

Fisherman’s Stew: Bouillabaisse to Cioppino is the latest class offering at Ofri’s Home Cooking. Creamy New England chowder, French bouillabaisse and Italian cioppino will all be prepared during the three-hour session. In addition to soup, students will make rouille (a garlic-pepper paste that goes along with the soups) and homemade bread. Space is limited.

The class runs 6-9 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 21. Call or email Ofri Gilan for location details at (917) 566-5238 or ofrigilan@hotmail.com. Tickets are $65 and are available at avl.mx/3as.

Super Bowl snacks class

The Super Bowl is a few weeks away, and in preparation for the big event, The Farm’s executive chef, Mike Ferrari, will hold a cooking class on making Super Bowl treats. Featured game-day favorites will include wings, bacon-wrapped jalapeño poppers and several dips, including a seven-layer bean dip. The class can accommodate up to 12 students.

The class happens 5:30-8:30 p.m. Tuesday, Jan. 24, at The Farm, 215 Justice Ridge Road, Candler. Tickets are $70 per person. For details, visit thefarmevents.com.

Schug Wine Pairing Dinner at Isa’s Bistro

Five wines from Sonoma, Calif.’s, Schug Winery will be paired with four food courses at an Isa’s Bistro wine dinner on Tuesday, Jan. 24. The Asheville School of Wine and Tom Leiner of Grapevine Distribution will join Schug winemaker Mike Cox in leading the event. The gathering begins with a glass of 2012 Schug rouge de noir sparkling wine followed by a first course of chilled shrimp and blue crab paired with a 2015 Schug Sonoma sauvignon blanc. Other pairings will include seared scallops with a 2014 Schug Carneros chardonnay, roasted North Carolina pork shoulder with 2014 Schug Carneros pinot noir and braised short ribs with creamy polenta, cipollini onions, parsnip chips and herb gremolata served with a glass of 2012 Schug Sonoma cabernet sauvignon.

The dinner takes place at 6 p.m. Tuesday, Jan. 24, at Isa’s Bistro, 1 Battery Park Ave. Tickets are $75 per person. To reserve a seat, call Isa’s Bistro at (828) 575-9636.

 

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About Thomas Calder
Thomas Calder received his MFA in Fiction from the University of Houston's Creative Writing Program. He has worked with several publications, including Gulf Coast and the Collagist. For his weekly #tuesdayhistory tidbits on Asheville, follow him on Instagram @tcalder.

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