What’s new in food: Corner Kitchen celebrates 20-year anniversary

VILLAGE VICENNIAL: Corner Kitchen of Biltmore Village celebrates its 20th anniversary with a menu of customer favorites. Photo by Oby Arnold

Corner Kitchen restaurant in Biltmore Village celebrates its 20th anniversary with a menu of customer favorites throughout February.

When Corner Kitchen began 20 years ago, owners Joe Scully and Kevin Westmoreland had a simple menu, a small, select wine list and only 15 employees. Now, the restaurant features an award-winning, hand-selected wine list and a French-inspired, farm-to-table menu with seasonal options.

Despite these changes, the CK Reuben remains a customer favorite and the most popular brunch menu item. For dinner, that honor goes to the pecan crusted trout. “The owner of Sunburst Trout [Farms] came by and convinced us to try his trout early on,” Scully tells Xpress. “Once it was on the menu, it never came off.”

The Corner Kitchen staff has grown as well.“We have over 50 employees now,” says Scully, “[and] a full-time human resources administrator, and we have added to our employee benefits program every year for the past five years to now include health care, dental, vision, PTO and 401(k). We couldn’t really imagine being able to do this in 2004.”

For its anniversary menu, Corner Kitchen is bringing back the most popular menu items of the last two decades, including sweet potato lobster tacos with jicama carrot slaw, black bean corn salsa, chimichurri aioli and microcilantro. Scully says there is something for everyone. “If you can’t decide on a dinner entree, choose the trout,” he says. “It doesn’t disappoint.”

Corner Kitchen is at 3 Boston Way. For the anniversary menu, visit avl.mx/bpl

Little Jumbo rebrands as Tropilachia Club

Cocktail bar Little Jumbo is changing its name and switching to a tropical theme, temporarily rebranding as The Tropilachia Club.

“We wanted to do something fun and different,” says owner Chall Gray. “A pop-up bar seemed like a good creative challenge, and especially to bring a lighthearted element to this drab time of year. Our whole staff got really excited about the idea, so it’s been a great experience bringing it all together.”

For February, Little Jumbo’s interior will be hung with grass thatchwork, seashells and bamboo to create an atmosphere that can be described as tiki-esque.

The drink menu, which has long paid homage to classic recipes and cocktails, will also undergo a tropical transformation at the hands of lead bartender Millita Gonzalez.

“This is the first time since we opened in 2017 that we’ve changed our entire drinks menu at once,” Gray says. The new drinks include the Saturn in Jupiter, which mixes gin, almond syrup and guava, and the spicy and sweet Topless Tai Chi. The service-for-two menu options, in which a double cocktail is presented on a tray with twin glasses, will continue, this time with a debut Banana Daiquiri Jumbo Service.

The Core is the next band featured for the club’s regular Monday and Tuesday jazz performances.

The Tropilachia Club is at 241 Broadway and opens at 4 p.m. daily. For information visit avl.mx/dci.

Food truck brings old Manila to Zillicoah

Zillicoah Beer Co. recently announced the arrival of Master BBQ, a new resident food truck specializing in authentic Filipino comfort food.

Paul Pike, owner of Master BBQ, uses heirloom Pinoy recipes, many of which came from his great-grandmother Lola Rosa, who started Three Sisters Restaurant in Manila in 1941. “Our goal is to give you the experience of enjoying 80-year-old family recipes of traditional Filipino comfort food mastered by our Lola Rosa,” he says.

Master BBQ is the first permanent food truck at Zillicoah since Taqueria Muñoz left last year. Muñoz, which is opening its own brick-and-mortar restaurant on Hendersonville Road, had been a mainstay for the brewery since it launched in 2017.

The new food truck features an array of barbecue dishes as well as noodle bowls and butter garlic shrimp. “Our specialties and most popular menu items are the pork BBQ skewers, chicken adobo, pancit bihon and lumpia,” Pike says. “For the sides: jasmine rice, annatto rice, pickled cucumbers and sweet potato fries.”

Master BBQ is behind Zillicoah Brewing at 870 Riverside Drive, Woodfin, open Monday-Thursday 2-10 p.m., Friday-Saturday noon-10 p.m., and Sunday noon-8 p.m. For information visit avl.mx/dcj.

Gemelli introduces regional Italian series

Gemelli, the Italian eatery in West Asheville, is launching a new monthly diner series showcasing the distinct culinary traditions of each Italian region. Gemelli’s five-course dinners will incorporate regional wine pairings and will happen the third Wednesday of each month from February to October.

The inaugural dinner on Wednesday, Feb. 21, at 6 p.m., will feature the tastes of the Piemonte, a northwestern region known for “its rich eggy pastas, earthy hazelnuts and truffles, prized meats and cheeses, and grapes, producing pedigreed red wines like Barolo and Barbera,” according to a press release. Each dinner will include a regional presentation by the chef and a regional wine distributor.

Tickets are $65 and will be charged at the event. Gluten-sensitive and vegetarian accommodations can be made with one week’s notice.

Gemelli is at 70 Westgate Parkway. Reservations can be made at avl.mx/bzw

Last chance for Little Bee Thai

Little Bee Thai has announced on Facebook that it will be closing. According to the post, owner Tuk Charemwong is planning to retire at the end of February.

Charemwong, who began cooking on the streets of Thailand at age 8, has had a lifelong dedication to authentic Thai cooking. The restaurant began in a gas station on Sweeten Creek Road, then became a food truck before settling in its permanent location on South French Broad Avenue. Known for its spiciness, fresh seafood and local ingredients, Little Bee has been a regular in the Asheville food scene for the last 15 years.

The restaurant will come under new ownership with a new name and menu, according to the Facebook post, though no more information is yet available.

Little Bee Thai is at 45 S. French Broad Ave. and is open for lunch Wednesday-Friday, 11:30-2 p.m., and for dinner Tuesday-Saturday, 5-8:30 p.m. For information visit avl.mx/dcl.

Haywood County Library hosts food drive

Haywood County Public Library is kicking off its second annual food drive in partnership with Haywood Christian Ministry, according to a press release. The drive, which takes place Monday, Feb. 19-Friday, March 1, collected nearly 700 items last year. “Food insecurity is a problem many of our neighbors face,” says Zachary Jones, the community engagement librarian for Haywood County. “[By] sourcing quality food, we hope that this food drive can make a real impact on as many people in our community as possible in a positive way.” Dry-storage items such as canned food, beans, rice, pasta, boxed meals or any other nonperishable food can be donated at any Haywood County Public Library branch.

For more information, contact Zachary Jones at zachary.jones@haywoodcountync.gov or call 828-356-2502.


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