What’s new in food: Culinary celebrations for St. Patrick’s Day

SLÁINTE IS TÁINTE: Downtown's Irish-style pub, Jack of the Wood, is a popular destination for St. Patrick's Day celebrants. On Sunday, March 17, the pub will open at 10 a.m., with traditional music sessions from noon-7 p.m. At 8 p.m., local trio Stonehen will play fiddle tunes with percussion and guitar. Photo courtesy of Jack of the Wood
St. Patrick’s Day celebrations in the U.S. typically include green beer, Irish music and lots of revelry. The Asheville area also offers several options for those wishing to delve into the culinary traditions of the holiday — ranging from a five-course whiskey pairing at a traditional Irish pub to premade feasts made with local ingredients.

Ivory Road

On Sunday, March 17, 10 a.m., Ivory Road’s Ladies Who Brunch series will feature an Irish-themed menu by chefs Michelle Gentile, Terri Terrell and Beth Kellerhals. Brunch will begin at 11 a.m., following a social hour with welcome bites and sparkling wine. The menu offers cabbage rolls, bubble and squeak, soda bread, doughnuts and more. The $55-per-person ticket includes tax and gratuity, plus coffee or hot tea. An optional $18 pairing with beverages including mimosas, a local rosé cider, a Croatian white wine and more is also available.

Ivory Road is at 1854 Brevard Road, Arden. For more information, visit avl.mx/dg9.

Goldfinch Cocktails & Kitchen

In Black Mountain, Goldfinch Cocktails & Kitchen is offering both a vegan, gluten-free shepherd’s pie and a traditional meat shepherd’s pie for the week before the holiday — Tuesday, March 12-Saturday, March 16, 4-10 p.m. Also available that week will be vegan, gluten-free bread pudding with apples and Irish whiskey sauce; vegan, gluten-free mint dark chocolate ganache tart; Irish coffees; and alcoholic and nonalcoholic Guinness beer. All food items are made in-house with local meats and produce.

Goldfinch Cocktails & Kitchen is at 122 Cherry St., Black Mountain. For more information, visit avl.mx/dga.

Red Fiddle Vittles

Another option is ordering a St. Patrick’s Day meal to take home. Red Fiddle Vittles is taking orders for pickup on Saturday, March 16, 10 a.m.-4 p.m., for Hickory Nut Gap corned beef and traditional sides. Items are sized to feed two to three adults and will be chilled for pickup with full reheating instructions. Side options include Lusty Monk mustard-glazed roasted carrots and parsnips from Clem’s Organic Gardens; colcannon with cabbage and bacon featuring potatoes from Tater Hill Farm in Monroe and bacon from Colfax Creek Farm in Bostic; and a dark chocolate stout cake with cream cheese icing using flour from Farm & Sparrow in Mars Hill, dairy from Homeland Creamery in Julian, and eggs from Dry Ridge Farm in Marshall.

Red Fiddle Vittles is at 1800 Hendersonville Road. For more information, visit avl.mx/ba5.

Jack of the Wood

Jack of the Wood, an Irish-style establishment that has been serving downtown since 1997, will offer a menu featuring Irish food and drink specials throughout the weekend. On Tuesday, March 12, patrons can purchase tickets for a St. Paddy’s Dinner & Irish Whiskey Tasting that begins with a cocktail hour at 6 p.m. The five-course, gourmet Irish feast will be paired with curated Irish whiskeys and a dessert cocktail, and will be accompanied by live Irish music. Menu items created by chef Earl Moe include smoked salmon, oysters on the half shell, Scotch egg, short ribs and a chocolate Guinness cake with bourbon brown-butter frosting.

“The St. Paddy’s dinner and whiskey tasting was inspired by two of our greatest loves (our third greatest love, music, will also be involved),” says Annabel Eckert, general manager. “We wanted to create an event for the people who want a taste of Irish culture in a calmer and more intimate atmosphere.”

On Sunday, March 17, the pub will open at 10 a.m., with traditional music sessions from noon-7 p.m. At 8 p.m., local trio Stonehen will play fiddle tunes with percussion and guitar.
Jack of the Wood is at 95 Patton Ave. For more information, visit avl.mx/dg8.

NOLA pop-up dinner

On Saturday, March 23, 6 p.m., local private chef Paul Cressend will partner with Samantha Rose, owner and pastry chef at Stay Glazed Donuts and Café, for a pop-up, multicourse dinner at the downtown doughnut shop. The menu will feature Cressend’s favorites from his hometown of New Orleans.

The name of the event, Cucina del Rifugio, translates to “shelter kitchen.” “I’m calling it that because if someone is hungry and needs food, they’re not going to be turned down for lack of funds,” says Cressend.

Rose reached out to Cressend with the idea for the event. The two will collaborate on the menu, with Rose creating the amuse-bouche and dessert and Cressend the appetizer and entree.

Cressend, who became a private chef in 2020 after working for local establishments such as RosaBees and Isa’s Bistro, first moved to Asheville in 2017. His business logo reads the same as the tattoo across his throat: “Create it and plate it.” He recalls getting the tattoo around the same hour as famed television chef Anthony Bourdain died on June 8, 2018. It was then that Cressend decided that the saying was meant to be more than a tattoo, and he started putting it on stickers, T-shirts and trucker hats as a logo. Shortly after, he also put together a business plan for his private chef company.

Stay Glazed Donuts and Café is at 22 S. Pack Square. For more information, visit avl.mx/dg6.

Healthy breakfast options for students

As part of a statewide initiative to expand healthy breakfast options for students, Gov. Roy Cooper announced that Buncombe County Schools will receive an N.C. Innovative School Breakfast Grant.

“I am so grateful for this investment in nutritious school breakfast for students across Buncombe County,” says N.C. Rep. Lindsey Prather, D-District 115. “Children in Buncombe County Schools will be less hungry and more ready to learn. Every child deserves to have a healthy meal, and this is just one of the many valuable things our public schools provide to students.”

According to a press release, the grants are going to “school districts and charter schools that implement innovative school breakfast models to encourage student participation in school breakfast” — including Breakfast in the Classroom, Second Chance Breakfast and Grab and Go Breakfast.

For more information, visit avl.mx/dfz.

Eating out in Jackson County

The Jackson County Chamber of Commerce published its 10th annual “Eating Out in Jackson County” dining guide this month, along with its annual relocation and community guide “Our Town.”

“We’re excited to offer these two popular guides, which are incredibly useful tools for visitors as well as new residents,” says Julie Donaldson, Jackson County Chamber of Commerce executive director, in a press release.

The 32-page dining guide contains feature stories and advertorials for chamber-member food and beverage establishments.

Both publications are available for locals and visitors to pick up at the Jackson County Chamber of Commerce and Visitor Center, as well as at kiosks throughout the county.

The Jackson County Chamber of Commerce and Visitor Center is at 773 W. Main St., Sylva. For the online guide, visit avl.mx/dfy.

Sovereign Remedies Exchange closes

Charlie Hodge, owner of Sovereign Remedies, announced the closing of Sovereign Remedies Exchange, its Leicester location, via social media at the end of last month.
“Leicester, the last year serving you has shown how special this community is and has helped us realize that now is not a time for an expansion but for a concentration to our roots. We have decided that we cannot give the SRX space the care and attention that it deserves to operate at its utmost potential.”
The café originally planned to reopen in March, but Hodge says he and his team will instead focus their attention on the original Sovereign Remedies downtown — working on new menus and new hours and expanding the Saturday and Sunday brunch.
“We are so grateful for the time we had with you, and we sincerely hope we find the perfect buyer for the space that will bring your community exactly what will serve you best,” says Hodge, in the same social media post.
The downtown Sovereign Remedies is at 29 N. Market St., Suite 105. For more information, visit avl.mx/cs5.



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About Andy Hall
Andy Hall graduated from The University of North Carolina School of Journalism and Mass Communication. After working at the United States Capitol for ten years, she has returned to her native state to enjoy the mountains — and finally become a writer.

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