What’s new in food: The Hound opens in East Asheville

RELEASE THE HOUND: Zambra owner Peter Montague and The Copper Crown owner Adam Bannasch have opened The Hound, a new lounge in East Asheville. Photo courtesy Peter Montague

The Hound, a new lounge concept from Zambra owner Peter Montague and The Copper Crown owner Adam Bannasch, has opened on Tunnel Road in East Asheville.

Cheekily named after the Greyhound bus station that previously occupied the space, The Hound represents a concerted effort to provide East Asheville with an elegant watering hole away from the hustle and bustle of downtown Asheville.

While The Hound will serve both drinks and food, Montague‘s intention is not to be pigeonholed as a simple bar or restaurant. “We’re a lounge,” he declares. “A public room or area designated for people to sit, relax and have drinks with friends.”

Montague, who is half Japanese, took inspiration from izakayas ― casual Japanese drinking establishments that encourage guests to stay awhile ― in the crafting of The Hound’s romantic yet laid-back atmosphere. “My style and aesthetic are centered on creating an air of mystery ― creating a place where you can just disappear.”

The Hound’s candlelit indoor space is warmly furnished and decorated, while its open-air outdoor space aspires to an ambiance of Zenlike tranquility. “I have always been inspired by the union between indoor and outdoor spaces in Japanese architecture,” explains Montague. “Everything is treated as one singular space at The Hound; it just flows.”

The same cultural influence informs drink recipes crafted behind the bar. One particular cocktail, consisting of Japanese gin, sake made with yuzu (an East Asian citrus fruit), fresh-squeezed lime and pure cane syrup, is poised to become one of the lounge’s signature drinks. “It’s sort of our riff on the classic French 75 cocktail, and it’ll be a perfect refreshment to enjoy outside on a warm, sunny day,” says Montague.

Along with seasonal craft cocktails, the lounge also serves a rotating tap selection of 16 local beers and an affordable-to-high-end wine list created by Zambra sommelier Jennifer Thomas.

For food, The Hound features a simple menu of small plates utilizing foods from local partners like The Chop Shop Butchery, Grommet Chip Shop, Sunburst Trout Farms and Three Graces Dairy. The Blue Collar Diner food truck has also committed to serving The Hound’s patrons every Thursday through Sunday.

“We are especially excited to be partnering with The Hound because we feel they share our professionalism and vision for this great location,” says Sarah Keeney, who co-owns and co-operates Blue Collar Diner alongside Michael Aanonsen. “We think our combined passion, experiences and work ethic will provide a truly unique space for Asheville.”

In the future, The Hound plans to invite local chefs to host pop-up events utilizing the lounge’s full kitchen. Look for Venezuelan pop-ups coming soon, as well as oyster and sushi-themed experiences.

The Hound is at 2 Tunnel Road. Visit avl.mx/cs7  for hours and additional information.

A uniquely American tradition

Ready to put your love for hot dogs to the ultimate test? Farm Dogs, located in the S&W Market downtown, invites all craven challengers to its first hot dog eating contest on Sunday, July 2, beginning at 1 p.m.

Participants will have 10 minutes to devour 10 hot dogs, buns and all. Whoever eats all 10 dogs the fastest, or eats the most dogs in the event that no challenger can eat all 10, will win a cash prize of $200, a large, gold chain in the shape of a hot dog and bragging rights that will last long after the stomach cramps subside.

“This event is all in good fun,” says Sara Burton, Asheville’s regional manager for Farm Dogs and Farm Burger. “We’ve been talking about doing an event like this with the folks at S&W since we opened and have always been hesitant, but this year we decided to just go for it.”

Entry into the hot dog eating contest costs $10. To sign up, visit avl.mx/cs6. The S&W Market is at 56 Patton Ave.

Soprana pizza

Soprana, an Italian brick-oven pizza restaurant, will open this fall on the rooftop of the Embassy Suites by Hilton Asheville Downtown hotel.

Philip Bollhoefer, vice president of food and beverage at Parks Hospitality Group, will design an accessible yet distinct menu highlighting local produce, meats and seasonal fare. Bollhoefer is a chef trained at Le Cordon Bleu College of Culinary Arts with nearly 20 years of experience in restaurants and hospitality groups. In addition to pizza, guests can expect a menu of shareable snacks, salads, charcuterie and an extensive local craft beer list.

“The inspiration behind Soprana lies in the stunning natural beauty of the surrounding Blue Ridge Mountains,” says Bollhoefer in a news release. “We wanted to feature the mountains throughout the restaurant’s design to create a space that felt as warm and inviting as the neighborhood we live in, while the menu shines a spotlight on the impressive ranchers, farmers, purveyors and makers in the Asheville food and beverage scene.”

Another new restaurant, E’Terie, is also planned to open on the Embassy Suites lobby level, offering a more casual menu that will include bar bites, snacks and a large list of beers, cocktails and wine.

The Embassy Suites by Hilton Asheville Downtown opens this fall at 192 Haywood St. Visit avl.mx/cs4 for additional information and updates.

New chefs

Westmoreland & Scully has announced a pair of new chefs for the group’s Chestnut and Corner Kitchen restaurants.

Amanda Mathosian now serves as the lead creative force behind both Chestnut’s and Corner Kitchen’s pastry programs. Mathosian studied under chef Marc Anthony Bynum with Marc Bynum Concepts as well as chef and author Guy Reuge with Mirabelle Restaurant & Tavern in New York.

Inspired by a baking internship in Florence, Italy, her dessert offerings will include wildflower-honey lemon cheesecake, spring pavlova and pot de creme. “I want to use seasonal ingredients and support local businesses around town as best as I can,” she says in a news release.

Additionally, Scot Davidson has been introduced as the new chef de cuisine at Corner Kitchen. Some of Davidson’s dishes, like cast-iron roasted mushroom en croute, half a roasted Springer Mountain chicken and spring vegetable green curry, have already made their way onto the Corner Kitchen menu.

“I’m very much enamored by anything to do with the Silk Road spice routes. These spice trades forever changed the culinary traditions of many cultures and allowed the world to experience wonderful flavors and the sharing of ideas that is the basis of everything we see today. I see food as a way to bring people and cultures together despite our differences,” says Davidson in a news release.

Chestnut is at 48 Biltmore Ave. Corner Kitchen is at 3 Boston Way. Visit avl.mx/cs3 for additional information.

Seasonal dishes

Sovereign Remedies has introduced six new dishes to its menu to coincide with the changing seasons.  Running the gamut from appetizers and salads to entrees and desserts, the new menu items all employ local, seasonal produce to create tastes that match the feelings brought on by warmer months in the mountains.

Smoked, fried fingerling potatoes served with guajillo ketchup, pepper rouille and herb aioli offer just enough heat to break a cooling sweat. Hodgepitality media manager Brian Ortiz describes the Mama’s Squash Casserole, with its herb-roasted zucchini covered in goat cheese, Mornay sauce and roasted garlic, as a “comforting hug on a plate.”

The Cajun pineapple heritage pork collar offers a taste of the South with an unexpected tropical twist, and the margarita bar dessert features a lime and blanco tequila curd in a pretzel crust topped with coriander whipped cream and a side of guava churro. “It’s the perfect end to a perfect meal,” says Ortiz.

Sovereign Remedies is at 29 Market St., No. 105. Visit avl.mx/cs5 for additional information.

Devil’s Foot expands distribution

Asheville’s Devil’s Foot Beverage Co., known for its line of farm-to-can craft sodas, has announced a new partnership with BountyBev to distribute in the greater Nashville area, including eight of the middle Tennessee counties. Devil’s Foot products have already started hitting shelves in the Nashville area, and a number of bars and restaurants will soon follow suit.

“We’re really excited to see Devil’s Foot in Tennessee ― it’s been a longtime goal for us,” says Devil’s Foot co-founder Ben Colvin in a release announcing the partnership. “We’re proud to partner with BountyBev, especially with their passion for introducing the best craft beverages into the market. As we expand our footprint, we’re committed to doing things the Devil’s Foot way ― working directly with farmers and growers, making sure we’re doing business in a sustainable way and giving back to our community as much as we can.”

Tennessee joins Devil’s Foot’s expanding distribution area, which also includes North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, Alabama and a nationwide shipping program.

Devil’s Foot Beverage Co.’s local tasting room, The Mule, is at 131 Sweeten Creek Road. Visit avl.mx/ajm to learn more.


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