What’s new in food: The Radical opens in the RAD

TOTALLY RADICAL: Chef Jacob Sessoms on the patio of The Radical Hotel, which houses three of his newest food and beverage concepts. Photo by Andy Hall

The Radical Hotel’s three eateries and bars are celebrating a grand opening Thursday, Oct. 26 — just over two weeks after the River Arts District’s inaugural boutique hotel hosted its first guests. The hotel, which has 70 sleeping rooms and suites, is a refurbished abandoned 1920s warehouse.

Golden Hour, the hotel’s flagship restaurant and pub, is a chophouse that features food with flavors of the South. Using locally sourced ingredients, menu items include seasonal dishes such as Country Captain corn salad, barbecued Japanese sweet potato skewers and North Carolina fish crudo alongside a chophouse menu of shareable dishes and main entrees including Carolina wreckfish, pork blade steak and Brasstown beef ribeye.

The open-air kitchen showcases a custom-made stainless steel, wood-fired grill from Atlanta-based company Grills by Demant. “It’s a really cool showpiece, and we’ll be able to do all sorts of things from little skewers all the way up to whole smoked lobsters,” says executive chef Jacob Sessoms, known for downtown’s Table and Montford’s All Day Darling restaurants. “We’re also going to do pork racks cut by the bone, so you can come in and order four bones of pork chop, or you can order an entire crown roast.”

Classic cocktails are served from a racetrack-style full bar in the middle of the dining room. Open for dinner daily at 5 p.m. and brunch from 10 a.m.-2 p.m. on weekends, the restaurant seats 85 people inside and approximately 45 people on the outdoor patio.

Afterglow, a full-service bakery and coffee bar that opens at 7 a.m., transforms into a lounge every afternoon at 4 p.m., serving small plates and handcrafted cocktails.

The third space, The Roof, is a 125-person-capacity bar overlooking the French Broad River and surrounding neighborhoods. The city’s largest rooftop bar will also host live music, weather permitting.

Sessoms says that neither Afterglow nor the Golden Hour is a typical hotel establishment eatery, and he suspects that the majority of guests will be Asheville residents.

“I think it’s fantastic that we’re expanding this kind of property and hospitality outside of downtown,” he adds.

In addition to the public spaces, a smaller, 30-person-capacity bar on the fifth floor, Pretty Vacant, will be available for private booking by guests in the five suites that surround it. In the future, Pretty Vacant may be the site of pop-up events.

The Radical is at 95 Roberts St. For more information, visit avl.mx/d3g.

Bubbles & brats celebration

The N.C. Food and Beverage Podcast is hosting Bubbles and Brats: A Champtober Fest on Saturday, Oct. 28, at the Oaks at Daniels Ridge, a new 13-acre event venue on Candler farmland.

The afternoon will kick off with a VIP event at 1 p.m., followed by the main event, 2-5 p.m. Participating chefs from across the state include Graham House of the soon-to-be-opened Flat Iron Hotel, Jay Medford and Jordan Carter of Storm Rhum Bar, Ben Hester of The Odd, Scott Franqueza of High Hampton Resort in Cashiers, James Beard Award nominee Keith Rhodes of Catch in Wilmington and Lucas Owens of Native Fine Diner and Julep Contemporary Kitchen in Greenville. The chefs will be preparing sausages, bratwursts and other meats, along with seasonal sides.

The podcast, hosted by hospitality industry veterans Max Trujillo and Matthew Weiss, is based out of Raleigh.

On the podcast episode “What’s on the Menu at Bubbles and Brats?” chefs say they are looking forward to getting creative with “tubed meat.”

“We’re going to be doing a duck and fennel sausage with house[made] sauerkraut and house[made] mustard,” says Franqueza. Owens says he will be serving a version of “beanie weenies,” and Hester says he will be incorporating mountain oysters, or pig testicles, into his sausage dish.

Wines will be provided by Asheville-based Metro Wines and plēb urban winery, as well as others. Whiskey and cocktails will be served by Southern Star Distilling, out of Statesville.

The Oaks at Daniels Ridge is at 818 Monte Vista Road, Candler. For more information and tickets, visit avl.mx/d3h.

A new neighborhood bar in WAVL

Earlier this month, The Low Down, a new bar from The Crow and Quill owner Casey Campfield, opened quietly on the main drag of Haywood Road in West Asheville.
The basement lounge is open Tuesday through Sunday, 5 p.m.-midnight and features cocktails, wine and beer — as well as a selection of nonalcoholic beverages. Currently, small snacks such as chips and olives are available, but Campfield plans to add more menu items in the near future.
“I’ve always loved cozy, hidden spots — and this basement space has intrigued me since it was The Black Cloud,” says Campfield. “I also have been wanting to work in more of a neighborhood pub setting for awhile now, and West Asheville seems like the perfect place for that.”
Unlike The Crow and Quill, The Low Down will not host live music.

The Low Down is at 723 Haywood Road.

Urban Orchard’s 10th birthday bash

Asheville-based Urban Orchard Cider Co. will celebrate its 10th birthday with food, drink and a Halloween-themed dance party on Saturday, Oct. 28, at its South Slope location.

All-day drink specials will include six Fire Ciders made with local peppers from Smoking J’s Fiery Foods: Hopaleño, with citra hops and jalapeños; Passive Pasilla, with cacao nibs and Mexican pasilla peppers; Lemon Drop, with local honey, honeysuckle and lemon drop peppers; Femme Fatalii, with organic Cedar Grove Blueberry Farm berries and fatalii peppers; Sidra del Diablo, with vanilla and habañero peppers; and Scorpion King, with apples and scorpion peppers.

DJ Erik Mattox will spin tunes from 5-9 p.m., and DJ Mtn Vibez will follow at 9 p.m. with Night of the Living Disco: an Apocalyptic Zombie Disco.

Urban Orchard Cider Co. — South Slope is at 24 Buxton Ave. For more information, visit avl.mx/d3j.

Ghouls’ night out

On Sunday, Oct. 29, at 7 p.m., the Omni Grove Park Inn will celebrate the spooky season with an event named after its famous phantom, “The Pink Lady.”

The Pink Lady Party, an homage to the spirit who is said to have roamed the historic hotel’s halls for almost 100 years, will feature small plates accompanied by cocktails such as a pumpkin old fashioned, the Pink Lady’s Love Potion and the Witches’ Brew. Entertainment will include private tarot card readings, games, live music and a viewing of the inn’s employee pumpkin-carving contest.

The Omni Grove Park Inn is at 290 Macon Ave. For more information and tickets, visit avl.mx/d3k.


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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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