What’s new in food: Wine & Roses bar opens at Zelda Dearest hotel

ALL THAT JAZZ: Wine and Roses in Zelda Dearest Hotel is now open to the public Friday and Saturday evenings. Photo by Matt Kisiday

It is easy to picture Zelda and F. Scott Fitzgerald, one of the most infamous It Couples of the Jazz Age, right at home at Wine & Roses. The parlor bar inside Zelda Dearest — a 20-room boutique hotel situated in three historic Victorian mansions and a carriage house in downtown Asheville — is now open to the public 4-10 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays.

General Manager Erika Donaldson says Zelda Dearest welcomed its first guests the last weekend of October, and the 35-seat cocktail lounge poured its first drinks (to hotel guests only) in February. “It’s small and intimate and a great little date-night spot,” says Donaldson. “It’s a perfect place to have a drink before going out for dinner or a show downtown.”

In addition to the lushly decorated lounge, Wine & Roses offers additional seating on the patio of the Rosalind Building, where it’s located.

The beverage menu was created by Asheville hospitality guru Jacob Sessoms (of Table, All Day Darling and Golden Hour at The Radical Hotel). The Gilded Girl, a combination of Casamigos reposado tequila, orange curacao, apricot and lime, seems invented just for Zelda and is one of three signature cocktails on the opening menu. The succinct wine list of red, white, rosé and bubbly features small wineries and one humorously named white vintage — Fish Hippie Seersucker Social. (Try saying that after a couple of glasses.) Local beers and ciders are also available, as well as nonalcoholic options.

In its debut year, Zelda Dearest — with interior design by Nashville’s Anderson Design Studio — was one of five finalists in the Small Hotel category of trade magazine Hospitality Design’s annual awards. The ceremony was held in Las Vegas on April 30. “A hotel in China won in our category,” says Donaldson. “But of the hundreds of boutique hotels opened in the world, we were thrilled to be one of five finalists.”

Wine & Roses is in the Rosalind building at Zelda Dearest, 137 Biltmore Ave. For more information, visit avl.mx/doo.

Parlez-vous français?

You don’t have to speak French to eat French at one of Susi Seguret’s French Farmhouse Dinners she hosts monthly on her farm about 25 miles north of Marshall. But you will be steeped in all things Francophile, from food and wine to music.

The accomplished chef, oenophile, farmer, forager, teacher and writer places herself as a citizen of both France and Appalachia, and the food served reflects that mix. Some French phrases to sprinkle in your conversation around the dinner table — which is likely to be set outside, if weather permits — are C’est délicieux! C’est fameux! C’est parfait! Un verre de vin, s’il vous plait. And, of course, merci beaucoup.

Dinners are held the first Saturday evening of each month; cost is $150 per person/$250 per couple. The next feast takes place June 1 at 6 p.m. The address will be shared upon reserving.

Find out more and reserve your spot at avl.mx/doe.

Winging it

At the other end of the culinary spectrum is that all-American sports bar staple — wings.  If those bony, saucy, messy little poultry flyers are your jam, don’t miss the next episode of Shay Brown’s AVL Food Series, Wing Wonderland, on Saturday, May 18, at Devil’s Foot Beverage Co.’s The Mule taproom.

Seven frequent fryers are on board to put their best wing forward — Hustle Wing Co., Shaa’bingo Jamaican Street Food, Storm Rhum, Kente Kitchen Market, Moe’s Original BBQ, Strictly Wings South Food Truck and The Madness.

The family-friendly event will have music and free games for kids plus cocktails, craft beer and nonalcoholic Devil’s Foot drinks for sale. Additional vendors include Firewalker Hot Sauce, Well Seasoned Table and Pirani Life. VIP access begins at 11:30 a.m., with general admission from noon-2 p.m.

The Mule is at 131 Sweeten Creek Road, Suite 10. For tickets, visit avl.mx/dof. 

Berry good

Local spring strawberries are here, but not for long. Before you use all those sweet, juicy, luscious orbs in strawberry shortcake, strawberry pie and strawberry ice cream, save some for later. In Preserving Your Strawberry Harvest on Saturday, May 25, author and instructor Ashley English will demonstrate how to capture that ephemeral goodness in strawberry preserves, vinegar, sauce, quick pickles and frozen strawberries.

The class takes place noon-2 p.m. at Fifth Season Gardening and includes instruction, handouts and samples. Tickets are $35, and preregistration is required.

Fifth Season is at 4 S. Tunnel Road. Preregister at avl.mx/dog.

Tea time

For Jessie Dean, founder of Asheville Tea Co., summertime means porch sittin’ with a glass of iced tea and a tomato sandwich. With the recent release of her company’s line of Cold Brew iced teas, she is here to help with that quintessential summer-in-the-South beverage.

Cold Brews are available in three blends: Hibiscus Mojito, Blue Ridge Mountain Mint and Looking Glass, a classic black iced tea. Each recyclable box contains three half-gallon brew bags to make iced tea as it was intended — by the pitcher.

The 10-year-old company has just added 46 Whole Foods Markets in the Southeast to its distribution network, which also includes regional grocers Ingles, The Fresh Market and Earth Fare, plus specialty retail shops.

For more about Asheville Tea Co., visit avl.mx/don.

Dive in

On Friday, May 17, the Burger Bar will host a party to celebrate its 65th year of booze, music, comedy, trivia, dirt-cheap specials like $3 canned beers, $4 wells, $6 Hamm Slamwiches (a shot and a beer) and more than six decades of shaming newbies who have the audacity to ask for a burger. NO BURGERS!

Located on the hairpin curve where Craven Street meets Haywood Road on the west side of the French Broad River, the Burger Bar is the repeat winner of Best Dive Bar in the Xpress Best of WNC Awards and claims the title of the oldest bar in Asheville. One and all are summoned to its burgerless birthday party beginning at 7 p.m. and ending when the lights come on at 2 a.m. Punk bands, special drinks and merch will be part of the festivities.

The Burger Bar is at 1 Craven St. Find more information at avl.mx/doh.


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About Kay West
Kay West began her writing career in NYC, then was a freelance journalist in Nashville for more than 30 years, including contributing writer for the Nashville Scene, Nashville correspondent for People magazine, author of five books and mother of two happily launched grown-up kids. In 2019 she moved to Asheville and continued writing (minus Red Carpet coverage) with a focus on food, farming and hospitality. She is a die-hard NY Yankees fan.

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