22 Dec 2012
As Mom & Dad quietly celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary back home in Gadsden (Happy Anniversary, you sweet lovebirds!), Eric and I explored the Biltmore Village area of Asheville (we opted to NOT tour The Biltmore grounds as we found the holiday rates too cringe-worthy…I’d rather drop that kind of cash in the spring, when the gardens are in bloom. But that’s just me). We window shopped the overpriced cook wear, knives and appliances at Williams-Sonoma. We procured rocks for the neighborhood kids at The Compleat Naturalist (some nice iron pyrite or Fool’s Gold which should inspire awe). We drank copious amounts of coffee at the Starbucks. And we scoped out the locations of a few of the local breweries. Then we returned to the downtown area for more urban explorations before resting up for our evening meal at the gluten free restaurant Posana Café.
Yes, that’s what I said. We rested up before dinner. Because didn’t I mention that Eric and I were old timers? Pre-meal slumbers and early-bird specials are what we’re all about.
Again, Eric had made reservations at a stellar local restaurant, the Posana Café, which boasts a menu of simple foods made from seasonal, local goods. And everything on the menu (excluding some of the beers) is gluten free, including their incredible-looking pastries and desserts.
We began our meal with a lovely vegetable-heavy Vietnamese Spring Roll (shrimp, rice noodles, carrots, cucumber, ponzu) and then moved on to our entrees, an Ashley Farms Chicken for me and a Hickory Nut Gap Farms Braised Pork Shoulder for Eric. My Ashley Farms Chicken was a succulent and tender hunk of roast chicken (white and dark meat) nestled on a bed of fingerling potatoes, with royal trumpet mushrooms and caramelized onions. Eric’s Hickory Nut Gap Farms Braised Pork Shoulder looked like a mini pork roast sitting atop a mound of white cheddar stone-ground grits, surrounded with a moat of braising jus, crowned with yummy hot pickled green tomatoes. Both cuts of meat fell apart at the touch of knife and fork. That tender! Dessert was a chocolate-y, raspberry-y Caramel Almond Nougat Bombe which had a shortbread cookie in it! A SHORTBREAD COOKIE! I was embarrassed at how loudly I cracked that cookie apart to gobble it up…
|Ashley Farms Chicken, Posana Cafe. Asheville, NC.|
|Hickory Nut Gap Farms Braised Pork Shoulder, Posana Cafe.|
|Caramel Almond Nougat Bombe, Posana Cafe.|
23 Dec 2012
With the Blue Ridge Parkway closed due to snow and fallen trees on the road, we opted to spend our last day in Asheville watching the newest James Bond film Skyfall in the swanky Carolina Cinemas. Having never been to a lounge theatre before, Eric and I wondered around like two country cousins until we claimed a mid-theatre sofa to sprawl ourselves upon. If we hadn’t been so excited about the movie, we would’ve taken a nap right then and there, because we were already thinking about our dinner at the Black Bird Restaurant…
Speaking of which, The Black Bird restaurant is yet another amazing local eatery where Eric secured dining reservations. And as with the Posana Café, The Black Bird menu is a list of beautiful foods made from seasonal and local products. For this meal, we began with the Arugula Salad, sprinkled with spiced pecans, shaved fennel, blue cheese and wine-poached pears. For our entrees, I chose a Foie Gras Burger with shoestring potatoes while Eric had the Pan-fried “Little Ear” Pasta with mozzarella, artichoke hearts and new potatoes. The foie gras burger was to die for, as were the shoestring potatoes. Eric commented that although the flavor of his pasta was delicious, he found the meal to be a little heavy. We both thought that perhaps this was due to the fact that normally Eric is gluten free in solidarity with me, but had fallen off of the wagon in a royal way on this trip and was feeling its effects. Gluten can do that even to the tolerant…
|Arugula Salad, The Black Bird. Asheville, NC.|
|Foie Gras Burger, The Black Bird. Asheville, NC.|
|Little Ear Pasta, The Black Bird. Asheville, NC.|
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