Chicken in soy sauce
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What: With a strong network of regional family farms and longtime organizations like ASAP (Appalachian Sustainable Agriculture Project) in place, Asheville is fortunate to be home to many a locavore restaurant—that is, many eateries that make a real effort to source ingredients locally. Farm-to-table dining is so big here, it’s nearly the norm. Local beer, too, is a given just about anywhere you go. Here are a few of our favorite spots.
Where: Housed in a turn-of-the-century building in historic Biltmore Village, Rezaz (28 Hendersonville Rd., map), from Iranian chef Reza Setayesh, features an elegant Mediterranean menu with lots of locally sourced dishes and an eclectic wine list. Despite the fine-dining setting, prices are moderate and the intimate vibe relaxed.
When: Mon-Fri, 11:30am-2pm and 5:30-till; Sat, 11:30am-2pm and 5pm-till; Sun, 5:30pm-till
Order: The menu changes seasonally; during our visit we enjoyed this beautiful arugula salad ($7) with grilled local peaches and tomatoes, walnuts, and goat cheese—as well as seared local trout, grilled NC grouper, and fried local okra. There’s usually local brisket on offer too.
Alternatively: The excellent Early Girl Eatery (8 Wall St., map) is great farm-to-table Southern food downtown, providing a detailed list of area farm sources—it’s particularly good at breakfast, which it serves all day (see also: Southern-inspired breakfast). Likewise, Corner Kitchen (3 Boston Way, map), in South Asheville, combines local fare with a unique setting, housed in a century-old mansion; it’s especially good for breakfast or lunch. Vegans should head straight for Laughing Seed (40 Wall St., map), where even the tempeh is local (see also: Vegan & vegetarian food). At the Biltmore Estate, we had an incredible lunch at The Bistro (1 Approach Rd., Antler Hill Village, map), where the menu encompasses local trout, meats, farmstead cheeses, and produce from its own garden (we had a particularly delicious fried green tomato sandwich there). In West Asheville, The Admiral (400 Haywood Rd., map), a beloved, divey restaurant often touted as Asheville’s best, incorporates a good deal of local ingredients on its deliciously inventive menu. Perhaps the most local of all, however, are Slow Food adherents HomeGrown (371 Merrimon Ave., map) and The Market Place (20 Wall St., map), where all ingredients hail from within 100 miles of Asheville. For a fuller list of farm-to-table-type eateries, check out the Asheville Tourism website.
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