fiddlehead definition

fid·dle·head [ fídd'l hèd ] (plural fid·dle·heads) noun
Definition: edible fern shoot: the coiled frond of a young fern, often cooked and eaten as a delicacy

Thursday, September 5, 2013

How to Spend a Perfect Weekend in Asheville: The Asheville Wine and Food Festival Day 1

 Destination Asheville for a weekend of local food and mountain vistas.
In a mere 3 hours and 25 minutes my partner in crime and I arrived at The Renaissance in downtown Asheville. The drive was easy and beautiful with the mountains looming in the distance. We dropped off our belongings and hit the streets for a late lunch. The location of the Renaissance is perfect for the downtown restaurant, music, and art scene.

First stop: Curate
We sipped on a Garnacha blanco and feasted on jamón serrano fermin, jamón iberico fermin, jamón Ibérico de bellota, and croquetas de pollo.

 Second afternoon stop: French Broad Chocolate Lounge
We ooed and ahhed over all hand dipped French Broad confections (one of only a handful in the world to make truffles from bean to bar chocolate) and decided on a (giant) slice of flourless chocolate truffle torte. Then we made noises of extreme pleasure akin to an herbal shampoo commercial. It was that good.
Junction's The Local Sage cocktail- beautiful, layered, sage-y, delicious.
 Our event for the evening: Elixer- a craft cocktail competition of The Asheville Wine and Food Festival with 12 mixologists competing for the prize. The difficult part for these cocktail makers was the necessary inclusion of Angry Orchard hard cider in their glass. The event was lively and convivial. In addition to the cocktails in the competition, there were many local distilleries to sample. I had my first taste of Defiant Whiskey from Blue Ridge Distillery, a trend that colored my weekend.

View from judge Mackensy Lunsford's seat

Autumn in Asheville from OneFiftyOne a crowd favorite including Shrub and Co. Tart Apple Shrub and Troy and Sons Blonde Whiskey. Tasted like fall. I finished my glass and my friend Monica's.

Winner Kyle Beach from MG Road. His 100 Proof Heartache was a smoky, savory concoction worthy of praise with mescal, apple brandy, ginger, chili, lime... On Friday night I visited MG Road and asked him to make a few cocktails and talked about inspiration. He is Paul Calvert-esque behind the bar- charming, inspired, and clever with his ingredients. He asked my style and I explained in literary terms. What I received in return was exactly the flavor profile I was seeking.

Final stop of the night: The Imperial Life
A favorite of mine and on this night chock full of many of the bartenders who competed in Elixer. I was able to sit with good friends and eat Jacob Sessoms locally inspired food. We sampled much of the small plate menu full of all things raw, cured, and aged, like house-made charcuterie, artisan cheeses, raw oysters, sashimi, tartars. Cynthia Turner was a genius and a pleasure behind the bar. Another place where it is good to say "make me something with____ please." We strolled home under a giant moon satiated and happy.