Friday, May 1, 2009

I took my tastebuds to Asheville

Thanks to the fun and creative nature of my job, I spent three glorious days last week in Asheville, NC doing site visits and learning more about the city and its culture in an effort to bring more bank business to the area. Whitney, Sara and I enjoyed our time touring various hotels, the beautiful Biltmore and the beautiful Blue Ridge Mountains. With our educational visit came a culinary tour of the city that took us to three unique establishments that left us with full stomachs and smiles on our faces.
Our first stop landed us at Sante wine bar in the historic Grove Arcade of Asheville. The atmosphere was perfect for a spring evening. We enjoyed wine and a trio of dips that included bruschetta, roasted red bell pepper with goat cheese and my personal favorite, the roasted walnut and blue cheese. Our quick cocktail hour at Sante was the perfect way to start off the night!

Our second stop of the night took us to one of the most fabulous and ecclectic dining establishments that I have ever been to. Bouchon French Bistro (Bouchon means "cork" in French but Bouchon is also what the French refer to their neighborhood bistros) features "French comfort food". Not only was this place packed on a Monday night but the whole restaurant smelled simply amazing. We were seated in a table at the back of the restaurant and out the back door on the adorable back patio that reminded me of something in Europe. We were served family style and each dish brought out to our table was a surprise. My favorite appetizer was the tomato stuffed with goat cheese over mixed greens. Dinner dishes included a delicious veal picatta, steak au poivre, a roasted portobello mushroom with goat cheese and fresh trout from Asheville. We were told that we had to try the french fries so Michele, the charming owner, brought out three huge cones of them with the tastiest dipping sauce I have ever had! We left Bouchon stuffed but still had one stop to make!
One more stop on the culinary tour and we all know there is ALWAYS room for dessert. In my opinion, it's the whole point of the meal! We made our way to Stovetrotters for our final stop of the night and it was nothing short of a symphony of flavors presented to us on a plate! Three tiny sized desserts to taste and each one was amazing. Strawberry shortcake, chcoolate mousse and bananas foster bread pudding! While enjoying our dessert and coffee, we realized we were enjoying our food in the company of Asheville's own local celebrity...Andie MacDowell! Who knew that a business trip could turn into a tour for your tastebuds?!


  1. Bouchon is amazing! I'm glad you enjoyed it as much as we always do. Next time you must have their Butternut Squash Soup.