Hey there, Moveable Feasters! Welcome to our Dinner Review page! What follows is a blog which we will update frequently that lists, in our opinions, the best places to get dinner in Asheville. Sure, there are many places that you won’t find immediately on this list (Asheville does have over 250 restaurants, after all) – but these are places that we have found, or continued to patron in 2017 because they are so good, that we think are special and want to share with you.
The following restaurants received EXCELLENT ratings from our culinary curators in the categories of FOOD, CREATURE COMFORTS, and SERVICE. We keep the reviews short and sweet (we know you are busy people, after all.) We think you will really enjoy these gems.
Sonora Restaurant – 89 Patton Avenue – visit often// now a NEW partner of Moveable Feasts!
Bringing Asheville the “legendary flavors of truly Mexican comida.”
Photo by: Yelp Reviewer
We are super excited to announce a partnership with our newest favorite restaurant, Sonora. You may be thinking that there is no shortage of Mexican places around town, and you would be partially correct. We have many Tex-Mex restaurants in town and a few authentic Mexican joints that certainly deserve a shout-out such as El Que Pasa and Papas and Beer. There are some great fusion places in town – such as the first-awesome-restaurant-I-used-to-drive-to-way-back-in-high-school, Salsa’s, and the new Mountain Madre. With the one exception of Taqueria Munoz (which I will review later because it is incredible and deserves an entire review of its own), Sonora is your absolute best bet for full-service authentic Northern Mexican cuisine in town.
The menu is small and this is excellent news, dear reader; trust us. There are classic dishes on here, such as empanadas, their savory chilaquiles (one of the most perfect brunch items out there, if you ask me) and their Mexican street corn, a heavenly combo of sweet corn, creamy mayonnaise, lime salt, and chile seasonings. The tacos are corny and packed full of flavors, their most popular being the shrimp. They also offer tortas, which are giant meaty sandwiches on crusty bolillo rolls that will fill you up for a good, long while as you stroll around town window-shopping or heading off to (or back from) the breweries. But, the crown jewel of Sonora if you ask this cheese-and chile-loving freak, is their Chile Relleno. In this heavenly dish you get a (pretty large) Anaheim pepper that is stuffed with jack and cojita cheese, fried, and dipped in a fresh tomato sauce. It comes piping hot to your table; you can hear the cheese sizzling as you wait patiently to dive into this molten madness. And as you dig in, you are transported to sunny Mexico, sitting in an open cafe on a square, where you sip margaritas all day and then dance into the evening. Which reminds me – margaritas!
The bar program at Sonora is one to be celebrated. If you scroll through their stunning instagram account, you will see some truly beautiful items. I’m a sucker for infusions, so my heart skipped a beat when I saw a rose-petal and bird’s eye chili infused tequila! Yes, please! They also do killer margaritas, palomas (tequila version of the Greyhound), bloody Marias (again, tequila), and Sangria as well as other creative craft cocktails. Above you see pictured one of their seasonal signature drinks, the Dame Rosa, which is made with fresh watermelon juice, muddled jalapeños, and a chili-salted rim. Sonora plans to sell their fancy salts soon, and I can’t wait!
So next time you’re wandering around downtown and wanting some not-your-usual kind of “southern” cuisine, head south of the border to Sonora, where you will relish in the fresh, farm-to-table ingredients and consistently creative and authentic dishes that this new gem has to offer.
Local Provisions – 77 Biltmore Avenue – visited in January 2017
“Locally sourced, crafted with love.”
Photo by: Local Provisions
After hearing about this place for a while now (Southern Living ranked it as a top restaurant in 2016), we were excited to finally get in to Chef Justin Burdett‘s casual yet elegant Southern joint. As a Southern girl, I am not usually one to seek out Southern cuisine (because I want to live past the ripe old age of 35 and let’s be honest, while often delicious it is not the healthiest fare out there), but Local Provisions was different; what they do with Southern cuisine by showcasing wild and foraged ingredients from local area farms is not a new concept but it is one that they have absolutely perfected. They have a small (always a good sign!) but impressive menu categorized as such: Taste (yummy bites), Small (plates for sharing), Large (plates for sharing or not), Preserved (my favorite category: I am pickle obsessed!), and Drinks (impressive list of wines but also house cocktails and non-alcoholic specialties such as local kombucha).
We shared several plates and focused on vegetable dishes. For a starter we ordered off of the Preserved list and I was delighted with what came: a soft, buttery cow-milk cheese from Sweet Grass Dairy in Georgia, bright green olives (tasted like castelvetrano), and – not listed on the menu but one of my all-time favorite Asheville products – seeded bread from the wonderful Farm and Sparrow bakery. As our mains we shared 2 dishes off of the Small plates menu: the Ten Mile Grits with ricotta, whey, and charred broccoli (excellent grits, and I am a huge grits snob) and the Roasted Heirloom Carrots with dijon dressing, spiced bread crumbs, and an olive oil poached egg yolk. The egg yolk was hiding under the beautifully roasted carrots but what a treat to dip the carrots and crunchy bread crumbs in a perfectly poached egg! For dessert we enjoyed the Blood Orange Upside Down Cake with Brown Butter Ice Cream (cake was a bit dry but wow – that ice cream!). Cocktails were tasty (we got House G&T’s) and our delightful waiter was very helpful (and patient!) in helping us pick the perfect red for our meal from the expansive list.
Local Provisions, while it is New Southern cuisine, is not at all pretentious or stuffy nor does it partake in some of the silly trends du jour such as taking what were once the cheaper foods of lean times (think: bacon) and fancying them and charging an arm and a leg (think: bacon foam). This is a classy and still comfortable place where you can get excellent food that celebrates the bounty of our fertile region.
[On an adorable note – most dining patrons were adults like ourselves, slightly dressed up for a Friday night date. But then there was this little girl, maybe 6 years old, sitting at the bar playing solitaire and having a great time watching her daddy, Chef Justin, through the kitchen window. Kind of like he used to as he watched his grandmother cook. Warmed my heart.]
Reservations: (828) 424-7815