Thursday, December 14, 2006

Feature on Food: Table

Just a short hop, skip and jump down the hill from the Vance Monument in downtown Asheville, N.C. you'll find one of the nicer eateries that the city has to offer. Now, Asheville is a neat city with many, many great places to eat but I've only visited there a handful of times and this place is the best I've been to. The place is Table. With food this good, there's no need to have a complicated name. Also, you would assume that you wouldn't have to eat from a styrofoam plate in your lap, just from the name alone. From their web-site:

Husband and Wife team Jacob and Alicia Sessoms
have returned to the area from New York City where they trained in the restaurant business. They have created a truly "market-driven seasonal New American" restaurant here in downtown Asheville. With the help of several local artisans, they have created a rustically modern and hip atmosphere in their open, store-front space with bold colors and striking wood and steel contrasts.

Jacob has been classically trained in French Pastry and Culinary Arts. He is joined in the brand new open kitchen by another classically trained chef, Matthew Dawes, a Carolina native. Alicia will be managing the formal yet comfortable service of the dining room, bar and wine list.

Sit down at the mahogany and maple bar or one of the hand-made maple tabletops and watch Jacob and Matt's sagacious yet simple food fill the dining room.

The daily written moderately priced menu covers the bases of fine dining style cuisine.

The standouts are their creative approach to salads (beets, greens, creme fraiche and walnut dressing; morels, foie gras and herb salad) and seafood (roasted skate and monkfish boullabaisse; seared red grouper, braised new onions, toast and green goddess).

Drooling yet?

The restaurant itself is in an old storefront located on College Ave. Some of the large windows that face the street have been left in place from the previous business while other have been replaced with glass block, giving diners natural light but privacy from anyone passing along the sidewalk. Inside, the decor is very modern, simple and relaxing. Elements of the building's age are on display with some exposed plumbing racing around the ceiling and the large width hardwood floors. On my visit, a gourmet Carolina pork barbeque sandwich was on the lunch menu. Since I like Carolina BBQ and I was in Carolina, why not give it a try. The pork must have been slow smoked because is was melt-in-your-mouth tender. Served with french bread, black olive hummus and a salad with beets (mmmm beets), it definitely made this trip to Asheville worthwhile. The bar selection looked just as impressive as the food. Maybe someday I can get back there when I would be able to relax a little longer than a lunch break.

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