By Sandy McLeod
Biltmore Estate is the number one attraction in Asheville, North Carolina. This American ‘castle’ and surrounding acreage was the vision of George Vanderbilt. Biltmore home was constructed in the late 19th Century and is visited by over 900,000 people each year. The Biltmore Village section of South Asheville was actually built during the same time period as Biltmore house. Some of the same laborers and artisans that created Biltmore’s delicately handcrafted and original features were in need of housing near the Estate, so the village emerged. To this day this section of Asheville retains its Late 19th and Early 20th Century architecture and mystique.
The atmosphere of South Asheville is characterized by its proximity to historic Biltmore Estate. The restaurants in and around Biltmore Village draw some of the best chefs and finest restaurants to the area. As owner of Asheville Cabins of Willow Winds in South Asheville, I receive guest inquiries about the best restaurants nearby on a daily basis. So, I have put together my top five picks for restaurants. These are the places I would enthusiastically recommend to guests and the public. There are many fine restaurants in South Asheville that do not make my list. Feel free to try them, too.
Located in the heart of Biltmore Village, just outside the gates of Biltmore Estate, the Corner Kitchen is a popular restaurant for locals and visitors. The Southern fare here is served with sophistication and an excellent presentation. The Ploughman’s Lunch of soup, salad, two cheeses and terrine comes with the option of a roasted portabello for vegetarian farmers. Pecan crusted mountain trout and Sesame Catfish are examples of inventive ways to cook these traditional dishes. The Corner Kitchen is open for breakfast, lunch and dinner and serves brunch on Saturdays and Sundays from 9 a.m. – 3 p.m.
Rezaz combines an elegant atmosphere with fine food and a carefully selected wine list. Located at 28 Hendersonville Road, the restaurant is situated right in historic Biltmore Village. The Mediterranean Cuisine is spiced perfectly and colorfully presented. Diners may choose appetizers or small plates or full sized entrees for dinner. Some entrees include: Braised Rabbit Cacciatori, Grilled Wild Boar Sausage and Taleggio Walnut Ravioli. For a light snack over a glass of fine wine, try the Antipasti. Choose from a large selection of seafood, meats, cheeses, olives and dips to make your own plate. Rezaz is an ideal place to meet for cocktails and hors d’oeuvres or have lunch or dinner.
Biltmore Park Town Square, South Asheville
Biltmore Park Town Square is a new, mixed-use town center with fine dining, entertainment, shopping and residences. It is located just off Route 191 (Long Shoals Road). There are many fine restaurants located in Biltmore Park Town Square in South Asheville, but I have my two favorites: 131 Main and Travinia.
131 Main, Biltmore Park Town Square
For those who like continental cuisine and generous selection of fine wines and freshly mixed cocktails, 131 Main is an excellent choice. The restaurant serves lunch and dinner. Some entrees include: Fresh Fish Tacos, Maryland Style Crab Cakes, Homemade Meatloaf and Danish Baby Back Ribs. The Gluten Free Menu accommodates those on a special diet. The atmosphere of 131 Main is inviting and comfortable – with a simply designed urban interior.
Travinia, Biltmore Park Town Square
A meal at Travinia is a surefire way to indulge a love for Italian cuisine. Whet your appetite with pasta dishes with a variety of fresh made sauces to choose from or fresh seafood, meats and poultry cooked and seasoned Italian style. Or, try one of Travinia’s specialty pizzas. Choose from a list of fine wines or cocktails to complement any meal. Enjoy the open, light filled, relaxed atmosphere of Travinia with friends, family and business associates.
For those who love traditional Southern cuisine, eating at Tupelo Honey is a real treat. The restaurant has been a longtime favorite in Downtown Asheville and has a second location in South Asheville. Sample some of the best: fried green tomatoes, southern fried chicken, shrimp and grits, catfish and fried okra. Most food is sourced from local farms and is always served with an innovative and creative touch. There are many other tasty menu selections and even a Gluten Free Menu. Stop in for breakfast, lunch or dinner and experience the informal atmosphere and savory flavors of Southern hospitality.
Visitors coming to Asheville, North Carolina in search of excellent dining experiences will find plenty of options in South Asheville. These are some of my favorite places to dine. Many of our guests at Asheville Cabins of Willow Winds have returned with rave reviews, too. Bon appetite!
Book a luxury cabin in South Asheville, and savor the delectable restaurants nearby.