We recently had the honor of visiting one of Asheville’s newest restaurants, Asheville Proper. Located in the historic Grove Arcade directly across from Cultivated Cocktails, this new live-fire dining experience is one you’ll want to encounter.
Atmosphere + Sips
After being instantly captivated by the luscious and rich velvety green and incredible insta-worthy Proper sign right when you enter, our team raised our glasses in celebration of this new establishment each with Gin and citrus. We sipped on their French 75, a champagne cocktail married with gin and lemon, the Bee’s Knees with gin, local Asheville honey and lemon as well as a Gin Fizz with gin, citrus, cream and egg white. Our tastebuds were, of course, tantalized and ready for more.
For the table, we ordered the Embered Beets that were majestically paired with aromatic flavors of herbs and blackberries with rich and velvety goat cheese and sunflower seeds, playing both with flavors and texture. We also taste-tested the Blistered Shishito Peppers which were fresh and pleasantly fun to eat with our fingers or, more proper, with a fork + knife.
When it came time for our meals, we dined on Roasted Carolina Wreckfish, New York Strip and Seared Duck Breast, with Heirloom Tomatoes and Succotash for sides.
Our first impressions drew us to the presentation. I can still see the vibrant colors of the glazed carrots that accompanied the eggplant puree and tomato vinaigrette on the perfectly cooked wreckfish. This dish was the first to catch my eye for sure, not to mention, the flavors did not disappoint.
The New York Strip was served with a chimichurri sauce with a side of heirloom tomatoes. Again, the captivating smells and summer tastes reminded us that we were experiencing vegetables harvested at their prime!
We also shared a side of Succotash that packed a little heat that was expertly partnered with luscious vegetables and bacon with the perfect combination of fat and salt to make you reach for a second, third and even fourth bite.
Last but, far from least, was the seared Duck Breast. This composed plate consisted of Craig’s chanterelles, burnt onion, blueberry jam and perfectly cooked duck! Again, this dish felt fun and playful with textures that married well together accompanied by salty and sweet accents in every bite.
One of the things I loved most about this menu was the option to eat healthily and consciously. Many American restaurants serve vegetables solely as a side to the main course, yet here the sides dishes place nutrient-dense whole foods as the center of attention while also utilizing them in the composed dishes. There were also very few items that were not gluten-free, creating an outstanding dining experience for someone with a gluten allergy.
Our team absolutely recommends you take your sweetheart to this elegant yet accessible must experience restaurant. Be sure to make a reservation and ask for a seat with a view of the live fire. You won’t be disappointed.