This past week I traveled to Asheville, NC for a work “retreat.” I realized on my way there that I had not been to the mountains in over 5 years. And that is a shame. I’ll always be a beach girl but I must say, the two days I was in Asheville was fantastic. (Though I’m not sure I’d be singing the same tune if our retreat had been in January.) The weather was perfect for being in such a walkable town. The days were pretty much booked with work “stuff” and meetings but we did manage to squeeze some fantastic dinners and treats into the trip.
On Wednesday night, we started the retreat off with dinner at Nine Mile which is in the Historic Montford area. This Caribbean-inspired restaurant had so many things on the menu I wanted to try. But I was craving a salad. And I went with my craving. I chose the “Easy Skanking” salad.
Grilled 3oz tuna steak wtih mixed greens, grilled pineapple, grape tomatoes, raw sunflower seeds, gingered feta & a sprig of fresh mint.
I picked the Jalapeno-Lime Cilantro dressing to drizzle on top. Divine! The salad was so fresh and the tuna was perfectly rare. I loved the ginger-twist of the feta cheese.
Thursday was a full day of meetings. But for dinner we decided to dine at Laughing Seed, an “organic, seasonal, farm-to-table vegetarian” restaurant. I started the table off with the local cheese plate. I must say, it’s so nice to go to a restaurant where “gluten-free” is specified on the menu and you don’t seem weird for ordering “gluten-free” fare. For dinner, I went with the Laughing Seed Salad:
Romaine lettuce, spring mix, grated carrots and red cabbage, cherry tomatoes, red bell peppers, cucumbers, red onion, fresh corn, blanched broccoli, mung bean sprouts and clover sprouts, topped with sunflower and pumpkin seeds.
This salad was huge…and I ate every.single.bite. The champagne-dijon vinaigrette was amazing! Homemade dressings are where it’s at.
And on Thursday night we splurged. We ended the night at French Broad Chocolate Lounge. I wanted one of everything. However, my friend (who’s a native of Asheville) insisted that I give the liquid truffle a try. And that’s something I’ll never regret. It was worth every calorie. I loved the flavor selection but settled on the salted caramel liquid truffle – a little sea salt is the perfect compliment to chocolate. Simply perfection. I think I was tipsy off the chocolate, though. And I couldn’t leave without a real truffle – so I selected six perfect truffles to take home. The pictures doesn’t do my sweet treat justice at all.
Asheville, I promise to not take five more years until I return again.