Two of Asheville's Finest Named Best Restaurants in the South

Best Restaurants in Asheville NC Duly noted for its quirkiness, celebrated for its craft beer, and loved all around as a vacation destination, Asheville ranks high on many "best of" lists year after year. This year is no different (as you may have noticed from several of our previous blog posts). Here's another one to add to our repetoire. Well, actually two. Two local Asheville restaurants are named on Southern Living's Best Restaurants in the South.
The Southern Living article features 100 of the best Southern restaurants of 2014 with a spotlight on the top 10 best new restaurants. Guess what? One of the Asheville picks also makes the top 10, coming in at the #5 spot.
Enough with the suspense, let's talk about who made the list.

Rhubarb, 7 SW Pack Square, Asheville

Chef John Fleer does it again. First he shed light on Appalachian Foodways at Tennessee's Blackberry Farm, now he shines as head chef and owner of Rhubarb, which opened last fall in Asheville. He's a Winston-Salem native who is no stranger to the spotlight garnering several James Beard awards and nominations. Would you expect anything less? Of course not. This is Asheville. World-class cuisine reigns where farm-to-table freshness and exquisite execution of the finest local ingredients are well known and recognized.
Rhubarb does not just focus on its amazing fare, but takes it a step further by providing a food experience that goes well beyond the plate. Important things happen here. Proposals. Anniversary celebrations. Family dinners. Eating out because you don't feel like cooking tonight. Or just because. Personal experiences and memories in the making are what you'll find here.
And then there's the food. It's the finest balance of global influence meshed with local flavor. You'll find regional traditions elevated to new levels with uncomplicated yet utterly amazing flavor profiles. Whole Sunburst Trout suffused in wood smoke and roasted to perfection? Yes, please. The menu is ever-evolving based on the season; sometimes just on the chef's whim. Regardless, the mouthwatering selection is always spectacular. Try it and see.

Cúrate, 11 Biltmore Avenue, Asheville

Ah yes, then there is Cúrate. Cúrate literally means ‘cure yourself’ in Spanish. Need we say more? This tapas bar and restaurant celebrates traditional, authentic Spanish cuisine. If executive chef and owner Katie Button rings a bell, it's because we've mentioned her before in this blog. Just another James Beard award winner, no big deal.
Word on the streets is that Cúrate's Galician-style octopus medallions are as tender as a butterbean. Personally, we are huge fans of the berenjenas la taberna, more commonly known as crispy, fried eggplant. Finished with a drizzle of wild mountain honey and garnished with fragrant rosemary, it is to die for. Literally if we had to choose a last meal, it would be this.
We also love, love, love that Cúrate's menu is completely user friendly denoting which items are gluten free, vegan, nut free and lactose free. Thank you for that.
With so many palette-pleasing restaurants to choose from in Asheville, North Carolina, we hope you'll at least start with putting these two on your list. We promise you will not be disappointed.
Have you been to Rhubarb or Cúrate yet? If so, what did you eat? We'd love to hear about it, drool over it and endlessly fantasize about it.

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