*I was not financially compensated for this post. The opinions are completely my own based on my experience.*
Cain and I have a special way of traveling. When we go to a new location, we don’t sign up for the touristy things right away, if at all. We scope out the restaurants, sit down, grab a cocktail and watch the world pass before our eyes. We believe that in order to have a remarkable and memorable travel experience, one should experience the culture of a destination; in order to do so, you experience the cuisine.
Food is enlightening and truly the soul of civilization. It can be a symbol of peace, it can express emotions without words, and at the same time be so delicious that your mouth waters just because you smell it. So, fair to say, I love food.
Cain and I are self-proclaimed foodies, and when we travel we plan our trips around our meals. While in Asheville for our Biltmore trip, we had three very different dining experiences. None were poor, but if you have the chance to go to a local restaurant, indulge!
Ruth’s Chris Steakhouse
Ruth’s was our first dinner of the trip, located right outside of the Biltmore Estate and part of Historic Biltmore Village. Our waiter was delightful, and the menu pretty standard; steak. It is a steakhouse after all. I’m not vegetarian, but I tend to lean more towards the veggie and seafood side of things, so while everyone else was deciding on how many ounces of medium-rare meat they were going to devour, I was guesstimating how many sides of brussels sprouts I could eat with my trout. Actually, in all fairness, the sweet potatoes were delicious, as well. Now, their dirty martinis with blue-cheese stuffed olives, holy cow. Y’all, two of those and I knew vacation had begun.
Our party also has this tradition, whenever we go to Ruth’s, we love to order the chilled seafood tower. If you’re feeling fancy, get the large, but for the four of us, the small was perfect. It’s filled with fresh crab meat, large succulent prawns, and lobster. sooo.much.lobster. Just writing about this is making me drool…
Don’t let the picture fool you, we had already dug in before we remembered to take a picture. Rookie mistake, honestly.
The Dining Room
Located at The Inn on Biltmore Estate, this venue emphasized estate-raised and locally sourced ingredients. We ate here for breakfast every day, but at night it transformed into an elegant atmosphere where men wore jackets, and women wore fine jewelry. The menu was simple, either order a three-course meal, or a five-course meal.
We chose the five-course meal (as only a true Sicilian would, I tell you) and with our napkins on our laps, service began.
The first course was a cold appetizer. I simply ordered a heart of romaine salad, but they had spectacular options such a beef tartare and foie gras mousseline. Since there were four of us at dinner, and four options for every course, we shared a little of everything and experienced the full menu together.
Next came the hot plates. One of our friends ordered the charred octopus and all I can say is do not knock it until you try it; it was divine. Personally, I enjoyed the she crab soup. Cain had the chef special which was something with Japanese Wagu beef. Now, that is worth trying if you ever come across it in your travels.
Entrées were divided into stream/ocean and naturally raised meats. So courses three and four were the ‘meat’ of the meal. We chose between lobster tails, steak, salmon, duck, lamb..you name it. I had fresh diver scallops, perfectly cooked with a white balsamic and yuzu reduction.
After quite literally devouring the menu, it was time for dessert. If there is tiramisu or crème brûlée, I will never waver. So I ordered crème brûlée and never even checked to see what the others were served. I finished it off with a cappuccino (of course) and the night ended in perfection.
Rezaz Mediterranean Cuisine
The Biltmore has plenty of restaurants on the estate, but for our last meal, we decided to venture into the Biltmore Village once again. Rezaz was trendy and unique, and we were absolutely blown away by the cuisine. It was so artistic and I believe it represented the heart of what Asheville is to me; a melting pot of art and creativity, love and history.
The scents of garlic and cumin filled the air, and the dishes were plated beautifully before us. Cain and I split the seafood paella, and thank goodness we did because it could have fed four adults.
Fresh sangria flowed that night while a couple of friends enjoyed each other’s company, as well as, one last night in historic Asheville.