Curate, Asheville, NC
Oh I am a luck woman. And my husband loves me. Which is evident because on my way home from Thanksgiving, he instructed me to stop by Curate in downtown Asheville. Apparently, he read an article in the New York Times saying Chef Katie was going to be the next James Beard SE winner. I wasn't sure if this was enough of a draw to take me off the interstate, but the sun in my eyes while traveling west was.
Joy of joys. First, gluten-free items are marked on the menu. They have lentil crackers if you want them. Was I sad watching beautiful Spanish tomato bread being served left and right? Yes. Did my plate of piggy goodness - aka Iberico ham - make up for it. Yes.
I also had the most amazing spinach I have ever had (so good I ordered more to go) with granny smith apples and plump raisins, and the sausage with white beans, and... well it goes on. Yes I am gushing. I even gorged myself on this wonderful apricot dessert that didn't make me wish for cake at all - because it had pine nuts and pine oil. How could that be bad. And the chef is just so danged nice too. Really. She smiles and speaks to people from her open kitchen and seems genuinely happy you love her food. Which just makes me want to eat more!
I told hubby that having lived in Spain made me super picky and that it better be either very inventive, or very traditional with the amazing quality of ingredients that Asheville is known for. It is both.
I showed up at 4:30. The place was PACKED. I understand why. Practice patience. Go anyway.