Most of us “of a certain age” remember a fond time, seemingly a long time ago, when gathering as a family for Sunday dinner was a mainstay of American life.
It was a time of community, discussion of the week gone by, hopes for the immediate future-A time of sharing. Some of the food at those gatherings was fancy; some not so much but it was a much anticipated event not singularly for the food experience but more for the camaraderie and family times we could count on happening there.
Asheville, long noted for its innovative, often inspired cuisine which has become a mainstay for locals and visitors alike can always be counted on to explore new things. Rhubarb, a local dining establishment located at 7 S. W. Pack Square in downtown has sought to focus on dining as a social event as well as a singularly gastric one.
John Fleer, the chef at Rhubarb, has been welcoming patrons to his restaurant on Thursday evenings in a similar kind of “gather round the table” experience that defined Sunday dinner of old- hence “Thursday Family Meal.” Local farmers are also invited to partake offering diners an a “one of a kind” discussion with those responsible for growing the food they are enjoying as well as providing the farmers the complete satisfaction of watching diners thoroughly enjoy the fruits of their labors.
Diners are served to large groups of diners, likely not known to each other, seated around a large table. The meals are simple and guests serve themselves from laden family bowls and platters passed around the table. Chef Fleer seeks to make use of the large amounts of local produce grown in this region and seasonal dictates the menu offerings.
He is planning to expand this option to “Sunday Supper” as well. He feels that all kinds of opportunities for enhancement of social skills for the younger sect, communication, discussion and learning can be co-opted around a dining table. So, if you really want to get the local flavor, meet new folks both tourists and locals alike and find yourselves immersed in some awesome food with vibrant discussion to match you might want to consider Rhubarb Restaurant. $26 for Adults & $13 for for children 12 or younger.
Patti and Gary Wiles, Innkeepers