Friday Festival of Food and a Lazy Saturday

Friday:  REST

Saturday:  uh…raining, no dog walking…REST

Had to share a pic of Thurday’s activity…it was chilly but so pretty!  Sadie was happy to get out.

Thursday night was my late night to work and Joe went to hang with some friends, so dinner was on my own.  I made myself an open-faced sandwich on Whole Foods Prairie Bread with spinach, avocado, onion, a crumbled Boca burger, and melted cheddar.

Breakfast Friday morning was another oatmeal mix…in the bowl:  oats, Bob’s Red Mill 10-Grain Hot Cereal, dried cranberries, made-by-a-friend berry preserves, and almond butter.

Lunch was leftover Pork and Mango Stir Fry and a small cup of strawberries, plain Greek yogurt, and granola.  I usually pack the fruit and yogurt as a planned mid-morning snack but lately I seem to be eating it at lunchtime…haven’t had time to stop for a snack recently, I guess.

Dinner found us at the grand opening of Asheville’s newest restaurant, Curate.  My foodie friend Emily and I started researching it as we were wrapping up our work day, and as soon as I read about it and got a glimpse of the menu, I knew we had to try it.  It delivered!!  Spanish tapas and Spanish wines…can’t beat it.  If you live in Asheville, you must check it out!!!

One side of the wine menu…

We started the food festivities off with a sampler of three different varieties of cured Spanish ham:  jamon serrano – dry cured Spanish ham; jamon iberico – cured ham from the famous black-footed Iberico pigs of Spain; and jamon iberico de bolleta – same pigs, but fed only on acorns, making it especially flavorful.  It was really interesting to compare the different flavor subtleties of each meat.  Apologies to any vegetarian readers, but this was awesome.  😉

Followed the ham sampler with a cheese plate, featuring a daily selection of Spanish cheeses…also delicious.

Next, we tried the piquillo peppers stuffed with cana de cabra cheese, followed by the sauteed spinach with apples, raisins, and toasted pine nuts.  I didn’t get a picture of either dish, they went so quickly!

Up next, seared scallops with roasted red pepper sauce.  These were cooked SO perfectly and the red peppers were divine.

We couldn’t pass up anything billed as “the number one tapa in Asheville”:  sauteed shrimp and sliced garlic.  It lived up to its word.

There were quite a few more dishes that did not photograph well:  lamb skewers in Moorish spices; mild pork sausage with white beans and allioli; and a delicious shrimp paella that the owner himself brought out to us as our last dish.

The wine menu featured many selections of Spanish wines at many varying price points.  We were thrilled with both of our selections – this was the second.  Their somalier made excellent recommendations and her knowledge was impressive.

We could not pass up dessert, of course.  A whipped sherry cream dish and a chocolate mousse with apple sorbet…to die for.

Keep in mind all of these plates were tapas, or, “small bites”.  We shared all of this amongst four people and it was just so fun!!  I am a new fan of tapas dining.  It’s perfect for someone like me who struggles with menu decisions (seriously, I am a Libra and my decision-making scales always interfere ;)); I get to try it all!

Thanks to Curate, with it’s traditional open-kitchen design; warm, inviting atmosphere; and authentic Spanish wine and cuisine, we are now all saving for a trip to Spain!  Maybe in 2012…

After all of that, today brought zero food pictures.  I must have subconsciously been sick of shooting pictures…I brought my camera with me out and about but realized I forgot to replace the SD card.  So, just a quick, picture-less recap:  breakfast at Whole Foods’ hot breakfast bar – grits, scrambled eggs, black beans, and a slice of French toast.  Lunch didn’t really happen…but we did stop at the Village Wayside Bar and Grill for a late afternoon beer and hummus snack…we were interested in catching the Georgia-Alabama basketball game and had been wanting to check out this relatively new eating establishment.  It’s a cozy little place in Biltmore Village that could easily become my new favorite neighborhood bar.

We are now back home and gearing up for the Carolina-Dook game (GO HEELS!!).  I have kale lasagna (recipe featured in Recipe links) in the oven and a bottle of wine waiting to be opened…so I better get going!  Thanks for reading!  Have a great Saturday night!

Do you enjoy trying new places to eat?  How often do you eat out?

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