Guests joining the celebration of recently completed renovations and new menu items at Tupelo Honey Café in south Asheville were enjoying food, drink and fresh décor at the restaurant last Thursday evening.

“The entire restaurant was renovated from a decor standpoint,” said Christin Prince, Tupelo Honey Café spokesperson.

In addition to new furnishings, which include the bar, children’s play space and permanent lawn turf are among new features.

“We also installed a NanaWall system that allows for seamless indoor/outdoor dining between the covered patio and the interior,” Prince said.

The prep kitchen was also expanded as part of the upgrades to the restaurant along with a national test kitchen next door.

Seated in the spacious covered patio area, people were sampling honey dusted fried chicken, roasted chicken with honey jalapeño lacquer and deviled eggs with a flavorful twist—foods that reflect an upscale flavor of Southern mountain cuisine.

New brunch items include mountain blueberry pancakes and “All I Avo Wanted”—eggs Benedict with avocado, pepper and farmer’s cheese.

The cocktail menu also now features mimosas served with natural juices, house-made purees and sparkling wine such as the sweet and tart offering made with grapefruit juice and blueberry puree. New versions of bloody Marys include Black Pepper Vodka, Black Beard with black rum and Bloody Maria created with tequila and served with a lime salt rim.

Snack items found on the updated menu are sustainable East Coast oysters, mac and cheese bites and barbecue chicken egg rolls. Sandwich additions include picnic chicken salad, avocado chicken and grilled turkey and apple flatbread.

“We are still a scratch-made kitchen and we still use responsibly sourced ingredients,” Prince said.

Meats, fish, produce and bread are purchased at Hickory Nut Gap Farm and Goodnight Brothers Ham, Annie’s Bakery, Imladris Farm and Carolina Mountain Trout, as well as from other local and domestic sources.

Beers served at Tupelo Honey come from local craft brewers including Highland Brewing Company and Wicked Weed Brewing.

Stephen Frabitore, owner and CEO of Tupelo Honey Cafe, purchased the restaurant in downtown Asheville in June 2008. Nearly two years later, Frabitore opened another restaurant in south Asheville.

The company since has expanded and now has Tupelo Honey cafes in Charlotte, Raleigh, South Carolina, Tennessee, Georgia, Texas and Colorado.

Tupelo Honey Executive Chef Eric Gabrynowicz, a born-and-bred New Yorker who has always been obsessed with Southern cuisine and spirits, joined the restaurant in 2016.

He is a four-time semifinalist for the James Beard Award categories of Rising Star Chef and Best Chef Northeast and was named Food & Wine Magazine’s “People’s Best New Chef of New York” in 2012.

Tupelo Honey Café, 1829 South Hendersonville Rd., is open Monday through Friday from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. and on Saturday and Sunday from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m.

Brunch is served on Saturday and Sunday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. and Happy Hour takes place Monday through Thursday from 4 to 7 p.m.

For more information visit the website at https://tupelohoneycafe.com/location/southside-asheville/ or call 828-505-7676.

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