From the moment we entered the hotel, I was in a happy place. We were seated in an elegant dining room with a window view of mountains, near the large fireplace. It just felt luxurious. The place settings were gorgeous, with the Vanderbilt crest and beautiful flatware. We were treated with first-class service from start to finish.
What I loved about the food was the seasonal menu; we were one of the first to try the new spring menu, full of regionally-focused cuisine. Much of the food was locally sourced as well, which seems to be a theme in the Asheville area! It was so good to see a restaurant that caters to tourists take such an approach.
We chose to drink a Biltmore Estate Syrah with our meal. We were served three different (delicious!) types of breads, as well as a trout rillette amuse-bouche.
As our appetizer, we chose the NC Pork Belly, which was a deconstructed Monte Cristo of sorts with local pork belly, herb-roasted pheasant, crispy brioche, gruyere(!), and blueberry jam. The portions definitely reminded me of Europe; we were served enough that we got plenty to enjoy with each course, but not so much that we were stuffed before our entrees arrived.
For my main meal, I chose the Carolina bison, served on a bed of fennel, chili grilled romaine, roasted shallot vinaigrette. It was one of the most tender, delicious steaks of my life. Duke was practically stealing it off my plate! (To be fair, I took some of his Black Angus filet mignon.) I still can't get over that bison... it makes me want to track down some local bison steaks when I return to Nashville, if that's even possible!
We had to indulge in dessert (it was a celebration, after all!) but between us two we couldn't decide. So Duke chose the chocolate cheesecake (with banana sorbet) which was phenomenal. I chose the peanut butter mousse, which I could only describe as divinity! It was paired for a raspberry sorbet, which made me feel like I should use my ice cream maker more often. And to top it all off, our server brought us complimentary champagne with strawberries for the occasion.
This is the perfect place to dine like you're a Vanderbilt.