Each of the 10 Kessler Collection boutique and luxury hotels has a theme. The Grand Bohemian features a Tudor-style exterior, in keeping with historic Biltmore Village architecture, and it’s interior was fashioned after a Bavarian hunting lodge.
But it’s more than just the architecture and amazing finishes: imported carved wood paneling, exquisite marble, glass tile – although they are awesome. Look at these chandeliers and ceiling detail in the ballroom:
Owner Richard C. Kessler wanted to fill each hotel with “stunning pieces of art that enhance every area of a guest’s stay.” Mission accomplished. Many Kessler properties have dedicated Art Galleries filled with original works from internationally as well as locally known artists. The Asheville Grand Bohemian also has pieces from Kessler’s private collection (without price tags) throughout the hotel.
One standout piece is a $150,000 grand piano, made from a single tree. It’s in the ballroom and available for use by qualified pianists. A tuning fee is included every time it’s used during a ballroom function.
Before dinner, we mingled with other invited guests in the Art Gallery, sampling hors d’oeuvres and sipping champagne. Given the Gallery is tucked away to the side and behind the lobby desk could explain why I’ve never noticed it before. Or maybe it’s because I usually make a beeline for the bar / restaurant as if wearing blinders?
Breaking bread – und die brezel (terrific soft pretzels) – with both familiar and new friends made the evening that much better. Our hosts were Grand Bohemian General Manager, John Luckett, Executive Chef, Adam Hayes and Food & Beverage Director, Jeff Congdon – the Red Stag history, food and drink “troika”. You may recognize other media mavens and bloggers who were there: Emily Patrick, food writer for Mountain Xpress, Ashley English of Small Measure, Melissa Smith and Katie Hild of WNC Magazine, Ella Hailey of Ella’s Celestial Cake and UrbanFoodLife.com (Charlotte), Sommer Collier of A Spicy Perspective and Mackensey Lunsford of Asheville Scene.
1st Course: Sunburst Trout Schnitzel; served with house-made spatzel, pickled red cabbage and mustard caper cream. Chef treated the trout with respect, keeping the batter light and removing it from the pan at just the right moment. Surprising to me was the sweet”ish” pickled cabbage balancing the savory mustard and capers perfectly. Lovely dish.
Paired With: Gruner Veldiner, Rainer “Pfaffenberg” Austria 2009
Second Course: Smoked Duck Breast; flavorful and tender, this duck breast was served with a crunchy on the outside, soft and smooth on the inside, potato pancake and “Blue Ridge Mountain” applesauce, a puree of “greens” and a swoosh of Ayinger Dopplebock reduction.
Paired With: Riesling, Robert Weil Trocken, Rheingau 2011
Third Course: Choucroute Garnie; A traditional platter of Knackwurst, veal Bratwurst, house smoked pork loin, pork belly, sauerkraut, boiled heirloom new potatoes and Lusty Monk Mustard. PIC was in heaven! Oohs and ahhs could be heard around the table. A feast of fabulous meats set off by sauerkraut and spicy mustard. Yum!
Paired With: Riesling, Dr. Loosen “Blue Slate”, Mosel-Saar-Ruwer 2011 AND Ayinger Dopplebock “Celebrator”
Dessert Course: German Linzertorte; Now I was in heaven! Chef’s almond tart with Imladris Farm raspberry jam was delicious!
Paired With: Warres 10 year “Otima” Tawny (Port) – One of the best liquids ever to cross my lips. If you like Port, you MUST try this!
The perfect way to end an evening most wonderfully spent enjoying Chef Adam’s quest for ever-better and creative menus and learning about wines and Red Stag’s approach to an accessible ”cellar” from Jeff Congdon.
Thank you Red Stag Grill and The Grand Bohemian Hotel.
- Local sourcing was great: Lusty Monk Mustard, Imladris Farm Jam, Sunburst Trout Farms
- Every single course was paired with amazing wines, one course with a just as amazing beer. My favs: Ayinger Dopplebock “Celebrator” (beer), Riesling, Dr. Loosen “Blue Slate”, Mosel-Saar-Ruwer 2011 and fabulous Warres 10 year “Otima” Tawny Port
- Menus at Red Stag light up when opened, solving the “hard to read in low light” problem. Interesting to a “techie” like me, the menus are recharged via a USB cable. See an excellent photo showing menus in action in Ashley English’s article (link below).
Different takes (and more photos) on the evening:
Weekend Review: Part 1, by Ashley English
UFL on Location – Red Stag Grill in Asheville, by Ella Hailey
Red Stag Grill at The Grand Bohemian Hotel
11 Boston Way
Asheville, NC 28803