A small group met at Posana last week to see what all the excitement was about. We’d heard Executive Chef/Owner Peter Pollay had an announcement to make.
It was one of those cold, blustery nights, so stepping into the warmth that is Posana was more than welcome. Yes, the heat was on, but I’m talking about more than physical warmth. Even though the decor is “urban”, this “Contemporary American” restaurant is warm and welcoming. And so is Chef Peter. You sense it the minute you meet him. He cares about people and he cares about what he feeds them.
Specializing in local, seasonal and sustainable cuisine, Posana features a wine list that’s entirely organic, bio-dynamic, local, or sustainable; and a regularly changing dinner menu that highlights ingredients sourced by over 64 local purveyors and farmers.
Creative tastes of local that Posana is known for in the form of small tastes, wine, and a special cocktail created for the occasion were waiting for us on a side table in the back room.
The other, colorful and sweet/savory Carrot Confit made with Three Graces Dairy feta and olives.
A cocktail made with pink peppercorn infused vodka, beet-grapefruit shrub and goat cheese tincture? Had to give it a try! So different and surprisingly good. For me, each sip ended with a lingering pink peppercorn finish.
Posana’s back room had been set beautifully. If you’re looking for a gathering place that’s cozy and can be dressed up or down, this is it. I believe there’s even a media system and big screen installed, but kept hidden until needed.
Centerpieces were gorgeous and had an unexpected component – garden greens.
It all made sense after Chef Peter announced his new Urban Garden.
To start the garden, Pollay partnered with West Asheville-local, Linda Paterson, on her Organic Growers School final project. She helped Pollay find a small plot in a backyard in West Asheville. They started with a test of eight raised beds in the Fall just to experiment; and will begin truly harvesting for the restaurant this Spring. As part of the first harvest, he planted Blue Curled Scotch Kale, Vates Collards, Misato Rose Radish, Helios Radish, Candela Di Fuocu Radish, Albino Beets, Bulls Blod Beets, and Chioggia Beets.
“I’ve long wanted to get my hands in the dirt and truly tend to the ingredients we serve,” he said. “I believe it will give me a greater respect for the food. So far, it has definitely given me an even higher respect for all the farmers we work with. It’s been an exciting process and has taught me so much about our community.”
Absolute favorite presentation of the evening was titled, Cane Creek Egg. A perfect yolk floated in “green broth”, cuddled up to a swath of “puffed” red and white quinoa and micro greens. A few toasted garlic chips topped the quinoa. Everyone on the table loved this bowl of amazing texture and taste mixtures.
North Carolina Golden Tilefish followed. Just perfect. The fish – which I’d never had before – topped turnip confit, draped with local pea shoots, and drizzled with lemon dressing.
Have you had Brasstown Beef? It’s fabulous. I’ve visited the ranch in Brasstown, NC and seen the care with which they raise their animals. It translates to delicious meat, no matter what the cut.
“My goal was to grow ingredients we couldn’t always find elsewhere, as well as simple ingredients that are quintessential to the Posana menu.” ~ Peter Pollay
I was especially happy to see this Brasstown Beef Short Rib arrive at the table. Already pretty full, I couldn’t help but finish every bite. Pollay created a lovely trio of beef, tortellini, and braised greens in a lovely mushroom jus, then topped all with micro greens and mushrooms.
Oh. My. Gosh. That meat just fell apart under the slightest fork pressure. I really hope I can get this again, ordering from the regular menu.
Finishing off dinner on a fun, sweet note, we were each served a D’Anjou Pear Frangipane with creme fraiche ice cream and “almond soil”. The Almond Soil would be the crunchy crumbles just under the ice cream. Not overly sweet, the texture was something like a pound cake, but lighter. I admit I’d make a trip to Posana just for this.
Another fun aspect of this dinner was getting a chance to talk to the woman, Laura, who offered up space for the garden. She mentioned they were using a hoop house, which helped explain how Chef could be serving fresh from the garden ingredients in winter.
When you’re enjoying your meal at Posana with ingredients straight from the garden beginning this Spring, know that Chef Peter Pollay tended the garden himself and cares about what he’s serving.
1 Biltmore Ave
Asheville, NC 28801