The quaint cottage that was once was the old woodworking shop of Biltmore Industries, now holds Chef Eric Burleson’s much anticipated new venture, Eldr. Nestled in Grovewood Village beside the Grove Park Inn, the recently opened restaurant did not disappoint! A welcoming vibe with a lively breath in the air, this cozy and modern of a place beckons you to come in and share a lingered over meal. The bar is gorgeous and the building itself is so cute and quaint. I would like to eat outside next time we go in the secret garden-like courtyard.
We had been anticipating our first meal at Eldr for a while so we were ALL IN. The evening of course began with some delicious cocktails. I started with the Always a Bridesmaid, a beautiful purple drink with Gin, creme de violette, lime juice, basil topped with tiny rose petals. My friend went for a Blackberry Spritz that was both delicious and refreshing.
The menu changes periodically, so we ordered almost everything that was offered, not wanting to miss anything that sounded good. A lot of the offerings are small plates for sharing. We began with the Beef Tartare. Sweet and fresh and the addition mustard seeds on top took it to a whole new level. Next out was the fried squid with crispy and light squid scattered over a plate splattered with squid ink aioli. The whole effect was gorgeous and delicious. The Kombu Cured Red Snapper Crudo arrived in a small spherical dish and was light and refreshing with the most amazing pickled peppers. Duck wings followed in a fermented scotch bonnet and peach glaze. They were crispy and sticky and we ate them with our hands making a mess but how else are you to enjoy wings as much? The last thing we ordered was the Casarecce Cacio e Pepe. Homemade pasta simply tossed with butter, Romano cheese and dusted with black pepper. I think I will now always compare every meal I eat to our amazing dinner at Laura, and this pasta did not disappoint. It was perfectly cooked, light and al dente. The sauce was not overpowering and every bite was a mouthful of flavor.
A second round of drinks was in order and my Gin old Fashioned with Gin, orange bitters, and rhubarb was by far my favorite beverage of the evening. Strong and smooth. My friend chose the Did Someone Sage Peach that was cold and sweet and savory in each sip. A beautiful blend of peach bourbon, bitters, pecan bitters, peach simple syrup, and sage leaf.
We couldn’t end this marvelous meal without trying some of the desserts, so we opted to share the Orange Rosemary Polenta Cake, and the Southern Buttermilk Pie. The polenta cake was the perfect balance, beautifully textured, lightly sweet and airy and so delicious. The buttermilk pie complimented by fresh champagne peaches sweet and smooth and crispy layered pie crust melted in my mouth and was the perfect compliment to a warm and humid summer evening.
Eldr definitely stands up to Asheville’s high foodie standards. I am looking forward to trying some of their early morning offerings with coffee fresh from the espresso bar and a dutch baby which is on the menu and sounds irresistible. If you are ever in Asheville, make sure to put Eldr near the top of your list. We will be back.