From Linton Hopkins, the chef and founder of Hopkins & Co, comes Holeman & Finch Asheville. I have been wanting to try it since it opened, but with covid restrictions etc it has taken me a while to get in there. I had a friend visiting from Charleston last weekend and we were able to get a reservation for dinner.
Sidenote: We started our night at another place I had been wanting to go, La Bodega by Curate’, who’s chef Katie Button just won the 2022 James Beard Award for Hospitality last week. This new upstairs bar is so unique and well done. We only had drinks (which were perfect) and sat at the bar, but the atmosphere and environment of this pintxo & wine bar, was energetic and fun and I can’t wait to visit again and sample some of their food menu.
We walked over to H&F and got seated at a tiny table between two larger groups of people. It was very cramped. The table was already crowded with a candle and a vase, and East Fork dessert plates. Which I do love seeing East Fork out at restaurants, but wondered where any food we ordered was going to fit. We ordered drinks. Forgettable. I got oysters which were good but I’m assuming were improperly opened because there were tons of shell pieces that I had to pick out of my mouth after each oyster. I’ve never had that happen before. The charcuterie and sweet potatoes we ordered were fine.
For dessert we shared the sticky toffee pudding. Which I have been looking forward to for a long time. It has been a favorite dessert of mine since we traveled to Prince Edward Island and I was anticipating that sticky goodness. The dessert came out with a warm sauce poured over the top. It was good, but I can’t say it met up with my high expectations.
I can’t say I ever need to go there again. Their brunch does look amazing so I may give it another shot. But I do think it is hard to be a tapas type restaurant with Curate’ right down the road. The standards are VERY high in Asheville. I know it is a small town but just last week TWO chef’s in AVL won James Beard Awards. Chef Katie Button at Curate and Chef Meherwan Irani at Chai Pani. They are doing big things here and other chefs will need to step it up in order to survive. I love living in a foodie city, and I guess I have high standards as well. Food should leave you dreaming about it. Hoping you will never reach the last bite. Wanting to lick the plate clean. And in my opinion, Holeman and Finch doesn’t meet the bar.