Time for that to change with a visit to the Woodfire Bar & Grille, a true hidden gem of a restaurant located at the award-winning Holiday Inn Asheville East, just minutes from Downtown Asheville and the Biltmore Estate.
From the moment you arrive, you are embraced in a décor of warm, tasteful elegance. From the exquisite wood ceilings and floors, stone walls, and the abundance of natural light through the room’s many windows, you know you are in for a genuine adventure in fine dining.
The lion’s share of what makes Woodfire Bar & Grille so special comes down to the staff. The Executive Chef, Jonathan Green (Chef Jon), brings 23 years of restaurant experience – everything from fast food to fine dining. Sous Chef Jackson Van Cott, the lead production chef, is well versed in all forms of cooking, from fine dining to diner fare. Daegal Ellis, who was a long-term chef at Burrito Gallery in Jacksonville, adds a southwest, TexMex influence to dinner specials and menu items. Restaurant Manager Shelly Bannik rounds out the team, ensuring that diners have a truly memorable dining experience.
Chef Jon has been in and around the food business most of his life. “I grew up with a brilliant southern cook of a mother, and a father on the food distribution side of the industry,” he said. “As soon as I was of working age I started at a small sandwich shop and have moved through the industry ever since.”
The secret to great food at the Woodfire Bar & Grille is the wood-fired grill. “Often not as quick as a standard chargrill, the hickory smoke and longer cooking process ensure a tender, more evenly cooked meal for every plate,” Chef Jon said. “Our focus is on simple foods, done well. Our hickory burning grill imparts a subtle smoky flavor to all of our grilled foods. We select the highest quality meats available with a focus on natural and local when possible. We know that great ingredients speak for themselves, so we make sure nothing is over complicated. Our steaks and seafood are lightly seasoned and finished with a glaze of garlic butter. Our produce is natural and from local providers. We pride ourselves on a fine dining culinary experience, at a casual dining price.”
Woodfire Bar & Grille consistently exceeds customer expectations. “We offer a steak comparable to places such as Ruth’s Chris, but for around half the price,” Chef Jon said. “Although we are often judged as simply being a standard hotel restaurant, our guests have always been beyond complimentary about their experience. We often hear them say they didn’t expect something this good in a Holiday Inn. Our staff is always receiving positive feedback about their balance of familiarity and professionalism. We have a large number of hotel regulars that stay at the hotel simply because of the restaurant. Our biggest fans are our regular hotel guests.”
There are more amenities to enjoy at Woodfire Bar & Grille. “We offer a full bar, drink specials, local drafts, and craft cocktails,” Chef Jon said. “We have the ability to accommodate a party of up to 25 without having to split up the group. We have a long meeting table, complete with charging ports. For hotel guests we offer room service and poolside dining. We have two large HD TVs for all sporting events, and a lounge area for relaxing with cocktails before or after dinner.”
Woodfire Bar & Grille takes pride in its creative culinary independence. “Although we are located in a hotel, we are one of the many great independent restaurants in Asheville,” Chef Jon said. “The concept, menu, atmosphere, and all other things that go into a restaurant are all decided by our staff, rather than the hotel corporate offices. We have free reign to do the type of food we want, and serve the types of drinks we would like to. When people begin to understand that we are an independent restaurant, it makes them more open to trying us out and seeing what we have to offer.”
What they have to offer is remarkable, starting with appetizers like seared ahi tuna, Cajun beef tenderloin kabobs, Panko havarti sticks, and quesadillas. Entrees include filet mignon, NY strips, bone-in pork chops, baby back ribs, lamb chops, grilled salmon, trout, and more. Don’t skip dessert, with key lime pie flown in from Key Largo, classic pecan pie served warm, “chocolate overload cake,” and more.
Find out why we love the place so much. Pay a visit to Woodfire Bar & Grille, and we know you’ll be back again and again!
Woodfire Bar & Grille
Address: 1450 Tunnel Road, Asheville, NC 28805
Located in the Holiday Inn Asheville East
Just down the road from the Blue Ridge Parkway and NC Folk Arts Center
Close to downtown Asheville, and within easy distance to Black Mountain, Chimney Rock and the Biltmore Estate
Hours: Breakfast/Lunch 6:30am-2:30pm
Visit us online:
Mark your calendar for Asheville's Beer City Festival 2019!
Over 70 WNC breweries, live music, food, and fun will make the Rodger McGuire Green the place to be on Saturday, June 1. It's all happening from noon until 5:00. Get your tickets while they are still available.
Located in Roger McGuire Park -- designated by the city as Asheville's Front Porch -- this beer festival is the capstone event of Asheville Beer Week, an annual celebration of all things WNC craft beer. To commemorate the 10th year, BCF is taking a fresh, new approach to the average beer fest. Beer City Festival is partnering with Asheville Van Life - who host the largest van rally on the continent - to throw Asheville’s largest lawn party. The vans will serve as "tour-able" pouring stations, with breweries partnering with attending van lifers. Expect light, refreshing summer seasonals to complement the unofficial kick-off to summer party. Beer City Festival is proud to support Asheville Brewers Alliance as their nonprofit partner.
This year's BCF is focusing on the type of beer you want to drink when it's hot - crisp, refreshing, sessionable beer from some of the best brewers in the state.
Craft Centric takes fine brew and customer service to heart with a Taproom and Bottle Shop founded on the principle of providing guests with the best craft beer experience available. Owners Matt and Shannon Vaughan, along with manager Josh Austin, are super-passionate about beer. “We’re a team of beer-crazies, constantly sifting through the ever-growing array of craft breweries to bring you the very best,” Matt said. “Our slogan is Where Beer Matters, and we strive to help folks pick out the perfect beer to enjoy for themselves or for that special gift for a friend.”
On a visit to Asheville in 2006, the craft beer bug bit Matt hard, and he’s been a dedicated emissary ever since. “It was after a Brews Cruise tour that took us to French Broad Brewing, Highland Brewing, Asheville Pizza & Brewing and Bruisin’ Ales that I was hooked,” Matt said. “I was so impressed with the quality and variety of good beer in Asheville. I loved learning about the process and the people who made it! I really became engrossed in the beer culture and it's been my mission to travel and seek out the best breweries and boutique bottle shops to bring back the best beers from all regions of the country.”
Since diving headfirst into the craft beer arena, Matt has been working on credentials to up his game. “I've been educated by Cliff Mori, Asheville's first Certified Cicerone and have earned my Level 1 Certification in the Cicerone beer program,” Matt said. The word Cicerone (sis-uh-rohn) denotes professionals with proven experience in selecting, acquiring and serving today's wide range of beers. To claim the designation, one must earn the trademarked title of Certified Cicerone®.
Craft Centric partners with other small local businesses to plan events. “We’ve worked with Luella’s on a Wing and Beer pairing, we’ve had a Baked Pie & Beer pairing, and most recently we paired 4 Vortex donuts with 4 tasty beers,” Matt said.
In addition to the impressive selection of beers from near and far, Craft Centric brews its own one-of-a-kind brews through its other venture, Fermented Nonsense Brewing. “That’s a separate project started by Josh Austin and I. We are the smallest brewery in Asheville, brewing on a one-sixth barrel electric brew system one keg at a time,” Matt said. “Josh has owned a home brew supply shop in Brunswick, GA and has over six years of experience brewing a variety of styles. We want to focus on Hazy New England Style IPAs, Fruited Sour Beers, and Pastry Stouts. We want to stay relevant and brew fun and interesting small batch recipes with big flavor! We always want to be experimenting and pushing the boundaries of good beer!”
Craft Cetric’s “ideal customers” are everyone who loves great beer. “This can be someone new to craft beer and wants to learn,” Matt said. “Or someone who appreciates a local, original one-of-a-kind concept that is not a cookie-cutter franchise. We offer over 400 different varieties of beer. We stock a great selection of local brews from WNC Breweries such as Burial, Green Man, Highland, Hi-Wire & Bhramari, as well as some of the best beers from around the world. My furthest reaching and most unique brew is from Põhjala Brewery in Tallinn, Estonia.”
Sampling all those great beers can work up an appetite. Craft Centric serves up bar snacks to cure the munchies. “We have Roots Hummus and pretzels, a warm toasted pub pretzel stick filled with cheese, and pints of Chex-Mix,” Matt said. “Our next door neighbors just opened up Asheville’s first Poke Sushi restaurant, and soon there will be a Marcos Pizza franchise in our complex that can deliver right to our door.”
A visit to Craft Centric is more than just fantastic, exotic beer – it’s fun, too. “My lead bartender Dale and her boyfriend Lane host Trivia every Tuesday night at 7. We pick a pop culture topic such as Parks & Rec from NBC. Prizes include Craft Centric Gift cards, and breweries sponsor giveaways such as T-shirts, pint glasses and Koozies (wrap-around can coolers)!
Craft Centric has been getting it’s share of accolades lately. “Craftbeer.com voted us the #1 Craft Beer Bar for 2018,” Matt said with pride. “And Forbes.com voted us the Best Beer Bar as well for North Carolina. Also, Hop Culture Magazine voted us among the Top 5 New Bottle Shops for 2017.”
At times, Craft Centric has featured live music, and they intend to bring in more.
“We have had live music from a local percussive guitarist Scott Kendrick, who can really jam on the guitar,” Matt said, “and I’m working with Lenny Pettinelli from Empire Strikes Brass on booking some more gigs for Saturday nights.”
Do you want to take some great beer home for an intimate gathering? “We fill growlers of any size with draft beer to go,” Matt said. “We also have a Crowler Can Seamer which means we can fill a 32oz Crowler can of draft Beer for to-go sales. It’s recyclable, and you never have to worry that you forgot your Growler at home. We can also chill any can or Bottle in our shop in about 5 min with our custom chiller.”
So if you’re looking for a place to hang out with friends, Craft Centric is the place to be. “It’s an artfully designed bar and bottle shop with one of the best selections of hard-to-find beers from local breweries and the best from around the world,” Matt said. “We have one of the best-curated draft lists in Asheville, with 26 Taps and we focus on customer service, making everyone feel welcome and appreciated.”
Come into Craft Centric and bask in the Beer Wall’s awesomeness! Matt, Shannon, and Josh can’t wait to meet you!
Craft Centric Taproom & Bottle Shop
100 Julian Shoals Drive, Unit 40, Arden , NC 28704
(In the new shopping center on Long Shoals Road next to Bojangles)
Phone: 828) 676-0075
Sun - Mon: 12 noon to 8 pm
Tue - Thu: 12 noon to 10 pm
Fri - Sat: 12 noon to 11:30 pm
On the web: www.craftcentricbeer.com
On Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/craftcentrictaproom
On Instagram: http://www.instagram.com/craftcentrictaproom
On Incredible Towns: https://asheville.incredibletowns.com/all-listings/craft-centric-taproom-and-bottle-shop