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
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