Here’s a few reasons why you should spend an evening out on the town in Hendersonville NC! Go ahead and look forward to noshing on hand-crafted meals and creative cocktails that are designed to enhance your dining experience during the inaugural Hunger and Thirst! Celebrate ten days of discounted dining experiences offered at twenty restaurants throughout five cities! Sounds too good to be true? I’ve got the delicious proof below. So grab a snack (because you’re going to get hungry), and keep on reading.
This past weekend I took the short drive from Charlotte to Hendersonville, North Carolina. This adorable mountain town has a thriving Main Street that is equally delicious as it is charming. This is my second time I’ve traveled to Hendersonville specifically for their food scene. And I’d do it again in a heartbeat.
I met up with my friend Laura and we started our 3-restaurant tour at The French Broad. As food writers, we enjoy hopping around and having a cocktail + bites at one place, appetizers at another, and dinner somewhere else. Even if you’re not a culinary enthusiast like we are, I encourage you to try the 3-restaurant approach! It’s a great way to get to know the city you’re in and meet the locals. Plus, you’ll get to enjoy cuisine crafted by three different chefs! How fun is that?
Reason #1: The French Broad is an absolutely gorgeous space and the food will amaze you.
My breath was taken away by two things aesthetically: their 30-person communal table that takes up the majority of the first level and the second level’s see-through windows that allow you to view down into the neighboring home decor shop. Once you’ve taken in the view, get ready to be blown away by Chef Brian Hough’s breathtaking menu.
Chef Tidbit: Hough previously ran the kitchen at the Biltmore Estate and created the menu as Executive Chef for Sierra Nevada Mill’s River before joining The French Board.
Reason #2: Take a short stroll over to Cask and Wine on Main to grab a drink.
This New American restaurant and lounge is great for folks who love live music, heavily-poured cocktails, and generous portions of food. Actually… who doesn’t like that trio? 😉
We met with owner, Steven Bivens, who was getting ready to host a jazz band for dinner service. The space is sophisticated meets swanky… a great combo for happy hour or late night shenanigans. With black walls and a shelves full of whiskey, I was a happy girl. Of course, I went for their Manhattan (which was delicious).
Reason #3: Check out one of Main Street’s newest eateries for dinner. Not only does Shine have a gorgeous space, but the menu is top-notch as well.
The place was utterly packed to the brim (and for good reason). Once you step inside the front door you can see why it’s the talk of the town. It took owners, Bobby and Layla Rogers, eight years to complete the renovation of 202 North Main Street… and they didn’t miss a single detail. Just look at the flooring… gah! Gorgeous.
Shine’s downstairs dining area is absolutely captivating.
From the building’s original signage behind the main bar to the craftsman cabinetry and beams from hundred year old heart pine… it is down-right breathtaking. The entire restaurant was designed with repurposed materials from the original building too. It truly makes the space extra special.
My gal pal and I started off with two of their signature elixirs. She opted for their Sazerac while I got The Vesper per James Bond (isn’t that a cool name?). Both were served up and came in stunning cocktail glasses. Look at those details! I wanted to take both glasses home, as they photographed beautifully.
For our entrees I gravitated towards their Chicken ‘n’ Pickle, primarily because I’m a fried chicken junkie and our server told us that they make their pickles in-house! It was the obvious choice. I’m sure you agree. It was insanely good.
Laura indulged in their Sweet Potato Ravioli. I was honestly a little jealous. Not that I didn’t enjoy my fried chicken masterpiece, because I did, but her dish smelled so damn good. When tender pasta is married with smoked chicken, crayfish, and brandy chipotle cream… you want it. Everyone wants it. Delish. We finished our night with creme brulee and a peanut-butter mouse pie. It was perfect.
A portion of Hunger and Thirst proceeds will benefit Dandelion – a job-training cafe in downtown Hendersonville for Safelight: a nonprofit that assists victims of domestic violence. If that isn’t reason enough to dine out, then I hope my experience above has convinced you.
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