REVIEW: It’s Posana, Yo. It’s fucking good.

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POSANA FOR DINNER

Hello, Asheville,

I eat out a lot. Holy shit, like every day, sometimes up to three times a day, and I try to get to all the new places, as well as spreading the love around to all of my old faves. Sometimes, I realize, “Oh fuck, I haven’t been to __________ in, like, forever!” For example, a whole frickin’ year passed between visits to Posana, and that’s one of my all-time favorite restaurants in Asheville! So, Dawn and I have made a point to revisit some of our favorite places that we love, but hadn’t been to in a while, including Posana, and wow, are we glad that we did.

First I went to Posana solo for brunch in January, after a year away, and found it to be incredibly tasty, ample, and satisfying. I wrote about it as part of my Month of Brundays series, and they “won” brunch that month. Then more recently, we returned to Posana for Dawn’s birthday, and…  wow. They frickin’ nailed every single aspect of this meal, and gave us a super-enjoyable evening of top notch service; elegantly presented and deliciously prepared food; great drinks for Dawn; and a relaxed, fun, atmosphere, that is pleasant to be surrounded by and be part of. The decor at Posana is some of my favorite in town, and the staff is on the ball and always looks sharp. Also, the place-ware is cute as fuck, and the light is great for taking pictures.

In fact, I’m going to let the pictures kind of speak for themselves, but first I’ll address the ever-present question: Did we get special treatment?

FUCK YES, WE GOT SPECIAL TREATMENT.

It was Dawn’s birthday, for fuck sake. OF COURSE we got special treatment, and you know what? When you call ahead and make your reservation for your wife, boyfriend, or child’s birthday, YOU will get special treatment too.  Posana is a place that makes people feel special. Even before I was a food writer, and I was just some homeless looking shmoe walking in off the street, Posana treated me special. For real. One of the things I liked early on about Posana is how fucking elegant it is, and how — despite that high-class feel — they treated me like I was any other guest. Keep in mind what I look like. I’m a foot tall, I’m shaggy as fuck, I dress somewhere between “ancient rock star” and hobo, and because I ride a bike or walk in the hot sun, I’m sometimes covered and sweat and / or breathing very heavily. I’m a mess. AND YET! Posana has always treated me like I am exactly the same as any of their other customers, which do tend to skew toward the blue hair and blue blazer crowd if you know what I’m saying. (M-o-n-e-y, Yo.)

So, yeah, Posana is not only elegant, but also egalitarian. Now let’s move on to the food, which was insane-in-the-membranely good…

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Seasonal salad of heirloom tomatoes, compressed melon, cucumber, cheese, and micro greens.

We started with a seasonal, heirloom tomato salad that came with local cheese, micro greens, compressed melon, and some kind of amazing “foam.” People can say what they want about foam, but if it’s done right, I frickn’ love it. This foam was done right, and added a very enjoyable texture and flavor to the dish. The tomatoes couldn’t have been more fresh or flavorful. Each variety had its own distinct and wonderful texture, consistency, and taste. The compressed melon was awesome, and the cucumbers were grown right in Chef Peter Pollay‘s garden. We were off to a fantastic start with this salad, and we crushed it quickly, while trying not to appear too crass and ravenous about it.

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Rawwwwww meat.

Next we split an order of smoked bison tartar. Now, I’ve only been eating tartar for a couple of years, prior to that I was a little squeamish about eating raw meat. Sounded gross. I’m happy to say, like a lot of things that sound gross to me at first, after trying tartar here, there, and everywhere in Asheville, that I’ve come to truly enjoy it, and have been able to discern between good, not so good, or really really good tartar. I have also learned that I prefer bison tartar over beef tartar by a slight margin. The bison tartar at Posana might be the best raw meat I’ve ever had in my mouth. It was all topped with house made potato chips, and something that was light and creamy (maybe made from creme fraiche?), some green sauce, and some… dust? I’m sorry I don’t have a better description for you, I was being a little bit lax on the “reportage” because it was Dawn’s birthday, so I didn’t write shit down and I forgot to take a picture of the menu.

The menu at Posana changes frequently anyways, so you may not be able to get any of the exact same dishes that Dawn and I ate when you go, but I can guarantee that no matter what you get, it’s going to be made with the same level of skill, and quality of ingredients that the dishes pictured here were prepared with.

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As an entree, Dawn and I shared a plate of trout, with kale, radishes, corn, micro greens, and summer squash. It was fucking awesome. Dawn and I took one bite each, and just looked at each other, like, “Are you experiencing the same feelings that I’m feeling? Because the feelings I’m feeling feel pretty fucking awesome.” Yeah. Holy fuck, that was good stuff. Pan seared just right, it fell off the skin, was moist, and had a delicate texture that was as enjoyable as the flavor, which was spot on. There was a sauce on the bottom that was to die for and Dawn and I ate everything in this bowl, except the skin, which we could have, because some people do, but we don’t, so we didn’t.

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For dessert we split the vanilla panna cotta with blackberry hibiscus mousse, mango purée, toasted almond coconut crunch, and lime tuile. Yeah. Holy fuck. It was divine. It was basically the best fucking parfait I ever ate in my life. We dug down to the bottom with each spoonful, so as to get a little bit of each layer. I’m a huge fan of panna cotta, and the bottom layer was some of the smoothest, creamiest, richest, and tastiest I’ve had. The middle layer of mousse was incredible light, and basically melted away in my mouth. It wasn’t too berry-y, and did not compete with the flavor of the vanilla in the pana cotta in any way. The top layer of mango purée was exactly the perfect texture, not mealy or gritty or goopy, but just smooth and silky. It provided a sweet / tart punch, just as the toasted coconut and tuile added the perfect crunch. Punch ‘n’ crunch.

A tuile is a thin, baked, sweet wafer BTW, that is usually curved in shape. I had to look that up myself, so… don’t feel dumb if you didn’t know. There are SO MANY words and terms to learn when trying to talk about food. It can sometimes be intimidating, but I ain’t afraid to ask when I don’t know what something is, and neither should you be. That’s how mooks like us learn stuff.

Anyhoo… there you have it. Posana is every bit as good, and even better than the first time I went, and the last time I went, and every time in between. I’ve personally never had a bad meal, or even a mediocre bite at Posana, it’s all been fantastic, and one time, Posana just about saved my dang life with a plate of chicken on a Sunday. When I asked Dawn where she wanted to go for her birthday, she said one word, without hesitation, “Posana.” She sites the freshness, the clean, light, healthy fare, and the very high quality cocktails as a few of her reasons for loving Posana, and to that I would add… everything else! Nom nom nom!

If you’ve never been to Posana, or like me, you haven’t been in a while, make a reservation soon, and hit it up. It’s often one of my Top Five Restaurants in Asheville, and I recommend for special occasions, or any time. It’s truly one of the gems in the culinary crown of Downtown Asheville.

POSANA
1 Biltmore Avenue, Asheville, NC
828.505.3969

Dinner Hours
Tues – Thurs: 5:00pm – 10:00pm
Fri & Sat: 5:00pm – 10:30pm
Sun: 5:00pm – 10:00pm
Closed Mondays

Brunch Hours
Sat & Sun: 10:00am – 3:00pm

— END —

IMG_0273Stu Helm is an artist, writer, and podcaster living in Asheville, NC, and a frequent diner at local restaurants, cafes, food trucks, and the like. His tastes run from hot dogs and mac ‘n’ cheese, to haute cuisine, and his opinions are based on a lifetime of eating out. He began writing about food strictly to amuse his friends on Facebook.

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External links:

avlfoodfans.com

ashvegas.com

stuhelmfoodfan.wordpress.com

facebook.com/stuhelmfoodfan

instagram.com/stuhelm33

twitter.com/stuhelmfoodfan

wpvmfm.org/show/asheville-food-fan

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