Asheville is certainly a place full of surprises, even for longtime residents. It seems that no matter how much some things remain the same (gorgeous hiking and a thriving downtown arts scene), new things always crop up in unexpected places.
It shouldn’t be surprising to find a rare treat in the heart of Asheville’s thriving restaurant scene. Maybe “surprise” isn’t the best word for Posana Café; after all, it sits in the heart of downtown, across from the Vance Monument, on a block that must be, unofficially, Busker’s Corner. “Surprises” is a better word, because more than one pleasant discovery awaits behind the doors of this local restaurant.
The cooking talent at Posana is forged in the top kitchen fires of the restaurant world. Being Wolfgang Puck’s sous chef and kitchen manager can only come with the highest possible expectations. “When every dish you create has Wolgang’s name on it, you have to do it perfectly every time,” says Posana’s executive chef and owner Peter Pollay of his days in Wolfgang’s kitchen. In fact, Peter talks about how Wolfgang tasted every single risotto dish before it went to the customer so that he could ensure its perfection. If it wasn’t right, then it would be done again until it was.
Peter brings this same set of expectations to Posana’s kitchen, and though he might not taste every single plate, you can be sure that the quality level is as high as if he were still Wolgang’s sous chef. His kitchen runs like an efficient machine, and each hand stirring the pot, so to speak, works hard to make sure that everything is not just up to par, but exceeds expectations.
The Delicious Devil In the Details
The amount of attention paid to detail at Posana Café is nothing short of astonishing, but the fact that it’s all just under the surface seems to be the biggest surprise, given today’s propensity for anyone and everyone to trumpet every enticing detail of their lives or businesses over various forms of electronic media. The secrets of Posana—starting with the big one it kept for years, that it is 100 percent gluten free and has been since the day it opened—are exciting little tidbits that enrich almost every moment of the dining experience.
And trust the fact that nothing is too small to escape attention. Posana offers custom coffee and espresso blends from Dynamite Roasting Company, a local coffee roasting company specializing in organic coffee, ensuring that its coffee and espresso drinks are some of the best in town. Almost everything in the restaurant is made from scratch, including all sauces, soup bases, and drink mixes used in its impressive bar. Everything from the local produce, meat, and dairy products, down to the compostable straw wrappers is a deliberate choice that reveals a conscious effort on Posana’s part to be fully cognizant of its product, environmental impact, and the needs of its community.
Those things, however, are the things you can see. You can read the sign in the bathroom describing how the hand soap is recycled from kitchen grease, but maybe it’s the secrets you can’t see that make the difference. The solar panels on the roof that heat the hot water, the low VOC paints, stains, and finishes used on every surface of the restaurant, and the 100 percent composting food waste policy are certainly not visible to the casual observer, but the impact is nothing to look past. These secrets make Posana Café a true Asheville citizen: love for the planet, a Southernesque care for everyone’s comfort, and a plucky don’t-throw-anything-away-we-can-reuse-it attitude.
At the end of the day, all of these juicy little tidbits add up to a dining experience full of surprises. One thing to consider: If you take a first date to Posana; at least you’ll be sure to have something to talk about.
Posana Café is located at 1 Biltmore Avenue in downtown Asheville. For more information, call 828.505.3969, email firstname.lastname@example.org, or visit Posana Cafe.