Plant – A Paragon of Plant-Based Cuisine in Asheville, NC!

165 Merrimon Avenue
Asheville NC 28801
828-258-7500
Visit the Website: Plant
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By Danielle Bussone

 

 

Plant-based is the name of the game in this all vegan restaurant in Asheville, NC. Everything in this restaurant is plant-based, hence the name, Plant. There are no animal products of any kind available in this cruelty-free, environmentally friendly and health conscious establishment. Of particular note, there are no genetically modified products in any of the foods prepared at Plant.

 

Plant Interior

Plant Interior

 

Plant management has made a commitment to use only the finest ingredients available. Therefore, much of what you are served will be organic, to the extent it is available, and are sourced as much as possible from local farmers. Chef and co-owner, Jason Sellers, is fanatical about finding organic, quality ingredients. He has been instrumental in convincing other local chefs to buy organic products so that food venders will readily carry them.

 

Plant - Hungry Diners Waiting for the Doors To Open!

Plant – Hungry Diners Waiting for the Doors To Open!

 

Rich orders a dark beer hailed from a local brewery, a Coffee Stout, with a smooth character and a suggestion of chocolate. I’m driving, so I order a cup of hot water which is delivered in a steaming mug with slices of lemon. A separate teapot of water is also placed on our table for refills. Our waitress, Lisa, brings us a small dish of shredded purple potatoes, pickled in mustard seeds and sesame oil, and garnished with micro-greens, a perfect combination of sour and spice. This was a fitting preamble to a meal designed to delight the senses.

 

Pickled Purple Potatoes with Micro Greens

Pickled Purple Potatoes with Micro Greens

 

For  appetizers we ordered the roasted olives and the brussels sprouts. The olives were toasted in curry leaves, mustard seed oil and preserved orange.  They are served hot in a small cast iron skillet with a ramekin for pits. I had never eaten roasted olives before. They were soft and aromatic, nearly dissolving in my mouth.  As I crushed them with my tongue, they exploded with flavor. Very nice.

 

Iron Skillet Olives

Iron Skillet Olives – Toasted with Curry Leaves in  Mustard Seed Oil and Orange Preserve – $5

The brussels sprouts, quartered and sautéed with currents, cranberries and pine nuts, were a special treat. The slight bitterness of the brussels sprouts, juxtaposed with the sweetness of currents and cranberries, and finished with the slight crunch of pine nuts was a revelation. This dish will make even the most hard-core nay-sayer a brussels sprouts convert.

 

Plant Brussels Sprouts

Brussels Sprouts – Sauteed with Currents, Cranberries and Pine Nuts – $6

 

For the main course, I ordered the Red Curry Tofu. Three crispy balls (or cakes) of jasmine rice seasoned with kefir lime are tucked beneath the architecture of this gorgeous dish. A slightly sweet and slightly crunchy teriyaki broccoli forms the base, which is then topped with generous portions of marinated and seared tofu. Dressed with sprigs of  arugula, it is topped with a curry blend of Thai basil, galangal and peanuts.  The combination of Asian flavors with crunchy, crisp and velvety textures make this dish something special.  While it is completely satisfying, it is not heavy.

 

Red Curry Tofu - Jasmine Rice and Kefir Lime Cakes, Teriyaki Broccoli and Thai Basil, Galangal and Peanut Curry, and Arugula - $17

Red Curry Tofu – $17

 

Rich ordered the Chicken of the Woods Apricot Adobo.  This is not your typical tamale. It is stuffed with poblano peppers sweetened with apricots and nestled atop a bed of the most luscious sautéed spinach imaginable. Drizzled with sour cream and topped with chili-cilantro mojo and pickled onion, it is no wonder this dish is a favorite among diners. I counted three other orders of Chicken of the Woods Apricot Adobo on tables in my immediate vicinity.

 

Chicken O The Woods Apricot Adobo - Poblano Stuffed Tamale, Sautéed Spinach, Olives, Chili-Cilantro Mojo, Pickled Onion and Sour Cream - $21

Chicken O The Woods Apricot Adobo –  $21

 

What Plant is especially noted for is its desserts. The house made ice-cream is Jason’s brain child. It is so rich and decadent you would never know it wasn’t made from heavy cream. It is not only the very best vegan ice-cream I’ve ever tasted, it is the best ice-cream of any kind I’ve experienced to date! I believe all of the desserts at Plant are served with a side of ice-cream in one of its signature flavors. You may also order an ice cream-plate, with a choice of three flavors ($6).

 

Rich, my Italian-American husband, grew up on Italian cannoli and his standards are pretty darned high. Plant’s “Cannolo” is an authentic tasting Italian cannolo handmade with an anise shell and stuffed with a vegan candied orange ricotta cheese. It is served with an expresso puddle and a side of cappuccino chunk ice-cream.  The shell was crunchy and the filling a smooth, creamy texture. It paired well with the luxurious cappuccino chunk ice-cream. YUMMY does not begin to describe it!

 

Connolo - An Authentic Tasting Italian Cannoli with a Handmade Anise Shell, Stuffed with Candied Orange Ricotta on an Espresso Puddle with a Side of Cappuccino Chunk Ice Cream - $8

Connolo with Cappuccino Chunk Ice-Cream – $8

 

With a  pecan crust and topped with a cranberry compote, this made from scratch cheesecake is sure to please. Paired with Jason’s lemon pine-nut ice-cream, cheesecake just doesn’t get much better than this.

 

Cheesecake - Pecan Crust, Cranberry Compote, with Lemon Pine-Nut Ice Cream - $8

Cheesecake  with Lemon Pine-Nut Ice-Cream-$8

 

On a final note, I want to show you a dessert we did not try but, as we observed the ecstasy of a diner at a neighboring table, we felt compelled to include it.  This live key lime parfait is completely raw!  When I asked the diner how she liked it, she exclaimed, “It has changed my life!”

 

Live Key Lime Parfait "It changed my life!" exclaims a diner at the table next to us.

Live Key Lime Parfait – $8

 

Well, there you have it!  You need not be vegan to enjoy a fine dining experience at Plant in  Asheville. Excellent food, beautifully presented and served in a casual environment, Plant is our first choice for quality dining in Asheville, North Carolina.

 

 

Co-founder and editor of Veggin’ Out and About!, Danielle writes restaurant reviews, profiles and interviews of people making a difference in the plant-based community. She is currently writing a cookbook for vegans called, “Time For Change: Whole Foods For Whole Health.” Danielle’s region is SW Virginia, Tennessee and North Carolina and anywhere she happens to stop for sustenance along the road. Contact Danielle  directly to share your restaurant finds, to make comments or just to say hello.

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4 Comments

  1. Plant is one of the very best restaurants I have ever eaten at. From the appetizers to desert – a fantastic dining experience!

  2. Danielle Bussone

    It really was wonderful! The mountains will still be here should you decide to return! 🙂

  3. Now I’m really missing the NC Mountains. Leave it to Asheville to offer up such a super vegan restaurant. I would love him to franchise it here in Sarasota. I am drooling over the whole meal. Lucky you and Rich!

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