The culinary curiosities at Cúrate rank high, even in the competitive cooking climate of Asheville. Chef celebrity, Anthony Bourdain, dined there, and no one who visits Asheville can claim a full weekend without at least a walk through. Chef Katie Button remains true to the Spanish tapas design she learned while training under Ferran Adrià. The world famous Chef Adrià runs the Catalan restaurant el Bulli, which is considered the top restaurant in the world. Adrià’s impression on Cúrate and Button is evident in each plate.
The authentic Spanish tapas restaurant/bar also sits atop the Asheville scene in atmosphere. Venture to one of the raised tables amidst artwork from local artists. Or make your way to the bar where you’ll have front row as a line of chefs cook right out in the open. If you’re feeling brave (and love attention), order a porrón, a drinking vessel-full of Spanish lager and a lemon fizzy-that looks like a mix between a watering can and a wine bottle. The drinker must pour inches from their mouth and pull the can further away to create a spout. Chefs and clientele alike will stop whatever they’re doing to cheer on the porrón participants.
The food here is an adventure. Unfamiliar dishes come concrete when explained by the very informative and attentive staff. Be prepared to sample a good amount of plates if coming hungry. Each visit should start with aceitunas cúrate, or cured olives. Move on to the cured meat sampling, which features ham from the “famous black-footed Iberico pigs of Spain”. From here, the choices are endless: white asparagus salad, NC littleneck clams with pine nuts and Iberico Ham, and even traditional meat Canelones with béchamel sauce.
The drink menu is as extensive as the food. Local beer, Spanish beer, mixed drinks infused with both the Spanish and southern U.S. fare (the cúrate manhattan is another must have), and a Mediterranean stylized wine list will sit perfectly with any plate.
Cúrate is all about taking risks with cuisine. If you walk through the door, jump in (with tastebuds first), open the mind, and be ready for a gastronomic journey.
Cúrate is located on 11 Biltmore Avenue in Downtown Asheville 828-239-2946
For more info and a glimpse at the menu: www.curatetapasbar.com