I might look like a caveman, a hobo, a drug-addled hippy who lives under a cardboard box, but sometimes, I get to eat like a friggin’ king. #mostofthetime The food here in Asheville is real good, Yo. From gourmet hot dogs, to muhfuckin’ escargots, this tiny li’l ol’ mountain town in Appalachia, Western North Carolina has it all, and I’m eating it all. Sometimes, I even get invited to a fancy dinner, or brunch, or cocktail party. I don’t drink cocktails, but I get all blazed up on the marijuana and show up to buffet table ready to tuck into some…
Local Partner Sunday Brunches All Summer at The Montford Rooftop Bar
Above: Sample sizes of several Montford Rooftop Sunday Brunch items.
I am a fan of Chef Philip Bolhoefer. I met him for the first time at the Grove Park Inn, he worked at one of the three food venues there… back when the food was great… but he has since moved on to be the Executive Chef at The Montford Rooftop Bar, on the eighth floor of the Hyatt Hotel. The Montford Rooftop has been on my radar since they opened about a year ago, mostly because Philip is the chef, and as I said, I’m a fan.
I’ve written about The Montford’s excellent meatball sub, which is made from ingredients from five different local food makers, and I gave it my “Eat of the Week” on Ashvegas.com back in Feb 2017. Now I’d like to bring your attention to the Rooftop’s latest mad endeavor, creating a brand new “Local Partner Brunch” menu every Sunday, with each new menu featuring dishes that are a collaboration with a different local food maker, grower, or vendor that Philip works closely with. Well known favorites like Hickory Nut Gap Farm, Sunburst Trout Farms, and Greenman Brewery, as well as burgeoning stars like The American Pig charcuterie, and Burial Beer.
These special collaborative brunches will be happening almost every Sunday from now until the end of August, and by “now,” I mean NOW. Like, the first one happens THIS Sunday, April 1st and features the baked goods of OWL Bakery, whom I love, love, love.
A New and Different Sunday Brunch Every Sunday!
Above: Brioche French Toast – Meyer Lemon Curd, Blueberry Preserve
When I was recently invited — along with a few other food writers, bloggers, eaters, and other local foodies — to come try a test-run of the first of the Local Partner Brunch menus that Chef Philip and his team will be presenting, I leaped at the chance. Boy, am I glad I did! It was really fucking goooood! Exactly the kind of super-brunchy, bready, eggy, cheesey, sweet ‘n’ savory things that I love to devour for on a Sunday morning, and then lay back and groan for the rest for the day.
Above: Assorted Mini Savory & Sweet Pastries from OWL Bakery.
I was psyched when I discovered that OWL was the featured Local Partner on the media brunch that I was attending, so the pictures that accompany this post are of the very same dishes that will be on the menu this Sunday. I loved every bite of every thing you see pictured here, it was all super-high quality, super-yummy stuff, made with expertise from the best possible ingredients. As you may have guessed by now, Philip is super-locally-focused, and his cooking reflects everything that’s good and wholesome about locally sourced WNC food!
Above Croque Monsieur – Shaved Country Ham, Gruyere, Sourdough, Dijon:
We were able to sample about half of this menu, and I was impressed with each dish that came out. Of course, all of the baked goods by OWL were “holy fuck” fantastic, and especially things like the lemon pastries, and the croissants for the egg & brie sandwiches. Gahd, nobody does flaky pastries quite like OWL, and I could have easily eaten about a thousand of them. Easily. Of course, the sourdough bread for the croque monsieur, the brioche french toast, and the grit bread for the “egg in a basket” (AKA camp toast) were also divine, being provided by OWL Bakery as well.
Above: Breakfast Croissants – Soft Scrambled Egg, Green Hill Brie, Chive
Of course, when these baked and bready items are placed into the hands of Chef Philip, that’s when are transformed into true brunch! Combining the OWL components with other locally sourced ingredients to create his own wonderful dishes and items, masterfully executed and artfully presented, is what will make all the upcoming Local Partner Brunches so special, and no dish exempified this to me quite like the Vol Au Vent.
Vol Au Vent – Lion’s Main Mushrooms, Mushroom Crème, [on April 1st it will be served with a] Poached Egg, Bitter Green Salad
Holy shit. I like mushrooms. I like sauce. I flip the fuck out over a good mushroom sauce, and this, my friends, was a really fucking good mushroom sauce. The whole dish was stellar, a super-star, stand-out among other excellent dishes. Local ‘shrooms, local greens, all on top of the world’s greatest thing on Earth: Puff pastry from OWL Bakery. Gahhhhhhhd damn you, Philip Bolhoefer! This dish will haunt my dreams forever!!! During regular service this coming Sunday, it will be served with a poached egg. Good lord, I gotta go back for regular service! Save me seat!!!
If developing close to THIRTY different brunch menus over the course of the next 5 months sounds a little insane, that’s only because… Chef Philip is a little insane. Could be the thin air up there on the Rooftop. Could be those locally foraged mushrooms. Not sure, don’t care, I’m here to tell you to go, take advantage of his madness while he’s deep in it, and enjoy the fuck out of some really great, super-local, expertly prepared brunches on the Montford Rooftop! You’d be crazy not to.
Above: This menu, featuring OWL bakery, will only be available on Sunday April 1st, 2018. A different menu will be available every Sunday after that until the end of August.
The Montford Rooftop Bar
“Sleek hangout featuring craft cocktails, nibbles & mountain views in a rustic–chic interior.”
Address:199 Haywood Street, Asheville, NC, Asheville, NC 28801
Phone: (828) 505-8750
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Stu 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.