New & Notable - Spring 2021

New & Notable - Spring 2021: Fresh offerings from veteran Asheville restaurateurs, Cuban fare in Black Mountain, and unique ciders in Fairview
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Water Street Asheville

Rosetta Buan, owner of Asheville’s long-standing Rosetta’s Kitchen, has taken over the late Aux Bar and its courtyard and catering kitchen downtown. Dubbed Water Street after Lexington Avenue’s original street name, the new venture will focus on carryout comfort food and take-and-bake fixings, scratch-made customizable waffles, kebabs from the grill, mac and cheese, and pot pies. “We are going to try to keep every menu item as widely accessible as possible,” Buan says, noting that most of the staple items will be plant-based with options to customize and upgrade with meats or cheeses. Water Street is expected to open for carryout and patio dining in mid-March, while Rosetta’s will continue to operate as the vegan/vegetarian neighborhood staple it has always been. 68 N. Lexington Ave.; (828) 560-3999;

Cousin’s Cuban Cafe Black Mountain

Twenty years after her Cuban-born mother opened her first restaurant in Miami, Betty Martinez-Sperry opened her own restaurant in Black Mountain, with support from several of her cousins. Inspired by the cuisine of her family’s heritage, Sperry’s eatery serves classic Cuban belly buster breakfasts and traditional pastries with Cuban coffee in the mornings. For lunch, empanadas, pressed Cubano sandwiches, ropa vieja, and mojo pork are among the numerous classic options. 108 Broadway St.; (828) 357-5513;

Nani’s Rotisserie Chicken Asheville

A five-time James Beard semifinalist and chef of Asheville’s Chai Pani, Atlanta’s Botiwalla, and spice giant Spicewalla, Meherwan Irani has opened yet another venture in Asheville. Nani’s serves rotisserie chicken rubbed with spicy piri piri or herbs de provence. Built for takeaway and easy picnic suppers, diners pair whole or portioned chicken with sides like potatoes au gratin, corn pudding, braised greens, or orzo salad. 1 Page Ave. #147; (828) 515-1900;

Barn Door Ciderworks Fairview

Opened in November by Katie Moore, director of the WNC Cheese Trail, and her partner and cidermaker Dan Fowler, Bard Door Ciderworks offers elegant ciders made from locally grown and foraged apples with wine yeasts. The result is something between Spanish- and English-style cider, where the flavor of the apple does most of the work. Firepits line the spacious yard, and a beautifully curated food menu entices visitors to linger on the lawn with bites and local cheeses. 23 Lytle Rd.; (828) 484-1586;