Stu Springs Into the New Menu at Capella on 9
As a food lover, there is no more exciting aspect of the local Asheville food scene than the ever-changing menus at our excellent restaurants, breweries, bars, cafés and other food venues around town. At some spots, the menu changes every week, or every day, or even at the whim of the chefs and farmers who grow and make the food.
But most of the larger spots in town will change their menus seasonally, and the change from Fall/Winter menus to Spring/Summer menus is one of the most exciting things that happens in our local food scene!
As a food writer, this is an especially fun time of year for me, because, for one thing, I’m easily excited about FOOOOD, but also because I am often on the front lines of those invited to try, taste, sample and experience these new menus. Happily, this was the case recently at Capella on 9 Rooftop Bar and Lounge.
I was very lucky to sit, relax and taste all of the new menu items, which were presented beautifully in smaller, sample-sized portions (keep that in mind when viewing the photo above) and everything was excellent!
Chef Rakim Gaines, formerly of The Lobster Trap, is at the head of the kitchen, so it's no wonder the seafood dishes stood out as the stars of the evening for me.
Beef tartare with lusty monk mustard, shallots, capers, pickled varieties, toast points and a raw quail egg on top.
Make no mistake, the chorizo hushpuppies, guacamole deviled eggs and beef tartare with pickles, toast and a raw quail egg on top were all excellent. The tartare was particularly memorable, but the grilled scallops, scallop ceviche and seared Scottish salmon were really divine.
The scallops had the subtle flavor of smoke and char from the grill, plus a nice amount of pepper to give them a tiny kick while remaining buttery, silky and delicate in both flavor and texture. The ceviche was also was a smooth, silky expression of just how dang good scallops can be. Enjoying them together, it was nice to taste and feel the difference between a scallop cooked with fire and a scallop cooked with citrus. The other ingredients in the ceviche made it bright, punchy and pleasantly tangy.
The salmon was also cooked perfectly, including the skin which was very crispy! The sides that came with the entrées were seasonal, creative takes on Southern classics, such as edamame succotash and pickled okra.
I am a fan of Chef Rakim, and I am very happy that he has taken on the task of building a great new menu that fits right in with Asheville’s food scene. I hope he continues to grow a loyal local following with his great, seasonal menus at Capella on 9.
A refreshing glass of their house-made non-alcoholic grapefruit soda.
The staff is really nice there too, by the way, with some of my fave local bartenders plying their skills — they always make me really nice non-alcoholic drinks. The one pictured above is a refreshing, dry, house-made grapefruit soda that I bet would go great with gin.
I’ll be looking for and trying other new seasonal menus around town, either on my own or by invitation, so go check out Capella on 9 first and then maybe I’ll see you at some other spots as well. It’s an exciting time of year, friends — let’s do it!
Find all the food specials, new menu additions, events and more from Capella on 9 by checking out their Dig Local Profile.