Asheville will finally have its own 100% vegan restaurant. Not bad for a tiny little city in the mountains. Plant, opening this summer at 165 Merrimon Ave. will feature flavorful vegan dishes by former Laughing Seed chef, Jason Sellers.
“We will serve flavor-sophisticated, multiculturally influenced food, using techniques that we like the best to intensify flavors based on what’s available to us at the best time,” he says.
Plant’s menu will be kept small enough to enable great attention to detail, he says, with fresh vegetables in the spotlight.
The restaurant also will have a char-grill. “Smoke and flame is something that’s really important to me, especially with vegan food,” says Sellers, who expects to include menu items like smoked potatoes and other dishes with “over-the-top” flavors. The chef will nod to his Italian heritage with seitan marsala and polenta dishes. He will also make his coconut-milk ice cream and other desserts, as well as pizzas and baked goods.
“I think we’ll just really surprise people with increasing the level of vegan food and offering what they may not have expected,” says Armstrong, who admits to a healthy addiction to Sellers’ ice cream.
“The menu is a hit list of all of our favorite flavors,” adds Sellers. “Our goal is lots of grilled and sautéed and cook-to-order vegan food.”
Weekend brunches will feature pancakes and yeasted Belgian waffles. “We want to take vegan brunch to a whole new level,” Sellers says.
Sounds great to me. If the food is good, I will eat at Plant all the time. I can’t wait to try their weekend brunch. Laughing Seed brunch just hasn’t been the same since they took the vegan omelet off the menu. * hint hint, Plant *
In the meantime, you can still support Asheville’s only *almost* vegan restaurant, Firestorm Cafe & Books. Their entire food menu is 100% vegan, but they do sell milk-based coffee drinks.
Update: The chef from Plant tells me that they already have some gluten-free options planned and he is working on ways to expand the gluten-free selection even further. Sounds like there may be some raw options as well, and….possibly….maybe….a vegan omelet in my future!