Saturday, May 22, 2010

Asheville Presidential Dining

In 2008, then Senator Obama spent time in Asheville where he prepared for a final presidential campaign debate with John McCain and enjoyed local BBQ at 12 Bones Smokehouse. In April 2010, the First Couple arrived in Asheville and made their first official stop at 12 Bones Smokehouse, where the President immediately introduced the First Lady to two rib dinners and more. The President’s first visit to 12 Bones obviously made a great impression on him, as he returned to share some great local food with the First Lady and their friends on this trip.

Dinner Friday night was at the Sunset Terrace at The Grove Park Inn Resort & Spa. The restaurant is known for its Prime Beef and Fresh Seafood flown in daily as well as for its incredible views of the Appalachian Mountains including Mount Pisgah. While the public dined al fresco on the Sunset Terrace itself, the First Family and their guests dined privately in the Sunset Terrace Dining Room adjacent to the Terrace with the same sweeping views.

Breakfast and lunch on Saturday and Brunch on Sunday were provided for the VIP guests by the Blue Ridge Dining Room at The Grove Park Inn Resort & Spa. The main dining facility for the Inn is widely known for its three weekend buffets (Friday night Seafood, Saturday night Prime Rib and Sunday Brunch) as well as for its wide use of local farm products. The restaurant uses approximately 15 different farms in the Asheville area and specializes in Southern Cuisine on its a la carte menu.

Saturday evening, the President and his entourage dined at locals favorite the Corner Kitchen in Biltmore Village after a short tour of the Biltmore House. The restaurant is known for it use of local farms and good food. The owners Joe Scully and Kevin Westmoreland were surprised by their unexpected guest, but were able to offer a delightful dinner to the Chief Executive and his guests.

The President’s choices for dining during his couples retreat weekend were all local independent restaurants; three of which are part of the Asheville Independent Restaurant Association (AIR). AIR is an association of local independents that work together promoting the food scene in the Asheville area. They are credited with being the basis for one of the Asheville Convention and Visitors Bureau’s PR campaigns promoting Asheville as the world’s only Foodtopian Society.

When you visit and find the incredible local restaurants, farms, farmer’s markets, tailgate markets, breweries (check out the Asheville Brewers Alliance), winery, culinary schools and love of food in the area – you understand why it has received such a prestigious title. It’s certainly a great reason for the President of the United States to visit!

Thank you President Obama for recognizing what we have known for a while: for some of the best dining in the Southeast, you simply have to travel to Asheville, North Carolina!

12 Bones
12 Bones Smokehouse on Urbanspoon

Sunset Terrace
Sunset Terrace - Grove Park Inn on Urbanspoon

Blue Ridge Dining Room
Blue Ridge Dining Room-Grove Park Inn on Urbanspoon

Corner Kitchen
Corner Kitchen on Urbanspoon


  1. So I wined and dined like the President...!

  2. Abolutely! Come to think of it . . . so did I! Hope you are well!