Jacob Sessoms embraces Appalachian seasonality with impressionable menus at Asheville’s Table
In a cozy nook tucked off of Asheville, North Carolina’s bustling Broadway Street, Table offers a place for a range of palates and occasions to intersect. On a recent Thursday night visit, I encountered everyone from couples on a date night, cozied around plates of handmade pasta, to friends toasting a birthday over a table crowded with small plates, and even other industry folks, popping in for a burger and beer postshift.
“The menu here changes about every week or two,” bartender Elizabeth Amon explains. It’s driven by creative presentations of seasonal ingredients chef Jacob Sessoms finds in the surrounding Appalachian setting. That means the arugula salad tossed with heirloom tomatoes and served over a cheesy gorgonzola crouton can be easily swapped out the following week for seared halloumi and frizzled peppers dressed with muscadine grapes and butternut squash. No big new menu announcement needed; diners know to expect to be surprised.
It begins with shareable small plates and progresses into heavier and larger dishes, balancing vegetables and protein throughout. One of the few mainstays is Heidi’s bread with cultured butter. The bread, shaped like a Pullman loaf, is a sort of hybrid between Japanese milk bread and brioche. The tender crumb, enriched with milk and butter, boasts a beautifully brown crust sprinkled with flaky salt, and the leftovers were just as delicious for breakfast the following morning. I ordered the tomatoes and gorgonzola, too—an arugula salad tossed with last-of-the-season heirloom tomatoes and served on a cheesy brioche crouton. Not one but two people on the waitstaff recommended the chicken suya from the menu, a riff on Nigerian chicken satay, fashioned into a chop salad with blistered corn kernels, shredded Napa cabbage, crunchy peanuts, and tangy nước chấm dressing.
Sessoms’ attention to detail exceeds the menu—the space itself blends with Asheville’s urban-mountain landscape. Take your pick between booth or table seating in the dining room lined with antique mirrors, and watch the servers file dishes from the kitchen. Or sidle up to the six-seater bar where flush-mount light fixtures and glassware dangle overhead. In addition to overlooking the shelves of spirits, the bar shares its space with an exposed active service kitchen dedicated to preparing orders exclusively from the bar menu—from oysters on the half shell to messy, cheesy burgers with fistfuls of fries.
The creative cocktails alone draw in guests, either for predinner drinks or nightcaps. Leaning on a focused selection of spirits, cocktails range from sweet and spiced to light and bright, like the Ryan Gosling, made with bonded rye, black rum, amontillado sherry, Bassano amaro, and allspice syrup or the Quiet Quitter with pisco, Génépy liqueur, falernum, and notes of cucumber, kiwi, melon, and lime. If wine’s more your thing, thumb through the extensive, old world-influenced list—there’s even a section dedicated entirely to Beaujolais, where light and earthy reds match the mountain evening temperatures year round. But there’s something for everyone at Table, including plenty of domestic pours like Miller High Life and regional beers to counter the craft cocktails and worldly wines.
Asheville’s Table accepts reservations and walk-ins from 5 p.m. until close daily. The bar offers its limited food menu up until 10 p.m. and later. You can book reservations or learn more at their website.