No longer will Asheville’s residents have to trek into downtown in search of a cozy sleek environment for chef-driven seasonal, shareable plates and craft cocktails. Little D’s, the newest restaurant from Mindi and Owen McGlynn (the husband-wife team behind Asheville Proper), is placing a dining escape in North Asheville within the Fresh Market shopping plaza on Merrimon Avenue.
You wouldn’t guess Little D’s bustling surroundings from within the dining room. The intimate space could be likened to escaping into a lush bird’s nest: Rich navy walls, decked with floral patterns and watercolor paintings of bird feathers, give the dining room—which seats 30 to 40 people—a delicate yet cozy warmth. Golden half-sphere light fixtures shine a warm glow that bounces off the inky blue walls to illuminate the room filled with golden-brown leather banquettes and matching wooden tabletops. A lush lounge area complete with mint-green velvet chairs under a neon sign offers a plush area for guests to relax with a cocktail before heading to their table.
The bar scene pays homage to the mountain surroundings. The L-shaped white granite-top bar boasts flecks of blues and grays that tie into the walls and glossy black floor. Guests can belly up at the cushy leather bar seats and overlook the custom-made shelves crafted by a local woodworker and finished with a mountain ash finish.
Mindi designed the entire restaurant, inspired by her eight-year-old daughter, Davis—the eponymous Little D. “She’s our little, shy, dainty girl,” Mindi says. “So calm and collected…We wanted to transform her personality into the space.” In order to get as close to the source of inspiration as possible, Mindi began asking Davis and her other children for input. “I brought [Davis] with me to pick out the paint color,” she says. “I thought the initial color she picked would be too dark, but when we matched it to the space, it wasn’t at all.”
The McGlynns take pride in the fact that their hospitality means that “the service, food, and drinks are each outstanding.” Mindi is excited to create a neighborhood space where people can experience those elements without having to fight the traffic to get into downtown. While she focuses on the design, Owen primarily dedicates his energy to the menu, which highlights seasonally sourced produce and proteins from nearby farms and foragers.
Little D’s is set to open on February 23 and will offer dinner service starting at 4 p.m., Thursday through Monday. You can learn more on the restaurant’s website.