Hunger & Thirst, a ten-day-long event organized by Carolina Epicurean, will feature restaurants, breweries, cideries, wineries, and food trucks in the Hendersonville, Flat Rock, Lake Lure, and Chimney Rock areas. The idea is to highlight the vibrant culinary scene in the south-mountain microregions of Henderson County, and a portion of proceeds benefits Dandelion, the job-training initiative of Safelight (a nonprofit in Hendersonville that provides support for survivors of interpersonal violence, sexual assault, and child abuse). Participating locations include Season’s at Highland Lake, Cask and Wine on Main, Renzo’s Ristorante, Postero, Bold Rock Hard Cider, Flat Rock Wood Room, HenDough Chicken & Donuts, Harvey’s at The Henderson, Hannah Flanagan’s, Shine, The Esmeralda Inn, Never Blue, Brooks Tavern, Mountain Deli, and more. Each business will create new specials to offer to customers during the event — at press time, much of it was still a secret. Several of the area’s newest restaurants are on the roster for the evening, including 305 Lounge & Eatery (where local beefalo is a menu favorite), The French Broad (Bold Life’s cover story in February), and Shine, a sophisticated new space that came about because its owners envisioned how great rooftop dining might go over downtown, with a view of Main Street as the main attraction. As the weather warms up to favor al fresco dining, Shine is sure to, well, shine with its menu of creative craft cocktails, charcuterie-centric appetizers, and upscale entrées. At brewery/cideries such as Bold Rock, guests might be surprised to learn how many solid treats the place regularly serves up, along with all the liquid refreshment. The Bluegrass & Brunch menu, for instance, contains the rare and coveted Monte Cristo sandwich, perennial favorite Chicken & Waffles, and trendy Avocado Toast. Bold Rock will also contribute to the cause, holding a “Pints for Dandelion” event on March 25, where $1 from every pint sold of apple, draft, or pear cider benefits the nonprofit. Organizer Laura Huff notes in a press statement that “The restaurant scene [here] is growing, and this is its time to shine. … It really is a community showcase event. Hendersonville, Flat Rock, Mills River, and Chimney Rock have so much to offer. People come to walk, shop, hike, kayak, or visit historic sites before dining at the many fabulous area restaurants.”
Hunger & Thirst takes place March 21-30. For more information, including updated special menus, see hungerandthirstevent.com or find the event on Facebook.