Crave treats diners to the fine art of food shrinkage with their internationally influenced menu of tapas. Tapas are smaller plates intended for snacking, sharing, combining, and carting home in microscopic doggy bags to create unique full-course meals. Crab-cake sliders layered with roma tomato and remoulade ($4.15) slip past dental defenses to tickle exposed taste buds, and fried goat cheese ($3.95) fills tonsil caverns with the echoing flavors of its pecan crust and granny-smith apple garnish. Chefs reflect their global modus operandi with battered plates of vegetable tempura ($5.95), bowls of spicy tomato-tortilla soup ($3.95), and miniature cowboy hats filled with 4-ounce portions of filet mignon ($9.95). Those saddled with heftier hunger pangs can satiate themselves with a large plate, such as duck confit with mushroom risotto, french beans, and mushrooms ($16), before stifling cacophonous sweet chompers with a delectable dessert of poached anjou pear with Grand Marnier sauce ($4.55).
Grammy-nominated country-bluegrass performer Dierks Bentley takes the stage at this year's Appalachian Summer Festival, an annual outdoor concert and arts celebration held in Appalachian State University's football stadium. Bentley croons his way through songs from his latest album, Up on the Ridge, and plucks audience heartstrings while revisiting career-defining tracks such as “What Was I Thinkin’,” and “Lot of Leavin’ Left to Do." Bring a blanket and watch firework displays with awed eyes, or thumb-wrestle aggressive praying mantises encroaching on your sandwich plate.
One of the largest standup-comedy festivals in the Southeast, the fifth-annual Laugh Your Asheville Off tickles funny bones with a lineup of more than 60 up-and-coming comics and established legends. Joke receptors absorb five performances, running four nights, from Wednesday, July 13 to Saturday, July 16. A Wednesday launch party at Highland Brewing Company showcases Kyle Kinane, named one of the top comics to watch by Variety magazine. The remainder of the shows light up the Diana Wortham Theatre with jokesmiths such as Sam Morril, Rory Scovel and Carl LaBove, who will perform two unique sets. A founding member of the Outlaws of Comedy, LaBove has garnered guffaws for more than 30 years, making appearances on The Tonight Show, HBO, and Showtime.
The Asheville International Children's Film Festival entertains all-ages audiences with a tightly packed schedule of 70 cinematic works from artists in 25 countries, divided into seven blocks of short films and one feature-length movie. On Saturday, families gather in Asheville Pizza & Brewing's colorful theater to witness Round the World and Home Again, a live-action flight through the lives, dreams, and playground treaty negotiations of children in seven countries. Wee ones release exhilarated squeals at 13 shorts in Once Upon an Adventure, which fills the screen with animated and live-action feats that delight juniors without the stress of adopting a litter of knights.
Guest conductor Michael Porter leads the Asheville Choral Society in the final performance of its 34th season, raising 100 volunteer voices in traditional and contemporary song. During the program, the large chorus, bolstered by guest soloists Amanda Porter (mezzo soprano), Beth DuRoy (soprano), and Carl Kimbrough (boy soprano), lend their voices to music as powerful as a bench-pressing xylophone. The concert commences with Bach's time-honored "Ein feste Burg ist unser Gott," which builds virtual fortresses with concrete German consonants, followed by selections of the contemporary composition John Brown. Leonard Bernstein’s Chichester Psalms concludes the evening, leaving patrons’ ears contentedly purring.
Cracker brings their signature brand of irony and irreverence to a performance of their 1993 platinum album release, Kerosene Hat, which produced three radio hits including ‘90s alt-rock jam “Low.” The band’s power-pop-punk tunes have been bopping heads for more than 15 years and over the course of eight albums—making the musicians veterans of the rock scene. The indie-rock showcase includes a performance from Camper van Beethoven, a band that shares a lead singer and a backstage bathroom with Cracker.