Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Elton John coming to Asheville

For the second time in a decade Elton John will be playing in Asheville. He is gracing the stage of the Asheville Civic Center to perform on the Greatest Hits Tour. His music has spanned the decades giving him worldwide fame from an early age. He has produced numerous gold and platinum albums and has sold more than 250 million records worldwide.

The concert is scheduled for Tuesday, Nov. 16 starting at 8 p.m. Tickets ($47/$87/$137, plus applicable fees) go on sale at 10 a.m. Monday, Oct. 4, online at, at all Ticketmaster outlets, or via charge-by-phone at 800-745-3000. There is an eight-ticket limit per customer.

If you are traveling from out of town and are looking for a great hotel check out Biltmore Farms Hotels, Asheville's premiere hotel group.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Roux restaurant hosts wine dinner to benefit Animal Compassion Network

Roux, the restaurant of the Hilton Asheville Biltmore Park, will be hosting a special reception and wine dinner to benefit the Animal Compassion Network's Foster and Adoption Program. The event is scheduled for Tuesday, October 5, from 6:30 until 9:00PM. The dinner, prepared by Chef Randy Dunn, will be a five course gourmet vegetarian meal. Wine pairings generously donated by Biltmore Wines will be presented by Biltmore Winemaker, Sharon Fenchak.

The course menus are as follow:

- Display of figs, gorgonzola & honey-spiced pecans
- Shiitake mushroom crustini with pear chutney
- Thai red curry deviled eggs
- Endive with fresh ricotta, cracked black pepper, tart apples and pine nuts
- Wine pairing: Chateau Reserve Blanc de Blanc - North Carolina

1st Course
- Summer roll of tamirand infused tofu & pineapple with yuzu ponzu
- Wine pairing: Biltmore Estate Riesling - North Carolina

2nd Course
- Salad of arugula & fennel with sweet potato croutons & local pistachio chevre
- Wine Pairing: Biltmore Estate Chardonnay - North Carolina

3rd Course
- Smokey mac & cheese with porcini mushrooms & grilled vegetables
- Wine pairing: Biltmore Reserve Pinot Noir - Russian River Valley

4th Course
- Grilled risotto and vegetable stack with roasted tomato buerre rouge
- Wine Pairing: Antler Hill Syrah - Napa Valley

5th Course
- Dark chocolate polenta cake with hazelnut-cherry mousse
- Wine Pairing: Biltmore Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon

Ticket prices are $60 per person and $100 per couple and must be purchased in advanced. You may purchase tickets at Pet Harmony, Hilton Asheville Biltmore Park, Sensibilities Day Spa, or online at Animal Compassion Network. Tickets are limited so buy early to ensure a spot at the event. In addition the Hilton Asheville is offering a room package. For an additional $99 you would be able to stay the night. To reserve the room package please e-mail Stan Turner, General Manager of the Hilton Asheville at

The photo above is of Hilton, one of the many dogs rescued through the Animal Compassion Network.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Help end childhood hunger at Vinnie's

From now through September 25th you can help eradicate childhood hunger by dining at Vinnie's Neighborhood Italian, Asheville's newest Italian restaurant located at 641 Merrimon Avenue in Asheville. Vinnie's is participating in the Great American Dine Out Week and a percentage of all sales will go to support this cause.

Funds raised through the Great American Dine Out support No Kid Hungry™, Share Our Strength’s campaign to end childhood hunger in America by 2015. Great American Dine Out funds help Share Our Strength connect needy families with food in the following ways:

- Enroll more eligible kids in school breakfast, after-school snacks and meals, and their families in SNAP (food stamps).
- Bring community gardens and farmers markets to low-income neighborhoods
- Bring affordable, fresh fruits and vegetables to urban corner stores.
Teach at-risk families how to plan, shop for, and prepare healthy, low-cost meals at home.
- Help local food pantries, food banks and soup kitchens meet the pressing demand for more nutritious food.
- Increase awareness and understanding of childhood hunger and solutions to it.

Vinnie's is open seven nights a week and there is plenty of free parking. Their hours are Sunday through Thursday from 4:40PM - 9:30PM and Friday through Saturday from 4:30PM - 10:30PM. They are also offering an early bird special of 15% off from 4:30PM to 5:30PM. Learn more about Vinnie's here.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Leaf lookers prepare for a colorful season in Asheville

This year promises to be a colorful leaf season in Asheville. Check out this information released by the Asheville Convention and Visitors Bureau.

ASHEVILLE, NC (September 14, 2010) – In the tricky business that is forecasting the whims of Mother Nature, it is rare that experts agree as they make fall color predictions. This year, biologists and naturalists in Western North Carolina and the Asheville area are singing the same tune: Seasonal weather patterns and early climate indicators may trigger the most colorful leaf season in years.

Good News for Colorful Fall Vacations

As the last week of summer arrives, travelers can look to fall foliage experts to learn what is in store for autumn travel in 2010:

Expert Forecast Quotes

“A long spell of dry weather during the spring and summer could provide some of the most brilliant colors seen in several years for leaf-lookers headed to the mountains of Western North Carolina this autumn,” reported Katherine Mathews, Western Carolina University’s assistant professor of biology specializing in plant systematics.

“While there were periods of low rainfall with some higher than normal temperatures, the mountains around Asheville have had plenty of rain toward the end of the summer. With cooler, clear weather moving in this September, fall seems to be setting up nicely,” said Parker Andes, director of horticulture at Biltmore in Asheville.

“A few weeks ago the weather transitioned to clear, sunny days–the ideal combination for a really beautiful fall,” said Dr. Howie Neufeld, professor of plant physiology at Appalachian State University.

“When people remember a good color season, it is usually because they got those brilliant reds contrasting against the rest of the fall color spectrum. The bi-product of photosynthesis is sugar, and sugar triggers red pigment production. So, these bright sunny days we’re seeing will build up that intense red pigment in the leaves. We’re on course for a colorful fall season,” continued Dr. Neufeld.

Fall Color Wars: Scientifically Substantiated Bias

Extreme elevation variations and biologically diverse microclimates combine to give the Southern Appalachian Mountains one of the longest and most colorful leaf seasons in the country. Regional experts weigh-in on who has the best fall color:

“New England’s color comes primarily from birch, beech and maple–a beautiful, bright autumn display with big blotches of color. But, the South has more than 100 species of deciduous trees. The combination of topography and color diversity here can make our fall colors spectacular. Out West you see more evergreens and yellow, but you don’t get a lot of that vibrant red that makes up the eastern fall patchwork. I’ve lived in the Northeast and the West, and I think North Carolina has some of the best fall color in the country,” said Dr. Neufeld.

“The mountains of Western NC have the most forest diversity of anywhere in the country, which gives us a uniquely broad range of fall color and a longer season. From the yellows of cucumber magnolias around Balsam Mountain to the burgundy of black gums along the Davidson River, there is a rainbow of colors to be seen here. And, because of the different altitudes, microclimates and mild weather, visitors can always find good color and lots of activities throughout the region,” said Andes.

Timing Your Fall Vacation

“We’re already starting to see signs of color at the highest elevations here at the end of September. Our American ash trees are beginning to tinge with purple and the bright red berries on the mountain ashe are putting on a good show. Leaf peepers should look for high elevation habitats to color-up first, such as heath balds on mountain ridges,” said Jesse Pope, chief naturalist at Grandfather Mountain.

“I’m very optimistic about the intensity of color we could see this year. However, the duration and timing of fall greatly depends on these last couple of weeks in September. Rapid changes in temperature could start the color action early, and we want to avoid wind events that would stress and prematurely down the leaves,” continued Pope.

Weekly Fall Color Reports:

To help visitors locate where the autumn color is peaking from week-to-week, the Asheville Convention & Visitors Bureau is working with park officials, attractions and biologists around the region to compile weekly fall color reports for the mountains of Western North Carolina at Asheville’s fall color experts will also be tweeting up-to-the-minute color updates, travel tips and deals at @FallColorHunter on Twitter.

With the fall season fast approaching now is a great time to book your room reservation as hotels in the Asheville area will start selling out. Check out these great hotels and plan your getaway today.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Black Keys change date of Asheville performance

Due to a death of a family member, The Black Keys are rescheduling their September 14th show at The Orange Peel in Asheville, NC to Thursday, September 16th. All previously purchased tickets will be honored for the rescheduled date. All show details will remain the same - the show will start at 9pm with doors at 8pm on Thursday. If you are unable to attend the new date, refunds will be available at the Orange Peel box office until Thursday, September 16th at 5:30pm. For questions, contact the Orange Peel at (828) 225-5851 or by email, before Thursday at 5:30pm. No refunds will be offered past this deadline. The band and the Orange Peel apologize for any inconvenience to our fans. We'll see you at the show on Thursday, September 16th