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Downtown AVL’s Benne listed as one of best U.S. eateries
Monday, 02 December 2019 22:02

From Staff Reports

Benne on Eagle, located at 35 Eagle St. in downtown Asheville, recently was ranked No. 5 on Esquire magazine’s listing of the “Best New Restaurants in America.”

The list was composed by Jeff Gordinier, Esquire’s food & drinks editor, who spent the last year looking for the best food, drinks and back-stories in the United States.

He ended up ranking his 22 favorite restaurants.

Gordinier praised John Fleer, Benne’s executive chef, as an “Asheville luminary;” and Ashleigh Shanti, Benne’s chef de cuisine, as a “rising star.”

Benne is listed by Esquire among some of the nation’s best and busiest restaurants, including Seven Reasons in Washington, D.C., and Wayan in the Nolita neighborhood of Manhattan.

Regarding Benne, Gordinier wrote, “You’re likely to come across words like ‘ogbono’ and ‘egusi’ on the menu at Benne on Eagle, and that’s because it celebrates the debt that Appalachian food owes to African cuisine. 

“But with rising star Ashleigh Shanti working side by side in the kitchen with Asheville luminary John Fleer, the history lesson happens to be delicious.”

According to a Nov. 15 report in the Asheville Citizen Times, “Fleer created his third Asheville restaurant (Benne on Eagle) to pay home to the African-American history of The Block, the neighborhood surrounding Benne.”


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