Asheville’s Sugo Revisted
Every Monday through Thursday, from 5pm-6:30pm, Sugo is offering a “gastronomic stimulus package” of a three course meal for $23. Last night, I partook, and I am thrilled to say that Sugo has creatively picked up where La Catarina left off with a tired death rattle.
So I’m not crazy about the red walls and gothic chandeliers that look like they were filched from the set of WB’s “Charmed.” The music was fabulous. Chet Baker, Joao Gilberto, and other jazzy, romantic tunes made us smile and sigh. The Malbec (waiter’s choice, cheapest on menu) was easy drinking, grapy goodness.
I ordered grilled artichokes, sauteed scallops and pasta carbonara, of course. It all began with a springy amuse bouche of light, crispy potato chips, asparagus drizzled with truffle oil, and fresh garden italian parsley. Then a spongy, buttery rosemary foccacia with white bean and lemon spread. So far, every bite had been complete, divine pleasure. The white bean spread oozed with an acidic, lemon tang and was quite inspired, I thought.
I found it difficult to hold back the moans and shrieks of complete delight at the grilled artichokes. After squeezing fresh lemon atop these mean-looking vegetables, I cut into one and it tasted wonderful. The chokes were grilled just right, and the olive oil had soaked in, putting this aromatic dish at the top of my list. I will be back for more grilled artichokes, fo shizzle.
The antipasti salumi was terrific! I ate at Sugo shortly after it first opened, and I was disappointed by the antipasti in particular, as well as the rest of my meal for being hard on the wallet and not a lot easier on the palate. But last night, the fresh hard sausage and mozzarella, the gardinia and breseola were spot-on. Their antipasti portion was fit for a family of four, too. I had to leave before grabbing a bite of the scallops, but my partner-in-dine reported them succulent, flavorful, and inventive with a carrot vinaigrette and arugula.
The pasta carbonara has officially taken over La Catarina for the best version of this dish in Asheville, NC. I cannot wait to return (possibly tonight) for Pasta y Funghi with homemade fettucini and three types of local mushrooms, or the lamb sliders.
Seriously, all the tears shed over La Catarina’s demise have been washed away by the inspired creations of Sugo’s head chef. Their waitstaff was friendly and all-around awesome too.
On your next big date, or a random Tuesday before 6:30pm, get thee to Sugo.