Phi Bar and Bistro

Phi Bar and Bistro
@ the Hotel INDIGO
151 Haywood St.
Downtown Asheville, NC 28801

Phi Bar and Bistro at the Hotel INDIGO Asheville, NC, is committed to using fresh, organic, and seasonal ingredients that support the local farms, businesses and the Carolinas region. Our portions are designed to share with friends or enjoy on your own. Gabe Fore, Food & Beverage Director – Ten years experience in the food and beverage industry in almost every possible position including serving, cooking, managing, private events, bartending, catering, and concept design. Most recently, Owner and Chief Operating Partner of the concept design and restaurant consulting firm, G. Concepts, LLC. Bar Trainer P.F. Chang’s China Bistro; FOH Manager, Club Manager & Private Events Coordinator Old Europe Bistro; Z Lounge Nightclub; A-B Tech. Culinary School, Asheville, NC.

Mike Ingle, FOH Supervisor – Over 20 years experience in the food and beverage industry including 7+ years in management and 11 years bartending. Lead Bartender and Assistant Manager Old Europe Bistro, Z Lounge Nightclub, Bar Manager Ham’s Sports Bar, Bar Manager Ramada Inn.

Phi Bar and Bistro

Andrew Hamm, Sous Chef – Over 20 years experience in the food and beverage industry. Most recently, Sous Chef Left Bank – award winning French fusion restaurant owned by Executive Chef Joseph LaMarca, whose experience included 30 years in Manhattan, NYC. Line cook La Caterina, featured in Southern Living for Excellence in Dining in 1996 – authentic southern Italian cuisine with all charcuterie handled in house. First began cooking fine dining cuisine in 1994 at Elijah’s Oyster Bar and Restaurant, Wilmington, NC.

Spring Starter and Martini Pairing

“Three Bites to Begin”

Parmesan Crisp filled w/ Goat Cheese Mousse garnished w/ Carrot & Beet Powder

Arugula & Watercress Salad w/ Confit of Navel Oranges

Sunburst Farms Trout Gravlax w/ Trout Caviar, Black Sesame Seed, and Fennel Oil


“Eden Martini”

Cool Gin and Cucumber with Fresh Fruit Carefully Chilled and Topped with Sauvignon Blanc


Parmesan Crisp

1 cup finely grated parmesan cheese

Pre-heat oven to 325F. Line a sheet pan with parchment paper or Silpat liner. Place a 2 ½-inch ring mold in one corner of the Silpat and fill it with 1 tablespoon of the grated cheese. Using your finger, spread the cheese into an even layer. Repeat to make 8 rounds, leaving at least 1 inch between them. Bake for 8-10 minutes or until the cheese is a rich golden brown. Remove the pan from the oven and let cool for about 30 seconds to firm the crisps enough so you can remove them with a spatula. One by one, remove the crisps and gently press each one into a hollow in an egg carton to form a tulip shape. After a few minutes you can remove the crisps from the carton and reserve for later.

Goat Cheese Mousse

6 oz. Three Graces Dairy “Plain Jane” chèvre
4 to 6 tablespoons heavy cream
1 tablespoon minced Italian parsley
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

Place the goat cheese into a food processor and process. Pour ¼ cup of the cream through the feed tube and continue to process until the mixture is smooth but will hold a shape when piped; if necessary, add a little more cream. Add the parsley and salt and pepper to taste and mix just to combine. Taste and adjust the seasoning. The mousse can be refrigerated for 2 to 3 days; let stand at room temperature for about 30 minutes to soften slightly before piping. Place the mousse in a pastry bag fitted with a medium star tip. Pipe 2 to 3 teaspoons of mousse into each parmesan crisp and serve.

Carrot Powder

¼ cup very finely chopped carrots (chopped in a food processor)

Squeeze the carrots in a towel or blot on paper towels to remove excess moisture. Line a microwave tray with a piece of parchment paper and spread the carrots on it in a thin, even layer. Microwave on low power for about 40 minutes, or until the carrots are completely dried out. Let cool to room temperature. Grind the carrots to a powder in a coffee or spice grinder. Store in a covered plastic container. For Beet Powder: repeat above process substituting beets for carrots.

Arugula & Watercress Salad

1 oz. fresh arugula, washed and blotted dry
1 oz. fresh watercress, washed and blotted dry
1 tablespoon thinly sliced shallot
1 teaspoon citrus vinaigrette (recipe follows)
Kosher salt and fresh ground pepper

Carefully pick watercress and place in a stainless steel mixing bowl. Add shallot and vinaigrette and toss lightly; season with salt and pepper to taste. Using two large arugula leaves, make a ring mold by making a small cut near the top of each leaf and feeding the stalk through it on the opposite leaf. Place on top of navel orange confit (recipe follows) and carefully add salad inside the arugula “mold.”

Confit of Navel Oranges

2 navel oranges
¼ cup simple syrup
¼ teaspoon white wine vinegar

Using a sharp knife, slice off the peel including all the white pith from the oranges. Working over a bowl, slice between the membranes to remove all the orange segments. Discard the membranes. Bring the simple syrup and vinegar to a boil. Pour over the orange segments and let cool to room temperature (this is called a confit because the syrup stabilizes the oranges). This can be refrigerated for 1 to 2 days.

Citrus Vinaigrette

1.5 cups citrus juice (lemons, limes, and oranges)
Zest of one lemon, lime, and orange
1/4 cup shallot
2 tablespoons sugar
3 tablespoons mayo
3 tablespoons mustard
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
2 teaspoons pepper
1 teaspoon salt
2 cups of olive oil

Makes about 6 cups
Blend well and with blender running, slowly drizzle in olive oil.

Trout Gravlax

2 fresh trout filets (we use Sunburst Farms from Western North Carolina)
3 tablespoons julienned, seeded cucumber
1 ½ tablespoons kosher salt
1 ½ tablespoons sugar
3 tablespoons fennel bulb, sliced thin
1 ½ oz. neutral-flavored gin

Place trout filets on a medium-sized plate and top with gin. Sprinkle trout with salt, sugar, and top with fennel and cucumbers. Cover with plastic wrap and top with another plate and a two-pound weight. Baste with juices from plate every eight hours, for 3-5 days. Top with fresh trout caviar and black sesame seeds. Garnish with fennel oil (recipe follows).

Fennel Oil

2 cups fennel fronds
2 cups Italian parsley sprigs
About ¾ cup canola oil

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Place the herbs into a strainer and dip them in the water for about 15 seconds, keeping the water at a strong boil. Remove the strainer and immediately plunge the blanched herbs into an ice water bath to chill. Drain the cold herbs and squeeze as dry as possible. Use scissors to cut them into small pieces (chopping some herbs causes them to oxidize and darken). Place half the herbs in a blender with enough of the oil just to cover. Turn on the blender to medium speed and allow the herbs to blend for a minute to begin the process. If the herbs aren’t turning freely, add slightly more oil so that they will. Turn the speed to high and continue to blend for another 2 minutes. If your blender has a hole at the top remove the stopper to allow some air in. Add half of the remaining herbs to the machine and continue to blend for another 2 minutes; then add the remaining herbs and blend for 2 more minutes. Remove the puree to a container and refrigerate for at least a day to intensify the color. Place a piece of cheesecloth over a container and secure with a rubber band or string. Place the puree on the cheesecloth and let the oil filter through for about an hour. Discard the cheesecloth and remaining puree – don’t wring out the cheesecloth, or you may cloud the oil. Makes about 1/3 cup.

Eden Martini – (Original Recipe)

1 ½ oz. Plymouth Gin
¼ oz. Bianco vermouth
1 oz. sauvignon blanc (We use Elizabeth Spencer)
1 medium-sized basil leaf, torn in half
3 slices of fresh cucumber
2 white or green fresh grapes

In a mixing tin muddle basil, cucumber, and grapes. Add abundant ice and gin and stir carefully until very cold – reserve. Add Bianco to a frozen martini glass, swirl around, and discard. Strain gin mixture into the Bianco-lined martini glass, top with sauvignon blanc, and serve. Garnish with a skewer of cucumber and white grape.