Monday, September 21, 2009

West First Wood-Fired Pizza

Once upon a time there was a scrumptious, earthy, brick oven bakery in the mountains of Western North Carolina. There the people of the village gathered, chatted, drank down cups of fragrant coffee and munched away on lemon scones, wood-fired pizza, and from-scratch soups.

The people of the village grew discontent. Enough was not enough. They begged for the good baker to give them more.

And so, the good baker joined with another good baker and began a restaurant, down the road in neighboring Hendersonville. They called this restaurant:

I've already taken you on a little tour of my brother's bakery (Flat Rock Village Bakery ) in the past, so today we'll peek in to West First Wood-Fired Pizza. Not a really comprehensive peek . . . I was in a hurry that day.

The centerpiece of the restaurant is this gorgeous brick oven which my ultra-talented sister-in-law covered in a beautiful glass mosaic depicting swirls of fire going up the sides of the oven and disappearing into a few sparks at the top. Breathtaking.

This brick oven churns out the delicious thin-crusted artisan pizzas for which they are famous and piles of crusty ciabatta bread, ready to be served to your table with your meal.

You want a recommendation for the pizza, I suppose?

I love the Goat Cheese Pizza - fresh basil pesto with spinach, marinated artichoke hearts, sundried tomatoes and goat cheese. ::sigh::

And if I am eating by myself and none of my family is around to harrass me about my love for fungus, I would order a Mushroom Pizza - portobella and shiitake mushrooms, mozzarella and fresh thyme, finished with truffle oil. And I'd eat the entire thing myself . . . shamelessly!

So, you're not in the mood for pizza? What about Chicken Papparadelle - hardwood smoked chicken breast in a shiitake mushroom, sweet roasted red pepper and corn cream sauce?

Or Handmade Ravioli - House-made pasta stuffed with spinach, mushrooms, caramelized onion and feta cheese with a choice of marinara or four-cheese sauce?

Sorry, it's lunch time. I'm getting a little carried away!

Have I mentioned that my sister-in-law is an amazing artist? The restaurant has her signature all over it. From the side, a giant portrait of my grandfather looks down on the diners and across the room sunlight streams in through her gorgeous stained glass window.

Okay, I told you this was just a quick trip. So sorry to just tempt your taste buds and hurry you out the door.
Speaking of the door, look at this fabulous handle! Hand-crafted by a local blacksmith.

How about we grab a dessert to go on the way out! Rustic Fruit Tartlette with Vanilla Gelato? Chocolate Hazelnut Tiramisu? Wine-poached Pear & Marscapone? ::sob::

Oh, and about the the good people of the village? Well, they rejoiced. They crowded in. They ingested and imbibed. They supped quietly in the loft or dined boisterously down on the main floor. In short, they ate, they drank, they were merry.

And, as you can imagine, they all lived happily ever after.


  1. Sounds like the restaurant is a big success! Maybe, just maybe, in the winter, when I'm longing for the snow that we rarely see here in Georgia, I may take a trip up to Hendersonville and pop in at West First. It sounds scrumptious. And, that pizza oven!! Oh my gosh, its gorgeous. The trip would definitely be worth it, just to see that. The bread looks wonderful too! I can just taste it now, sliced and toasted, spread with some of Giada's Artichoke and Cannollini spread. Gosh, now I'm starvin!

  2. Oh, how I wish I could visit this heavenly place!!! Yum!

  3. Looks and sounds fantastic! I'm sure it'll be a huge success.

  4. It looks like a place that should definitely be on Food Network! Beautiful. I love the word imbibe! Have you been looking in Song of Solomon? A wonderful book I read, Intimate Issues, had this wonderful word in there and of course is in Song of Solomon and what a good way to describe. Maybe one day I will visit! Looks great and your sister in law is an amazing artist!

  5. I'm drooling, I'm envying, I'm I'm I'm just wanting to go there.
    What a gem of a place.
    I would order that exact pizza. Goat cheese on anything is my favorite.


  6. Okay - did you recently visit, drive PAST my house and NOT pick me up to go with you? Despite the fact that I was here alone with SIX children? teehee!
    We love love love this place! And they even serve organic milk for the kids - which I think is too cool.
    I had no idea all of the art was done by your sister-in-law though - very impressive and oh so beautiful
    Gretchen - we will take you there next time you visit!!

  7. I will surely check out this bakery once I go to Western North Carolina! :) I love the brick oven, by the way. Yours is truly unique and beautiful -- different from the traditional ones I see. I am amazed how your sister-in-law turned it into an artwork!