Twisted Laurel Restaurant Review in Asheville, North Carolina
Local Business Reviews,  Wining & Dining

Twisted Laurel Restaurant Review: Both Roots and Wings

The warmth gets you when you first step into Twisted Laurel – this is the quintessential lunch and dinner spot, equally comfortable giving you a quick sandwich meal as they are plating up a gourmet salmon for you to feast upon on a special occasion. 

It used to be my in-laws’ go-to spot for a chill but fun New Year’s Eve, and as the new year approaches (as I start this review, anyway), I am thinking a lot about tradition, about how the areas in and around Asheville are always in cycles of welcoming the new and commemorating the old – Twisted Laurel is a great example of a venture that has roots in the community now, but is also part of the ever-growing tourism experience of Asheville and the surrounding towns.

Twisted Laurel features lots of American favorites, and since American food is a fusion cuisine with the best of them, it’s not surprising that the menu includes lots of excellent Greek and Italian-inspired dishes. The owners draw on a knack for sourcing great quality food to make their menu inviting, approachable, and full of familiar flavors.

I visited Twisted Laurel most recently during the holiday season, and their charming front patio was decorated with greenery and red ribbon on a chilly afternoon. I’ve had a meal out there before, and Weaverville’s cute downtown is a great spot for a little people-watching and seeing the life of the town while you sip a drink and chow down. 

Today, though, it was far too cold for such shenanigans, so I went inside instead. I was greeted by more cheery decor, poinsettias, and a fully-trimmed Christmas tree to give the space a bit of a Great Hall air, like a gathering place for a whole town. 

Twisted Laurel Review
All images courtesy of Twisted Laurel

The walls feature exposed brick that brings out the rosy hues in the dark wood tables, and the art on the walls varies from a metalwork version of the Twisted Laurel tree logo to huge inset murals of road trips and adventures to photographs of the Blue Ridge Mountains – varied but harmonious, all.

Under the industrial wall sconces and the warm yellow hanging lights, a bustling crowd enjoys an early supper, with a main feature being children – a couple elementary-aged little ones dodge around me and their Mom makes the universal “so sorry” face at me, but it adds to that community feel, like this is the place where Mom and Dad can have some scratch-made flavor while their kids are still allowed to be seen and be kids.

I’ll stand on my soapbox forever that children have to actually be in public to learn how to be in public, and Twisted Laurel, at least in the early evening, seems like they embrace that notion, too.

I love that, while the visible rafters and other elements bring a dim comfiness to the space, the designers knew what they were doing with big floor-to-ceiling windows in the front of the restaurant, which filter in natural light all the way back.

Just past the bar, another set of glass windows allows the light to continue backward while still allowing for a private event, I assume, to be held in the separated space if someone wanted. I was there when the back area was just being used as general dining space, but I can envision an intimate rehearsal dinner or a boisterous birthday party being held behind the glass partitions to great effect. 

Twisted Laurel Feature

My server is warm and pleasant but seems to sense that, dining alone, I’m mostly relaxing. Surveying the menu takes a minute, but the server is able to get me my drink quickly while I peruse.

The menu at Twisted Laurel offers a comprehensive selection of New American favorites, with their starters menu alive with calamari, firecracker shrimp, garlic knots, beer cheese bites, nachos, and chicken wings – you could eat like a king off apps alone. 

Then there are the various salads, from a Greek salad topped with grilled chicken to a Chef’s salad with turkey, ham, and mozzarella cheese. Their Greek dressing is house-made and full of feta, herbs, and spices, so even if you opt for a house salad, consider picking that favorite for the topping. 

The sandwich menu features flavorful options from the turkey and brie to the Philly steak sub, the chicken ranch sub (named Fat Jake’s) to the flounder sandwich. This menu makes Twisted Laurel a particularly good spot to grab a bite when you’re out and about in either Weaverville or downtown Asheville, with options for every palate served for under $15 each at the time of writing. 

Then you’ve got the option for pizza cooked on a stone hearth – you can pick your own toppings or you can opt for one of the signature pies, like the Hawaiian pizza featuring prosciutto, cilantro, and a balsamic reduction in addition to the requisite ham and pineapple. 

Twisted Laurel Food

You might also decide to dig into the Mediterranean pie, with spinach, sun-dried tomatoes, artichoke hearts, Kalamata olives, and feta cheese to make you feel like you’re living in a Blue Zone.

When visiting for dinner or just a big celebratory lunch, the entrees menu won’t disappoint. Pasta dishes like chicken parm, fettuccine alfredo, and lasagna live alongside a lemon pepper grilled salmon with risotto or a steak medallion meal served with potatoes and seasonal vegetables – you can even make it surf and turf with an addition of shrimp. 

Greek dishes like the Greek platter, Greek meatballs, and Peloponnesian spaghetti all fill your need for a mental trip to Athens. 

I request one of my favorite early evening dinners: one appetizer paired with one side dish. I choose the firecracker shrimp, fried shrimp being a rare delicacy that I have no clue how to make at home, and an order of sweet potato fries, both for the dessert-like flavor and, you know, the crispiness! 

Twisted Laurel Dishes

The server asks about dipping sauce, which reminds me to get some honey mustard on the side – if you get their sweet potato fries, don’t miss the honey mustard.

The food arrives quickly, and I immediately set my mouth tingling with the shrimp appetizer. Its creamy spicy sauce perfectly meets the texture of crispy batter and firm shrimp – and it’s all served on top of a bed of addictively-crunchy wonton chips, which is perfect for catching stray morsels of that firecracker sauce – yum! 

I dip sweet potato fries in honey mustard to cool my on-fire tongue and enjoy the general comfort of a holiday season pause.

The Twisted Laurel team has two locations, with the one in downtown looking out onto Pack Square and making it exceptional for enjoying a meal al fresco on the patio. The same ownership also includes other ventures, like Daphne’s Catering and their latest, Salt Face Mule Brewing, a mini-golf and micro-brewery with tons of space for gathering and hanging out. 

They have clearly figured out their formula for getting the right menu, the right space, and the right team on board to create an experience for their customers that results in success and long-time regulars. I look forward to continuing to sample their dishes, both the ones I recognize from the past and everything new they come up with in the future. 

Downtown Asheville: 130 College St., Asheville.
Weaverville: 10A S. Main St., Weaverville.

There you have it! Our review of Twisted Laurel. Have you been to one of Twisted Laurel’s locations? Tell us about your experience in the comments below!

Laura finally got to move to Asheville in 2021 after a decade of visits and hangouts here. She loves the food, the coffee shops, and the riverfront in Asheville. Laura is always finding something new and wonderful to try.

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