Nightbell is an American small-plate restaurant with a craft cocktail bar and a focus on local Appalachian ingredients located in downtown Asheville.
Nightbell sources food and cocktail ingredients from small, local farms whenever possible. While menu items may come and go, the regional cheese plate is a year-round mainstay that rotates between WNC cheeses and accompaniments seasonally.
Nightbell's regional cheese plate is shown below with the Chocolate Lab from Looking Glass Creamery (right) and Spinning Spider's Stackhouse (left) as well as rye-herb crackers, and sorghum pecan brittle.
According to Looking Glass Creamery, Chocolate Lab doesn't quite fit into any standard cheese category and is a true LGC original. The rind is washed with a local stout and washed throughout it's aging in a brine solution with b. linens, a traditional culture used to impart that stinky, wet dog, type of smell. It's finish rubbed with crushed cacao nibs from French Broad Chocolates.
Spinning Spider Creamery's, Stackhouse, is the creamery's best known semi-lactic bloomy goat cheese. It's a square loaf shaped cheese with a thin layer of ash down the center and a dusting of ash under the white rind. It has a mushroomy flavor with a hint of fresh milk.
Stackhouse has been featured in Southern Living magazine, was named the number one goat cheese in the south in a juried competition by Southern Foodways Alliance, was a blue ribbon winner in its class in the national American Dairy Goat Association cheese competition, and also a Bronze Medal winner in the international competition Expo Nacional de la Cabra el Queso y la Cajeta.
Chocolate Lab can be purchased in Looking Glass Creamery's online store or at their onsite cheese shop in Fairview, NC, just 15 minutes from downtown Asheville.
Stackouse, but Spinning Spider can be purchased at several local Asheville Markets, including the North Asheville Tailgate Market and the Travelers Rest Farmers Market.