Ashley Christensen Restaurants

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Category: AC

Stir the Pot, featuring Asha Gomez

We are thrilled to announce that Asha Gomez, chef and author of the award-winning cookbook, My Two Souths, will be our guest chef for our spring edition of Stir the Pot, our dinner series benefiting the Southern Foodways Alliance.

On Sunday, April 23rd, Asha will cook a multi-course dinner at Poole's Diner that celebrates her unique culinary vantage point, a blend of Southern traditions as well as the flavors and recipes from her birthplace, India. Purchase your ticket here.

On Monday, April 24th, we gather at Bridge Club, our private events venue, for a potluck. Help us welcome Asha to Raleigh by bringing a dish to share. We'll provide the main course, and our friends from High Wire Distillery in Charleston will be on hand pouring some of their signature libations. Purchase your ticket here.

Charleston in Charge

Last weekend, we participated in the annual Charleston Wine and Food Festival. Read on about some of our favorite bites in the Queen City, as well as a recap of what we cooked.


What we made:

Crab doughnut holes with smoked tomato remoulade

We made the delicious snack (a variation of the crab churros recipe in the Poole’s Diner cookbook) at a raging cocktail party at Williams-Sonoma. We were honored to cook with a number of awesome folks: Joshua McFadden, from Ava Gene’s in Portland, Oregon; Matt Bolus, from 404 Kitchen in Nashville; Gavin Kaysen of Spoon & Stable in Minneapolis; and Scott Baird of Trick Dog in San Francisco.


Crab and grits with smoked tomato and crispy garlic

This was our contribution to a multi-course luncheon hosted by CherryBombe magazine. After the feast, Ashley was part of a panel discussion with the other collaborating chefs (Vivian Howard, Carrie Morrey and Jessica Grossman), as well as Ellen Bennett from Hedley & Bennett and Ruth Reichl.


Grilled oysters with roasted tomato butter, country ham crumbs, and Meyer lemon gremolata

We teamed up with Sea Island Forge, makers of gorgeous cauldron grills, and Rappahannock Oysters to rock this fun wood-fire cooked oyster dish.


Where we ate:

Rodney Scott’s BBQ

We’ve been huge fans of Rodney Scott’s delicious whole hog barbecue for years, and were thrilled to visit his first (brand-new) outpost in Charleston. The whole hog is definitely delicious, but don’t sleep on the and the ribs and the sides (in particular, the collards and the mac and cheese), which blew our minds.


167 Raw

This tiny shellfish emporium is a perfect place to visit for a few dozen oysters and a few glasses of rosé. If the weather’s nice, definitely wait for a patio seat.



The taco joint from chef Sean Brock’s Neighborhood Restaurant Group may be casual, but the easygoing atmosphere belies the excellent quality of every dish, from smoked chicken wings to an insane green chorizo taco topped with a thick wedge of crispy potato. AC’s favorite drink? The Satanico, a frozen concoction of tequila, Chartreuse, pineapple vinegar and tepache.


Little Jack’s Tavern

Our pal Brooks Reitz’s newest project, this tavern-like space keeps focus on the classics, such as steak, brick chicken, shrimp cocktail, and crab Louie. It also features one of the most craveable damn burgers in the Southeast.


Where we stayed:

The Dewberry

This luxury hotel just across the street from Marion Square features is housed in a former government building, which makes the beauty of its modern décor and spacious rooms all the more impressive. The lobby bar, dubbed “The Living Room,” quickly became our go-to spot for an afternoon Aperol Spritz.

Y’All the People: A Dinner Benefiting the ACLU

The restaurant industry depends on the dedication and work of immigrants, and thrives through the contributions of this diverse group.

On March 26th, more than 20 chefs and beverage professionals from all over North Carolina are gathering together to cook a meal in the spirit of unity and stand in support of our immigrant team members, family members, and guests.

Join us for this very special multi-course dinner, which will benefit the ACLU of North Carolina's important work to protect the constitutional rights of immigrants and all North Carolinians. Purchase your tickets here; seats are very limited.

Participating chefs and groups include:

  • Ashley Christensen, AC Restaurants, Raleigh
  • Andrew Ullom, AC Restaurants, Raleigh
  • Aaron Vandemark, Panciuto, Hillsborough
  • Gray Brooks, Pizzeria Toro and Littler, Durham
  • Bill Smith, Crook’s Corner, Chapel Hill
  • Vansana Nolintha, Bida Manda and Brewery Bhavana, Raleigh
  • Angela Salamanca, Centro and Gallo Pelon, Raleigh
  • Steven Greene, Heron’s at the Umstead, Cary
  • Beth Littlejohn, Player’s Retreat, Raleigh
  • Phoebe Lawless, Scratch Bakery, Durham
  • Scott Crawford, Crawford & Son, Raleigh
  • Elliott Moss, Buxton Hall BBQ, Asheville
  • Cheetie Kumar, Garland, Raleigh
  • Matt Kelly, Mateo Tapas, Durham
  • Daniel Benjamin, lucettegrace, Raleigh
  • Vivian Howard, The Chef & The Farmer, Kinston
  • Joe Kindred, Kindred, Davidson
  • Caroline Morrison, Fiction Kitchen, Raleigh
  • Miguel Torres, Lantern, Chapel Hill
  • Jeff Seizer, Royale, Raleigh
  • Les Stewart, Trophy Brewing, Raleigh
  • Nick Johnson, Ponysaurus Brewing, Durham
  • Sean Lilly Wilson, Fullsteam Brewery, Durham
  • Cathead Distillery


This event will include a multi-course, family style seated dinner (with cocktail, beer and wine pairing), followed by dessert and a small auction.

Due to the nature of this event, individual dietary restrictions cannot be accommodated. We apologize for any inconvenience.

All Are Welcome

In support of our immigrant team members, community members, family members, and guests who were participating in the national protest, A Day Without Immigrants, we pledged to donate 25% of yesterday’s sales at all ACR properties to the Immigrant and Refugee Rights Project with the NC Justice Center. We remain grateful for the enriching diversity of our community, and were so inspired by the many people who came out to dine with us yesterday in support of this cause. We are humbled to announce that, thanks to you all, we are donating $5,487.39 to the NC Justice Center. Thanks for standing together with us, Raleigh.

Recipe: Oyster Pan Roast

Oyster and Turnip Pan Roast

Total Time: 35 minutes Serves: 4

Ready in about half an hour, this creamy oyster stew is a perfect foil against cold winter nights. Turnips add a kick to create balance. This recipe appeared in the Wall Street Journal in a four-part series in the "Slow Food Fast" column. Read the full story here.

  • ¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 yellow onion, dice
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 turnip bulbs, peeled and cut and ¾-inch dice
  • 1 cup dry white wine
  • 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
  • 3 cups heavy cream
  • 24 freshly shucked oysters, juices reserved
  • ¼ cup unsalted butter, melted
  • 3 cups thinly sliced turnip greens and/or arugula
  • 16 saltines
  • Fine sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Set a medium pot over medium heat and swirl in olive oil. Stir in onions, garlic and turnips, and cook until onions are translucent, 7-9 minutes.

2. Add wine and bring liquid to a simmer. Cook, stirring occasionally, until turnips begin to soften, 3-5 minutes. Stir in mustard, cream and reserved oyster juices. Bring to a simmer, then stir in turnip greens and simmer until greens wilt, about 2 minutes. Add oysters and immediately remove pan from heat. Let oysters poach until plump and heated through, 3-5 minutes.

3. Meanwhile, brush saltines with butter and arrange in a single layer on a baking sheet. Toast until golden, about 5 minutes. Season oyster pan roast with salt and pepper to taste and serve immediately with warm saltines.

James Beard Award 2014Best Chef: Southeast

Beasley's Chicken + Honey,
Chuck's, Fox Liquor Bar

237 S. Wilmington St, Raleigh NC, 27601

[919] 322-0127, 322-0126, 322-0128 Respectively

Bridge Club

105 W. Hargett St, Raleigh NC, 27601

Death & Taxes

105 W. Hargett St, Raleigh NC, 27601

[984] 242-0218

Poole's Diner

426 S. McDowell St, Raleigh NC, 27601

[919] 832-4477