Peter Pollay

When children first started booking tables at Peter Pollay's polished downtown restaurant, Posana, he was surprised. Now, he's simply flattered. "Kids often choose us for their birthday dinners," the chef says with a chuckle.

The food Pollay serves is anything but childish; his plates of seared duck breast and roasted rack of lamb are classic and complex. He's proud the food appeals to children and adults alike. "There's a lot of things that kids get on subtle levels that we don't get because of our conditioning," he says. "My kids are the best critics."

In fact, without Pollay's children, Posana wouldn't exist. He moved to Asheville with his wife, Martha, to raise their family. Pollay had worked as a chef in Chicago and Los Angeles, and opening his own restaurant here felt right. Pollay takes pride in the fact that Posana sources unprocessed, premium ingredients from nearly 65 local purveyors and farmers each week, and changes the menu regularly to incorporate them. Recently, Pollay created an urban garden a few miles from his restaurant where he grows kale for a much beloved salad in addition to other veggies, such as beets and radishes.

Although Posana is in the bustling center of Asheville, Pollay hopes to provide a respite from outside cares and a refuge for families and friends. "The whole idea of being able to sit down at a meal and truly experience it-the food, the conversation, the togetherness with family and friends-doesn't happen enough anymore," he says. "We want our customers to be able to experience that in this restaurant."

Peter Pollay | Posana

Peter Pollay | Posana