Peter Pollay

Chef / Owner


Photo by Lynne Harty

What is your favorite part of being a restaurant owner in Asheville?  

Building relationships with both associates and guests. People are interesting and a lot of fun.  Their stories, how they came to work at the restaurant and their goals. With guests, you become part of their lives for the time they are enjoying your restaurant. It’s nice to be a part of people’s lives.

What is the background of your restaurant’s name? 

The Arras Hotel was named after a town in France that is known for their tapestry. We also knew we wanted to open a Mediterranean restaurant. So we were looking for a name that could weave the hotel and restaurant together. My business partner & wife, Martha, remembered her mother doing needlepoint named Bargello. 

What ingredient could you not live without?

Lemon or lime.  Just a little squeeze brightens up so many dishes and drinks. It’s quite versatile.

What is your favorite dish on your menu? 

Bucatini Cacio E Pepe. It’s the dish on our menu that has the fewest ingredients and is most technical in making it correctly. We also make our own bucatini in house.

What is your favorite dish from a fellow AIR restaurant’s menu?

Baba Nahm Beef Shwarma Pita. It’s quick, great flavors. 

Why did you choose Asheville to open your restaurant? 

My wife and I just love Asheville. It just suits us. We feel very comfortable here.

What is your favorite chef’s tool and why?

My Victorinox 10 inch serrated knife. It is my go to. I can dice tomatoes, deseed peppers, slice meat, cut bread.  It’s just an all-around great knife for me.