The Montford Rooftop Bar

Philip Bollhoefer

Food & Beverage Director


Photo by Lynne Harty

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

Relationships. The collaborative, not competative nature of the F&B community.  Many other cities have the feel of chefs and restaurants being in constant competition and Asheville is the complete opposite.  Restaurant owners are in a constant cycle of collaborating with and supporting other restaurants. Also, having a chance to get to know and work worth a diverse community of farmers and ranchers.  I have been able to visit almost every farm and producer we work with to see how the ingredients get to the plate. 

What is the background of your restaurant’s name? 

Celebrating the historic Asheville neighborhood of which The Montford Rooftop Bar calls home.

What ingredient could you not live without? 

Lemon.  Acid is such an important ingredient that often gets over looked and fresh lemon is by far my favorite.  

What is your favorite dish on your menu? 

Tater Tots. We hand make our spin on tater tots which is a very labor intensive project but the payoff is worth it.  Our tater tot dish is a simple comfort food snack but it never fails to surprise when arriving to a guest. 

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

Crispy Chicken Skins from Sovereign Remedies. The entire menu is amazing and ever changing, but if you want a perfect bar snack the Sovereign Chicken Skins are it.

Why did you choose Asheville to open your restaurant?

Food culture is part of Asheville culture. In addition to the availability of amazing ingredients, there is a population that demands quality local ingredients on menus. 

What is your favorite chef’s tool and why? 

Tasting Spoon for 2 reasons.

1-Food should always be tasted before getting to a guest and multiple times during the production process.  It seems simple, of course the chef preparing food should taste it!  It is more often that I would care to admit that I have witness cooks, chefs and entire kitchens not tasting food during the production and execution of food. 

2-No one wants to eat the food someone stuck their dirty finger in to taste the food.