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Going to the Biltmore House in a couple weeks.Understand the restaurant is not worth the big bucks.Appreciate any recommendations for any other local places.Upscale or BBQ - I'm open for suggestions.

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  1. THere are always a lot of posts about Asheville. It may be best if you start out with a search on "asheville" and look back at the more recent posts. Alternatively give us some ideas of what you are looking for "upscale or BBQ" covers a lot of ground. Price? Downtown? Casual or fine dining? Italian? Organic?

    1. salsa and early girl are both awesome.

      1. I wouldn't say the restaurant at the Inn Hotel is bad, it's just not that exciting. Having said that, there's a roaring fireplace and a sunken dining room that's great for winter, and the food is good. Better, is the menu at the Bistro (still on the Estate, but in the grounds. Less expensive than the hotel, but great food. You can get either menu online, or from the hotel.


        1. OK after doing an Asheville search the places for dinner that look interesting to me are: Bistro at the Estate,28806,Fig,Salsa,Limones,Savoy and Zambra.Now I need help narrowing my choices to two dinners !

          2 Replies
          1. re: crwrdh

            Salsa and Limones have similar cuisine, and both are wonderful, so I would say pick one of those and then do either 28806 or Sunny Pointe (in West Asheville) for the other dinner.

            That's my two cents.

            1. re: crwrdh

              We had the most amazing lunch at the Bistro at Biltmore. It was a year ago and we still talk about it. We also love Salsa which is very casual and Limones which is more upscale. I don't really think they are all that similar. Fig is good, but IMHO not as good as those others, but it is closer to the Biltmore Estate. If I had two dinners I would definitely do Limones and whichever other one had a menu to your liking. They're all good. But, hey, you also have two lunches/brunches and/or breakfasts. Enjoy!

            2. We recently dined at La Caterina in Asheville, and loved it. The decor is outdated, but the overall ambience is very inviting, and sweet. We definitely chuckled a bit when we stepped inside because we felt like we were in an Italian restaurant on Long Island thirty years ago. But, they have an in-house salumeria, they make all of their pasta fresh. and they have a very reasonable wine list. We've also heard good things about Table, but have never tried it.

              1 Reply
              1. re: magneticwheels

                I agree about La caterina. They also make their own fresh cheeses and breads. I really enjoyed my meal there.

                Tupelo Honey is great for breakfast but get there early.

              2. Bistro - haven't been in a couple of years and it was a company dinner party but I remember it as being very good.
                28806 - one of my favorites - consistently good - great value for the level of presentation, quality of food and service. The owner is the former Chef at Savoy.
                Fig - a little pricey - you're paying for the Biltmore Village address but food and service are worth it.
                Salsa - casual, funky, small, interesting taste combinations, inexpensive. WOULD NOT compare it to Limones - totally different
                Limones - high end - Pacific coast Mexican - organic ingredients - great drinks.
                Zambra - tapas, Spanish influenced, can be uneven at times with quality and service - on par with Limones in terms of price

                9 Replies
                1. re: leahinsc

                  Leah is correct about the Salsa/Limones comparison. They are similar only in that both are vaguely Mexican. Besides that they really have very little in common. Was just trying to vary your cuisine options since you'll only be here for a couple of days.

                  1. re: leahinsc

                    leahinsc- thanks for your opinions. Do you need reservations at any of the above during a week night ? We'll be there on Weds and Thurs.

                    1. re: crwrdh

                      At this time of year and on a week night I don't think you do. Enjoy your visit!

                    2. re: leahinsc

                      leahinsc/jeff c, are there any specific dishes y'all like at 28806? i'm headed there in a few weeks for a celebration dinner...

                      1. re: cervisiam

                        gosh, Cervisiam - we've really liked pretty much everything we've had. They get their seafood/fish flown in from Hawaii so it's always good. I adore the fried green tomato app...interesting take on desserts...am making myself hungry..

                        1. re: cervisiam

                          Are you celebrating something big? I'm not so sure I would call 28806 a celebration-restaurant.

                          I tried it for the first time this weekend, and while it was fine, I wouldn't call it special. The bread was very good, and that's a big thing for me. Also the flavored oil and the dip (hummos w/ cilantro, I think) were very good. The rest of the meal was less interesting.

                          1. re: danna

                            just an anniversary--we usually keep things pretty low key, though. which is (hopefully) why 28806 is a good choice--a quality meal without the emptied wallet. if y'all have other suggestions (for a monday dinner), please feel free to suggest alternatives. (i live in new york, he lives in durham, and we are equal opportunity eaters!)

                            1. re: cervisiam

                              I hesitate to make you second guess your choice. I have only been to 28806 the one time. I'm sure it would be fine (especially if you like bread...i don't think I have ever failed to clean out a bread basket before...they were very generous).

                              However, 28806 was not all that inexpensive. My entree was $21. I had a much better meal at Zambra a couple of weeks ago for around the same money. (although wine is more expensive at Zambra) I think Fig is better as well...but it might be a tad pricier.

                              coming from NY, I don't think you're going to find anything that rocks your world...except maybe Salsa. If you haven't been there...you should go. Again, not "special occasion" in the white-table cloth and champagne sense of the word, but the food....!!

                              Saturday I had "spliff roll" which were crabmeat w/ god-knows-what delicious stuff in a frid roll w/ pico. Plus a lamb enchilada w/ goat cheese and this pineapple chutney which made it sweet (a fantastic combo...meaty/tangy/sweet) and then some slightly fire-y salsas, rice beans tamale on the side. uummm.

                              1. re: danna

                                thanks for your suggestions--we haven't really made any definite plans, so i appreciate the restaurants you suggested.

                      2. my wife, two daughters, and i were in ashville in june. we had dinner at tupelo honey downtown and it was fantastic!

                        2 Replies
                        1. re: xman887

                          I second Tupelo Honey. I went there for breakfast and it was outstanding!

                          1. re: kate.s

                            Shrimp and Grits here: best I've had.

                        2. The Corner Kitchen - in Biltmore Village, they have a cute atmosphere with a little modern mixed in, the staff there is AMAZING and the food is southern fusion, so good!
                          They do breakfast,lunch,dinner and brunch on sunday. They always have great specials. If it is still warm enough up there, you can sit outside on their patio or upstairs looking out on Biltmore Village.

                          1. Just a quick mention of a great lunch spot- Heiwa. Sushi place - Downtown Asheville. Not upscale or BBQ, but really good. They have the typical organic slant of Asheville. Great handrolls! Their hours are a bit squirrelly, so check before you have your mouth set for it.

                            1. The Twelve-Bone Smokehouse is a great new BBQ restaurant on Lyman Street. And I don't throw the word "great" around very often. I've been there twice, had the pulled pork both times, am tempted to try the ribs (if they call their place twelve-bone, I assume ribs is where their passion lies) -- but the pulled pork is so damn good it may take me several visits before I can move on to other fare. They serve the pork unsauced, and have bottles of various sauces available: the usual red sauce typical of western North Carolina, but also a quite creditable eastern NC vinegar sauce. But the first time I tried it I didn't even bother with the sauce. The pork was beautifully cooked -- fall-off-the-bone tender, juicy, and Goldilocks smokey (not too little, not so much it tastes like Hickory chips: just right).
                              The sides are also absolutely top-drawer. Typical Southern stuff, but executed with great attention to details and a certain idiosyncratic twist. Garlic isn't a traditional Southern flavor, but after tasting twelve-bone's green beans I'm beginning to think it should be. They're absolutely traditional in every other way, but the garlic blends beautifuly with the pork flavor in a way that is still true to southern cooking (ie. it doesn't lapse into some sort of neo-mediterranean hybrid) but novel. The Key Lime pie is also noteworthy -- in this case, absolutely dead-straight traditional, condensed milk and lime juice, no chiffon, no gelatin, no nonsense Key Lime pie, but done just right.
                              In general the WNC mountains are a BBQ dead zone. Don't know why, but the skill of great BBQ just can't seem to survive the trip up the mountain from Lexington. Twelve-bone is the ONLY BBQ joint I've found in the whole region that I can even recommend, and in case you haven't noticed, I recommend them with considerable enthusiasm. They're only open 11am - 4pm weekdays, and there's usually a line. Well worth the wait.

                              1. i moved to asheville several years ago from nyc, and am very impressed by many of the restaurants in town. favorites include:
                                rezaz and rezaz enoteca (mediterranean restaurant and wine bar)
                                table (upscale, minimalist decor, daily changing dinner menu)
                                fig (nuevo american, decent food and wine selection)
                                salsas (southern-mexican??)
                                early girl eatery (an asheville staple, great breakfast and lunch, server seem burnt out, no very friendly)
                                stoney know cafe (a little out of the way, but a great experience with fun decor

                                2 Replies
                                1. re: loop in asheville

                                  That's the Stony KNOB Cafe. It's in Weaverville. A worthy choice, but I'm not sure I would send out-of-towners there. (To far out of town.)

                                  1. re: Jeff C.

                                    Whoops! Make that TOO far out of town.

                                    P.S. Salsa is Caribbean cuisine (as other Hounds have reminded me more than once).

                                2. Stony Knob is just up Merrimon Ave or off 19/23 - maximum time from downtown is 15 minutes and that's if there's traffic- I live a mile away from Stony knob and do it all the time. It's worth the drive.