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Asheville - Fig? Limones, Zambra, Vincenzo's --Recs, please.

We had been planning to eat at Vincenzo's and Zambra until I came to this site.

Now I have a lot more information to work with!

What do you recommend? We have two nights. Staying at the Renaissance. Prefer not to drive a huge distance. We like all Latin, American, New American, French. Not wild about Italian, but if excellent, will give it a try. We haven't learned to like Indian yet. Asian is not our favorite, but if fabulous, we'll try it also.

We appreciate any help offered!

One more thing, I have been unable to find a website for Fig.

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  1. I don't think Fig has had to do much in the way of advertising beyond word of mouth. French inspired cuisine - I'd highly recommend - but pricey.
    Vincenzo's can be hit or miss. Limones is consistently superior with interesting Pacific Coast Mexican inspired dishes using organic and local ingredients. Great drinks. Zambra is in a good spot right downtown. I've had great meals there and a few so-so - same with service. Pricey. Maybe try it out for tapas and a drink at the bar.

    1. I would highly recommend Limones. Limones is the unique type of place that you need to go to when you are only visiting for a couple of days. Zambra might be a better choice for a Tapas and glass of wine at the end of the night or around happy hour.

      1. I second the Limones recs. and will put in a plug for Salsa's as well.

        1. Everybody's different. I don't really get the raves for Limones. I've been there once for lunch and once for dinner. I gave it an OK for lunch and a Pretty-good for dinner. I thought their drinks were good and creative. I know we need to try the brunch.

          Fig I like, my husband hates. The space is very nice and they know how to cook a scallop. They offer 1/2 glasses and have an interesting wine selection.

          Although Zambra can be variable, I think it's better than most places even on an off night, and absolutely the best in town except for Salsa when it's at it's best.

          Salsa is WAY better than everything else in town, IMO. My only caveat would be that it's very casual and a little loud, so if you want a relaxed, refined dinner...go to Zambra instead. Also the wine list is very limited at Salsa, I would recommend the margueritas/mojitos instead.

          Honestly, we tend to eat at Salsa if we are in town for lunch and Zambra if dinner. When we try something new, which we feel compelled to do, those are the benchmarks.

          Vincenzo I have never been to because I've never heard any particularly good reviews of it.

          1. Thanks, everybody! This has been very helpful.

            I think I read Salsa doesn't take reservations. Is there usually a long wait? We would be going there Wednesday night about 8:00, or Thursday night, or Thursday lunch.

            Do you think Salsa for lunch Thursday and Limones at night wqould be doable.....We like to eat, but are not accustomed to two major meals in a day! ;<))

            I think I'll cross off Vincenzo and Fig for this trip. That seems to be the majority opinion.

            1 Reply
            1. re: laredo

              Salsa doesn't take reservations, but Limones does. You could probably do both in one day if you had lunch early and dinner late. (I'm not a huge eater either.)

              Please let us know what you thought...

            2. I think Salsa and Limones in one day may just be a little too similar.

              1. I dunno. If you choose entrees carefully, I think you can pull off both in one day...Salsa is Caribbean. Limones offers quite a variety of dishes for dinner, many only vaguely SoCal Mex., some not at all. (They had a braised lamb shank special Saturday night, for example.)

                1. How about this:

                  I have changed the plan to Llmones first night. Will be rushing like crazy, though.

                  It might be better to do Salsa tomorrow night, then Zambra's for small plates and wine - then to Limones.

                  Thanks, everybody! I appreciate all your input!

                  1. Please let us know what you thought.

                    1. It will be my pleasure.

                      1. I always go to Salsa when in ASheville and love it.

                        I have had more misses at Vincenzo's than hits but others love it.

                        1. I apologize for the delay in replying.

                          Limones was a huge hit. We sat at a delightful table, my seat was a banquette at the window.

                          We thought the food was excellent and fun. Very, very, very good guacamole.....and we are quite particular about guacamole. Rarely order it out as it rarely turns out to be nearly so good as we can make at home, but we loved Limones'version.

                          Nice service. Nice atmosphere.

                          On the other hand, Salsa's was a disappointment. We went for lunch and weren't terribly hungry. My dish was huge beyond belief. Enough rice and beans for three people. The taco part was delicious.

                          Unfortunately there were three screaming children at three different tables. Each were fairly close to our table. I could not believe *three!* crying loudly at the same time.

                          One of the three was shrieking as if he were in great pain, and this went on for a long, long time. Ten to fifteen minutes. Finally his grandmother (?) took him outside where he shrieked continuously for another ten or fifteen or twenty minutes. The volume was only slightly diminished by his being outside.

                          This was very troubling as well as annoying. I think perhaps he was emotionally disturbed. I have never seen a child of that age cry so long and so loudly. So, I felt sorry for everybody, especially the parents.

                          So, a caution for Salsa's but big thumbs up for Limones. We will return next fall and take our friends.

                          1 Reply
                          1. re: laredo

                            I agree about Salsa's serving size: HUGE. Although each bite is delicious, it is always different and your not sure what your eating b/c there are so many ingredients hidden under your main course! I think if they spread the food out on a large plate instead of stuffing it all in a bowl it would be more approachable. Just my opinion!

                          2. It sounds like your bad experience at Salsa's was more related bad parents (or at least inconsiderate) rather than bad food?? Strange.

                            1. Yes, definitely not bad food at Salsa's. Just bad timing, I guess. Sorry if I wasn't clear.

                              1. LIMONES!!! Make a reservation, though.

                                1. I don't believe Fig has a website. I'd try and steer you to Limones for either dinner or brunch. Have been hearing good things about Ophelia's which is next door to Limones. Not down town but some of my fav's...Fig in Biltmore Village - french inspired cuisine, 28806 - American/creative, Cocina Latina - inexpensive El Salvadorean - West Asheville, Stoney Knob- Greek/Italian - Weaverville.

                                  7 Replies
                                  1. re: leahinsc

                                    Thanks for the replies.

                                    I am looking for a fun place to bring my relatives in the fall. We will be about 85 miles away and my plan is to rent two limousines. My husband and I thought Limones might be right, by apparently there are better choices. I would be grateful for suggestions.
                                    There will be about five couples, some foodies, all fairly well traveled, love good food and ambience.
                                    Thanks for your help!

                                    1. re: laredo

                                      5 couples would be pushing it for Fig and you would take over about 1/3 of the restaurant. Salsa's is too small. I vote for Limones or Zambra...maybe Savoy....where are you driving from?

                                      1. re: leahinsc

                                        I was at Fig 2 nights ago and they had their outside seating set up. There was a group of 14 people sitting at one table, so I don't think they would have a problem seating your group :)

                                        1. re: lavendula

                                          Thanks, Leah, and Lavendula.
                                          We would be coming from Cashiers. Perhaps hiring two cars. Our trip is scheduled for October. Is this too late for outdoor dining?

                                          1. re: laredo

                                            Just realized there may be some confusion I should address.

                                            Our 2006 trip was cancelled due to illness. We are again planning for an October (2007), so the question still is on the table.

                                            1. re: laredo

                                              Zambras has some outside tables in a covered area in an ally, seems like that's where people go to smoke though. Limones has no outside seating. Savoy has some at front of restaurant. It will depend on the weather. Go for Limones.

                                            2. re: laredo

                                              i would think october might be too late for outside dining...but maybe it would depend on the weather. give em a call!