Wine bar in Asheville - any feedback?
Sante is the new wine bar in the Grove Arcade - and I love it. Very interesting wine list, excellent value and good appetizers.
First the wine - wines by the glass and they change frequently, weekly maybe? - so there is always something interesting. A taste is readily given if you express interest in an unknown wine. They are also a wine shop, so if you want a bottle you pay the retail price and a corkage fee of $5. This allows you to try wines that would be double the cost at a restaurant. I've done some price comparison around town and their prices are very fair.
The food - appetizers only. There is no kitchen, so they are limited to things easily prepared without cooking. They have cheese plates, meat/antipasti plates and a selection of dips. The prices vary on the cheese/meat plates, but the dips are a flat $5 - the best value it choosing 3 dips for $12. I think they might have some sandwiches too, but am not sure.
The owners - four friends from California. They are totally running the show - no employees. This certainly protects their interests, but I hope they don't burn out. They are all as nice as can be and very enthused about this venture and Asheville. Also, very open to suggestions. If you go and there is something you would like to see added or something you didn't like - tell them.
Wine tastings - they had a bubbly tasting Tuesday nite. All good, especially the Prosecco. The really good part was that the most expensive bottle was under $20.
Bottom line - I think this is a great addition to downtown Asheville.
I have had one glass of wine and one dip at Sante, so I don't feel totally equipped to review it. My impressions were:
Doing well, we got the last two chairs on a Friday night. Bartender was friendly, did NOT offer me a taste when I expressed interest in something unusual. He was not particulary verbose about the wines (as I would be in that situation), my husband thought the owner employees seemed less than happy w/ life.
The dip was pesto w/ some kind of cheese. It came w/ baguette slices and crackers. It was pretty good, not anything you would crave later.
I guess I'm giving it a "worth a try", but not a "rave". Let us know what you think.
Went to Sante tonight for a wine tasting. This is not the first time I have been to this great little bar, but have come to really enjoy it. The owners are fabulous, and very adept to reading the guest. If ever I show up solo, they always generate a conversation. If ever with a group of friends they know when to walk away. Also, the wine is a great bargain, very reasonable prices. If you go, try the Blue cheese and walnut dip; Super yummy! (which BTW they gave me a free serving of when I accidentally,uh,"overindulged".)