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Apr 9, 2007 07:00 AM

Relia's in WNC near Asheville

I haven't seen any recent mention of this place "Relia's Restaurant" out at the Nantahalla Outdoor Center, but think it deserves a nod on this board. We discovered it last summer while googling for a place to have a decent dinner out that way. Its about an hour West of Asheville and I'd highly recommend planning it for the end of an afternoon's scenic drive. We ate there last night for the second time and it's delicious and fresh without being too pricey (maybe as a result of the location).

The restaurant has a lodge-type casual feel, but the menu, while not exotic, is creative in a simple way and really good quality. And some good wines. And the tables overlook their herb garden, which is nice when it's warm enought to sit on the terrace.

We had some of the freshest trout I've ever eaten, lightly encrusted with nuts, over fresh asparagus and other vegetables. Also a pasta with hand-picked local morels and a fresh, light sauce. We were rolling our eyes with enjoyment.

Appetizers were good too, especially an avocado bisque with a touch of something sweet (I think she said it was a fresh pineapple chutney?) and a light spiciness. The only thing I wasn't crazy about was the red pepper salad dressing, but there were some other choices that may have been better. We were both too full for dessert due to the large portions so I can't report on that.

Anyway, I thought it was one of the best meals I've had in the area - especially as we spent $65 including tax and tip for two apps, two entrees, two glasses of wine (and salad (as well as fresh bread, of course) is complementary with the entree, so it was quite a lot of food).

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  1. I'm happy to see your review. My husband and I had a GREAT meal at Relias about 10 years ago. We tried to go back several times, but it seems to be closed a lot. Any place with it's own herb garden gets points from me.

    The River's End rest. had in the past varied from pretty good to not good at all....but what a view!

    You didn't happen to notice any of Relia's opening days and times information , did you?

    2 Replies
    1. re: danna

      Sunday-Thursday 5p-9p and Fri-Sat 5p-10p. Maybe they close down for the season at some point when it gets real cold? But they are open now...

      We tried the place on the river recently (River's End? Riverside?) but it wasn't too good, even for what it is (soup and sandwich-type thing), though, yes, watching a kayaker pass basically right underneath your table is pretty fun.

      1. re: angelaf

        We must have gotten lucky: I just saw on the NOC website that Relia's does close for the season and reopened March 31st.