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Downtown Asheville - Party of six?

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Next weekend (May 18 - 20) I'll be visiting Asheville with my five best friends from College. We meet up someplace every year for a reunion weekend. We are not died-in-the-wool foodies, but all appreciate good food (one vegetarian among us). We don't want to go someplace overly formal or stuffy because we want to be comfortable, laugh, and talk while having a good dinner - preferably with some emphasis on local foods and a decent glass of wine etc.) None of us know Asheville but will be staying quite close to downtown (princess anne hotel) and want to eat nearby (easy driving or walking distance for six women who just turned 50!!) Before logging on to CHOWHOUND I had been directed to Tupelo Honey Cafe, Flying Frog and La Catarina Trattoria. Now that I've been on the board, I am having doubts about what to do. Limones sounds like a good choice....Thanks for any suggestions - I am on the hook for picking our restaurants, so make me look good!

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  1. Limones is great - we were just there on Friday and had a fabulous meal. Definitely make a reservation if you plan on going there. I would also rec Zambra (downtown) especially if you like trying different wines - it is a funky tapas place with lots of options by the glass - fun for a group to mix and match small plates - you could taste pretty much everything on the menu with a group your size. Both of these restaurants are a little on the pricey side, just so you know (but worth it, in my opinion), but they are not formal or stuffy. I would also rec Tupelo Honey, but not the other two you suggested (I actually like Caterina,. but would not put it at the top of any list for visitors). I also like Rezaz, in Biltmore Village (short drive from downtown), and lots of people on thos board love Fig, also in that area. I have not been yet...it is next on my list. Both of those have a little more "upscale" feel in my opinion. Have fun!

    1. For a party of six I'd go for Limones or Zambras, both downtown and both you could walk to from the Princess Ann. Did you know their restaurant (TWIG) is doing dinners on Fri and Sat nites? Anyway, Tupelo honey is very good but always very busy so it might be hard to get into. Rezas is in Biltmore Village - also good, but not downtown.

      1. Zambra. Perfect for a group that wants to have fun, but eat real food. Reserve one of the tables in the alcoves in the back. The banquets have these ornate pillows that I love. Zambra is lively, so you don't have to worry about being a little loud. The wines are great, although not cheap by the glass, they are reasonable by the bottle. Right downtown.

        1. Zambras is great and I recommend it but it is a long walk from your hotel. So if you're getting in your car I'd also recommend Fig and Rezaz's in Biltmore Village. Also over at the Grove Arcade you have Carmel's, Chorizo, Modesto and Thai Basil all good restaurants with moderate pricing. And nice to shops to explore as well. It sounds you'll have fun wherever you go, enjoy Asheville.

          5 Replies
          1. re: catsailor

            Thanks, everybody! Yes, Leah, I do know about TWIG and I think it looks interesting, but I'm anticipating that my friends will want to leave the hotel. Since we are on that topic, any thoughts on TWIG and if it warrants dining there on Friday or Saturday? Sounds like it is a fairly new enterprise on their part, and I don't think I've seen comments here on the board.

            1. re: Beechwood

              Here's what I know and have heard:
              1. The Chef is a woman who moved to Asheville from Maui because we are more into sustainable agriculture.
              2. She likes to use locally grown and organic products exclusively and is passionate about the quality of ingredients.
              I've seen the menu on-line and the options look very intriguing. We are going to try it on Friday night.

              1. re: leahinsc

                I would go for Zambras for sure! Good prices, food and drink. Atmosphere is great too, your veggie friend should be fine there as well...do not forget to get a goat cheese browinie, you will never be the same!

                As for Carmels, I was not impressed with my entree, though the salad was very good . Ive never heard anything positive about Modesto ...

                1. re: caiogirl

                  Oh, there are lots of positive things about Modesto. A few negatives, too, but you have a good chance of getting something great when you go there. It's a fine choice for anyone who doesn't mind a bit of adventure.