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Jun 27, 2007 12:32 PM

Top Dinner Recs for Asheville?

Wife and I are heading to Asheville, NC for the first time as part of a 10th anniversary celebration. We'd like a few recommendations for dinner. We're looking for delicious and interesting food in a lovely setting. We're comfortable in both formal and casual environments, and appreciate care and creativity in our culinary adventures, rather than staid reproductions of standard high-end fare. Extra points for restaurants that pay attention to the seasons...

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  1. Limones and Laughing Seed are great.
    This is a super common thread so you may want to research some past reviews.
    Have fun!

    4 Replies
    1. re: jbyoga

      I agree - you may want to do a search, pick out some of your top choices and we can help you from there. BUT, off the top of my head: Gabrielle's is often recognized as the best fine dining in Asheville - it is located in the Richmond Hill Inn - but I have not been there so can't speak for it. Fig is also fine dining in a lovely setting - in Biltmore Village. Limones is a bit more casual but also very good - creative California/Mexican cuisine with great drinks and a fun atmosphere - Downtown. Zambra has tapas and an excellent wine list and also a lovely setting - also Downtown. There are several other good restaurants, including Rezaz, Mela, Stoney Knob, 28806 - but I would not necessarily put them in the top tier as the 4 I have listed above. And it sounds like you want something really special! Congrats on you anniversary and have fun in Asheville.

      1. re: miss piggy

        I would ditto everything Miss Piggy said:
        Gabrielle's - our "once a year" splurge - always wonderful and a real experience
        Fig - small, intimate dining, I've eaten there 5 times, never been disappointed, great presentation, quality of food and service,
        Limones - I enjoy Sunday brunch there but dinners and drinks are very good as well
        Zambra - unique dining space under Malaprop's, I like getting one of the corner, cushioned tables and sharing several small tapas plates
        Rezaz - haven't been to as much but last time w/ company function it was very good
        Mela - ok if you like Indian
        Stoney Knob - great food and prices, Greek/Italian/International, always good service and creative specials,
        28806 - owner is very committed to good quality food and bread

        I'd add Corner Kitchen in Biltmore Village - great wine list and all wine is priced the same by the glass, Southern inspiried but creative twist, the owner and chef is very creative and passionate about quality and service.

        1. re: leahinsc

          Thank you for the recommendations. I did do a bit of searching in advance of posting my query, but I was curious to see if anything new or different popped up. Miss Piggy, it is funny that just before I wrote my post I made reservations for the first three restaurants you listed (we'll be in town a few days), based on previous threads and other sources. We'll try to hit Salsa's, Laughing Seed, and Mamacitas for lunches, too. I'm open to hearing further suggestions and perhaps changing my plans, so keep the advice coming. Thanks again.

          1. re: north2south

            Oh, good! Most of what I learned I learned from this board, so glad it was of assistance! My thoughts on the others you mentioned for lunch: Salsa's is great - Mexican/Caribbean flavors and big portions - usually is a wait so keep that in mind, Laughing Seed is very good but 100% vegetarian (just so you know), and Mamacita's, while in my opinion definitely the best of the "burrito joints" in town (there are two others, Rio and Urban Burrito), keep in mind that it is super-casual, counter service where you walk down the line and have them make burritos for you. Again, it is good, in a great location downtown, and typically Asheville with a funky staff and atmosphere, but I would not imagine most people would put it at the top of their lists on where to dine while visiting. I eat there a few times a month when I need a quick break from work (and am slightly addicted to their cheese dip), but I just wanted you to be aware that it is fast-foodish. Other suggestions - Sunny Point for brunch or lunch - it's in West Asheville with a lot of local, organic options and a great patio, Tupelo Honey for breakfast, brunch or lunch - again, be prepared to wait as this is very renowned for Asheville, and I'd echo the Corner Kitchen rec for lunch. Their feta potato salad is amazing, and they have a nice patio as well. Several people seem to like Early Girl, also downtown and well respected, but personally I have never had anything spectacualr there and don't find it worth the wait. But they do focus heavily on local/organic.

    2. Although all of these restaurants listed are excellent choices, one that often gets overlooked is Bouchon, a French bistro on N. Lexington Avenue. The room is quite nice and in the summertime you can't fine a better courtyard outside New Orleans. The prices are very reasonable, the food is excellent and the chef/owner often checks on his diners throughout the meal because, it seems, he actually cares what they think of their meals. It's well worth the visit.

      1 Reply
      1. re: sluggrock

        great point. we went last Friday and had a splendid evening in the courtyard. The food was very good, and the service was as well. Monday nights they have AYCE mussels with preparation choice, and a side of pomme frites for 12.95. also, on Mondays a bottle of house wine, a good little french white or red for 12.00. a bargain!