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Asheville's Best Restaurants

Alright. I know you've been waiting with baited breath for this. So, here's another obsessive list maker's list of Asheville's best restaurants, based on food quality, consistency, atmosphere, price, and service. (It's also more or less in order of preference.)

1. Gabrielle's
2. Limone's
3. 28806
4. Stoney Knob (Weaverville, I know. But close enough.)
5. Salsa
6. Tomato Cucina Latina
7. Corner Kitchen
8. Doc Chey's
9. Laughing Seed Cafe
10. Sunny Pointe Cafe
11. Early Girl Eatery

pending: Fig, Sugo, Zambra

What (besides Fig, Sugo, and Zambra) have I missed?

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  1. I'd add Noodle Shop VS. Doc Cheys...but thats just me...

    1 Reply
    1. re: jbyoga

      Haven't been there. I need to try it.

    2. I'm not a big Noodle/Doc Chey fan but I'm ok w/ them...I'd definitely add Fig. Not sure about Sugo yet, have been once. I think Vigne should be considered as well.

      1. Zambra. That would be very high if it were my list. Fig would make my list as well.

        Since you didn't ask "what should I delete?" I'll keep mum on that ;-)

        BTW, you're missing #10.

        9 Replies
        1. re: danna

          whoops, I would add Zambra as well.

          1. re: danna

            Whoops! (Will fix.) Okay, then: What WOULD you delete?

            And I definitely need to add Zambra to my pending list. I've lived here for six years and STILL HAVEN'T BEEN THERE for some reason.

            1. re: Jeff C.

              That's OK. I've been dining in Asheville 2-3 times a month since the mid 90's and I still haven't been to 1., 4, and 7,

              1. re: danna

                Stoney Knob is esp. lovely if the weather is nice enough to sit out on the terrace. Has a So-Cal vibe to it.

                1. re: Jeff C.

                  I'd put Tupelo Honey on any list of top ten Asheville restaurants.

                  1. re: carolinadawg

                    Agreed. I would put Tupelo Honey above Early Girl for sure, and Mela above Salsa's. After two horrendous meals at Salsa's we will never go back (trying to convince my husband to even give them a second chance was like pulling teeth, and the second chance was even worse than the first flub). I like Doc Cheys but it is a little "chain-y" for me. And what about Rezaz? I have not been in a while because for that price point we prefer Limones or now, Sugo, but the 3-4 dinners I had there were lovely. Oh, and I think 12 Bones needs a spot somewhere!

                    Everythink else looks dead-on to me!

                    1. re: miss piggy

                      That's funny. I think Salsa's is so much superior to everything else in town that I would leave several honorary blank spots just to indicate such ;-)

                      I agree with you that Doc Chey is a little "chain-y" but the sad thing is they put one in Greenville and it's not nearly as good as the one in Asheville. Even chains get sucked into the Greenville pit of bad dining. I've never had a disappointing meal at Doc Chey, however, so I would leave it on the list.


                      1. re: miss piggy

                        I agree with the Salsas opinion - a lot of food but I choose to not give any of Hectors places my money on principle....after a horrid experience there with the rudest server ever I wrote a letter and placed a call to him (both polite) and never heard back - plentyof other places to support in this town.

                        1. re: jbyoga

                          I meant the opinion that Salsa belongs on the list of

                          " not best places in Asheville"

            2. I would definitely add Fig and Vigne.

              1 Reply
              1. where is Flying Frog? and Doc Cheys? a chain amongst asheville's best? I dont know. We've got a DC's here in athens and it's not that great.

                14 Replies
                1. re: batdown

                  Here's my two cents on the comments thus far:

                  1. Doc Chey's is, indeed, a chain. And I did hesitate before adding it to the list. However, it is a very small chain, with only about eight Southern locations, and several of the locations are independently owned, including the one in Asheville. I have also dined at the Greenville and Athens locations, and guess what? For savory freshness, for presentation, and for atmosphere, the one in Asheville beats the others hands down. (Turns out tattooed and pierced chicks with funny haircuts really know how to cook pan-Asian. Go figure.)

                  2. I have only been to Rezaz once, three years ago, and I really need to go back. I just remember that my flank steak (this was when I still ate red meat) was tough and stringy. But I also remember that the dessert was spectacular--some kind of coconut pound cake thingy.

                  3. I love, love, love the food at Salsa. (The "spliff roll" may well be my favorite appetizer of all time.) It's also a pretty darn good value. The only thing that keeps it from being higher on my list is that it tends to be noisy, and the service can be uneven...though I've never had "horrid" service there. Mostly, they just seem understaffed.

                  4. I'm not even close to being an authority on Indian food, but many of the dishes at Mela taste like spicy baby food to me. (I do like the Tandoori Chicken, though.) (Or was it the Curry Chicken? I forget.) I'll admit that Indian cuisine may well be one of my culinary "blind spots," though.

                  5. Tupelo Honey, like Early Girl, is a solid choice and an Asheville staple, and I won't argue with substituting one for the other. They both fill the nuevo-Southern niche quite nicely. They both have excellent breakfast and/or brunch choices. And they both take a passable but seldom spectacular stab at dinner. (Also--sorry--they're both a tad boring.)

                  1. re: Jeff C.

                    Try Mela again and order the Chicken Tikki Masala and the Shrimp Vindaloo or Madras Jihnga Masala (the latter two are a little similar to me). I don't think you will be disappointed! Plus, I think they serve the most delicious, perfectly cooked rice that I have ever eaten. I really wish I could get my rice to taste/cook like that at home. Plus, I just love the ambiance.

                    1. re: Jeff C.

                      1. Agreed. Asheville DC is WAY better.
                      2. Agreed. Went to Rezas once (and Enoteca once) Both were just OK.
                      3. Agreed. Salsa is spectacular. Spliff rolls killer, anything pork divine, all the fruit (and other) salsas a wonderland for the taste buds. Ginger Hibiscus tea so good I usually forego the margaritas.
                      4. Agreed. Mela didj't do that much for me, but I'm no authority on Indian food.
                      5. Agreed. Tupelo Honey is fine, nothing spectacular.

                      Jeff C. - This has never happened before. I don't think I've ever agreed w/ anybody on that many points before...regarding ANYTHING...not just food. We may be twins.

                      Just so people don't think you've paid me to agree with you 100%, I will say I was unimpressed on my one trip to 28806, on my one trip to Tomato CL I saw flashes of potential, but nothing that has made me go back yet, and although I might put Limones on the list...it would not be near the top.

                      1. re: danna

                        Your check is in the mail, Danna.

                        P.S. Do try 28806 again. I've been three times in the past year or so, and it has been better each time. (The fish dishes are great, and duck is the best I've had anywhere.)

                      2. re: Jeff C.

                        I really have to say, that having eaten at all of these places, and dining in asheville for nine years, can we please, if we must do this, put the restaurants on two different lists? Fine Dining and Casual? To put Gabrielles on the same list as Doc Cheys, and to put Limones on the same list as Salsas is very odd to me. The food that is created at the finer restaurants, weather it is your favorite or not, takes skill. Noodles and veggies are wonderful, but nothing impressive. The guacamole and plantains at Salsas are yummy but not impressive from a culinary standpoint. I would like to see the line drawn between plain old "good food" and food that you can't just whip up at home and takes true talent. I don't want to speak for them, but I feel certain that the chefs at some of the above named restaurants do not wish to be in the same category as the casual places that employ skilled line cooks. There have been times when a proper burger and fries has tasted better to me than anything, but just because it was wonderful doesn't mean I would put it on the same list as something that took hours of work and many people to prepare properly.

                        1. re: Crews L

                          While it's easy to make those kinds of distinctions in Boston or New York, it's next to impossible in Asheville. With the exception of Gabrielle's, Horizon's, and just a handful and of others, even the most upscale restaurants here are decidely casual and laid-back.

                          Some of us even prefer it that way!

                          1. re: Jeff C.

                            I prefer it that way also! If you are putting restaurants in categories in a very general way, that is fine. I was just saddened to see places that have such talent get grouped in with places that are a bit "formula". Some of those places don't have much of a thought process behind them. I do not cook, but I was in the industry for a long time. The dining scene everywhere in going to fine/casual. it has been a topic in many culinary magazines lately. But the fact still remains that the talent and execution of what a restaurant puts out is what separates the good from the magnificent. A place does not have to be "she-she" to obtain the higher respect. I think part of the problem with Asheville is all a restaurant needs is good "make-up" and a patio, and they can serve poo on a plate and people will still eat it up. I would like to see more people really dissecting the food and not just the impression a place gives you.

                            1. re: Crews L

                              Hmmm...I guess we'll just have to agree to disagree. But I would note for the record that only a couple of the places on my original list have patios, and none in my experience serve "poo on a plate."

                          2. re: Crews L

                            I completely disagree. Good food is good food. Some of the most simple preparations take the most skill, and require the most perfect ingredients. In any new city, I want to know where the best food is....after I have my list of who turns out fantastic stuff...then I can narrow it down to whether I'm in the mood for casual dining, or something more involved.

                        2. re: batdown

                          I agree that doc chey's should not be on the list. While it is great for a fast, cheap lunch, I would not consider it among the best. Maybe I would consider it a "best value".

                          1. re: batdown

                            "We've got a DC's here in athens and it's not that great."

                            Since this is a post about Asheville, I'm not sure what the relevance is...

                            1. re: carolinadawg

                              Well, it's only relevant because I've eaten at Doc Chey's in Athens, and there is a Doc Chey's in Asheville with (I'm assuming here) the same menu. I've also eaten at a lot of Asheville retaurants, including 6 restaurants on the list in the original post. Maybe I'm not entitled to an opinion because I haven't eaten at every restaurant in Asheville listed in this thread, but I was just surprised that Doc Chey's would make the list because there seems to be so many great, original, one-of-a-kind places in Asheville, which is a great food town in my opinion. I've always heard that the Atlanta and Asheville Doc Chey's are the best ones, but I guess I didn't guess the difference would be that drastic. Excuse me for saying anything, carolinadawg. Being a carolina-dawg myself (moved from NC to GA last august), I just thought I would offer my thoughts. Sorry if that was out of line!

                              1. re: batdown

                                We're happy to have you here, batdown. It IS true...for some reason there is a big difference between the Asheville DC and the one in Greenville...I guess Athens is in the same boat. The Asheville DC often has specials that are really good...this doesn't seem to be the case in Greenville. Although, it's still one of my prefered restaurants in G'ville...times are tough here.

                                1. re: batdown

                                  No need to apologize...I apologize if I came across too harshly. Obviously, anyone can post on anything they want on here...ultimately, its all about people's opinions. I just think it helps to have some first hand experience on which to base that opinion. Sorry again if I sounded like a jerk.

                            2. Table always has consistently great food as well as presentation and the service has been on every time I've been there. Also, an excellent restaurant (that I frequent) that rarely gets mention on the hound is Bouchon. The food is delicious and the prices are extremely reasonable for the food as well as the wine. Both restaurants have a great feel for what they do and these two places would make great additions to the list.

                              9 Replies
                              1. re: sluggrock

                                I have been to Table once and was underwhelmed. They do have their fans, though, and I need to try them again. Maybe it was just an off night.

                                Is Bouchon the French place on Lexington, or is that something else?

                                1. re: Jeff C.

                                  Bouchon is the French place on Lexington. Had dinner there Saturday nite, shared three appetizers with a friend. A baked brie - very good, especially with the apple and salad, a country pate - just like any bistro in Paris, coarse and yummy and - the highlight - tomatoes and goat cheese, absolutely, positively delicious. A roasted chicken went by that looked great and we're also big fans of the moules.

                                  Table is one of my favorites in Asheville, have eaten there many times and have never been disappointed in food or service. Had the best foie gras I've every had anywhere at Table about two months ago.

                                  Just tried Sugo and can't wait to go back. The fritto misto was a mix of sausage stuffed olives, calamari and red peppers. The combination of the salty/spicy olives, the briny/sea sweet calamari and the sweet peppers was a perfect combo. Veal Milanese was very good, could have been a little less greasy. The hit of the table - and what I'll order next time - was the Wild Boar Pepperonnatta - perfect. Very weird dessert - some custardy/foamy thing with sweet red peppers in it. Served with a hot toddy of marsala and juice from the poached red peppers. Six of us were evenly split over loved it hated it. But, there was not a bit left, so that tells the story.

                                  62 N Lexington Ave, Asheville, NC 28801

                                  90 Patton Ave, Asheville, NC

                                  1. re: NANCY

                                    So nice that Asheville finally has a good upscale Italian place. I can't wait to go. Maybe this weekend... Are reservations necessary?

                                    1. re: Jeff C.

                                      We had a party of 7 so we made a reservation, but only about half the tables were filled. I hope they have better attendance on the weekend, so couldn't hurt to make a reservation.

                                    2. re: NANCY

                                      WOW. I don't know why, I had not been previously excited about this restuarant, despite some good reviews. But thanks to you I just looked at the menu. I'm going to have to plan a full weekend in Ashe soon. I swore Zambra would be my next dinnertime restaurant, but I think Sugo is going to need a try.

                                      It sucks for me, because I normally eat Saturday late lunch, not dinner in Asheville, so there are so many dinner-only places I have yet to try.

                                      1. re: danna

                                        Sucks for me, too, Danna. I forgot my wife works this weekend, so I won't be able to go to Sugo!


                                        If/when you go, please let me/us know what you think.

                                  2. re: sluggrock

                                    I LOVE Bouchon!!! It is one of my top Asheville restaurants because every meal I've ever had there has been superb... and I eat out a lot. In fact, I've been almost everywhere in the original post. I have to say that I'd throw Doc Chey's out in a heartbeat though. If I want to season my food as much as the food there needs seasoning, I might as well stay home and cook. Everything I've had there has been very bland and so-so.
                                    but everyone should try Bouchon. Seriously.

                                    1. re: lisafaz

                                      Bouchon is great and Doc Chey is nowhere near as good as the Noodle Shop.

                                  3. We live in Asheville part-time, as well as Manhattan and Boston and have been on a mission to try everything. I would definitely add these to your list:

                                    Fig - I think it is the best in Asheville. Consistent, delicious food. Excellent service.
                                    Table - I have had some really good meals. Can be inconsistent.
                                    Modesto - the pizza is excellent. The best I have had in Asheville.

                                    I wish someone would open an excellent Italian, Greek and Sushi restaurant. If anyone knows of any, please advise. Have tried all the usual suspects except Sugo.

                                    7 Replies
                                    1. re: LifeisGood58

                                      Sushi - try Umi in Hendersonville. It's downtown on Main between 6th & 7th. It's the sexy big sister of Sora in Pisgah Forest. Perfectly fresh, perfectly delicious.

                                      UMI Restaurant
                                      633 N Main St, Hendersonville, NC 28792

                                      1. re: NANCY

                                        Thanks. Will try it this week. We were in Hendersonville last night and had dinner at Grove St. Cafe - just posted it. If you haven't been, defnintely try it.

                                        1. re: NANCY

                                          Speaking of sushi... Zen-Sushi on Merrimon in Asheville is by far my husband and my favorite. We've tried everywhere in Asheville and there's is the cleanest and most authentic. Have yet to try Umi, but it's on our list.

                                          Speaking of list's... I would have added Mela to my top ten!

                                        2. re: LifeisGood58

                                          On the Italian front, we like the pizza at Marco's (North Asheville location). They have an excellent crust and use real mozzarella and fresh ingredients, including their own sausage and meatballs and fresh basil. I would avoid Circle in the Square Pizza. Really no comparison between the two.


                                          1. re: LPM

                                            Having lived in Italy and NYC and made the pizza pilgrimage to Napoli I have to say Marcos is as good as any I've ever had.
                                            My personal list would be...Marcos, then APC for the Greek with a sesame crust. Then maybe Circle for a slice...but really, in A'ville we have great pizza (Marcos) and then everything else.

                                            1. re: jbyoga

                                              Do y'all work for Marcos???????
                                              We tried it today and the pizza was a 3 on a scale of 1 to 10...10 being highest. too salty, no feta (ordered the greek pizza). I ordered the eggplant parmesian (which I consider is a litmus test for good italian) it was merely some frozen precooked eggplant that had been microwaved, leaving it soggy, with no crispiness at all whatsoever, covered with an underhelming marinara thrown on top, no texture, no real parmesian flavor, no "crispy lightly sauted eggplant" as described, and was expensive at $12.95 for 25 cents worth of microwaved ingredients ...I ate 2 bites . approach this restaurant with caution, I've had better pizza from Pizza Hut.

                                              1. re: Dixiegirlz

                                                wow - I've never had anything but great food at Marcos. I wish I worked for them - but I'd be 300lbs..

                                                Try again?

                                        3. How does Marketplace rank against your list? I'm thinking about going there on an upcoming trip to Asheville and would appreciate any feedback.

                                          10 Replies
                                          1. re: Low Country Jon

                                            Market Place gets very mixed reviews. I have been disapointed on both my visits their. If you want a great experience, you may want to reconsider.

                                            1. re: WNCfoodie

                                              Hey all - so, I too had only been to Marketplace several years ago and was underwhelmed....However, I went the other night and was VERY IMPRESSED with the quality,presentation and flavor of the food. It really was great. It is a little $$ for my everyday budget but for a special dinner out I will now wholeheartedly recommend MP to anyone.

                                            2. re: Low Country Jon

                                              Jon - thanks for all your help with my Charleston forays.

                                              I wouldn't put Marketplace on my short list if I were you. I have been there once or twice, quite some time ago, and found some things to be good and others mediocre. Indeed, the reviews are always mixed. I also think the type of food they are trying to do may compare unfavorably with Charleston.

                                              Salsa and Zambra (especially Salsa) are my perenniel faves, and possibly a little diff. from what you get in Charleston. Sunny Point, IMO, is better than Hominy Grill for breakfast or lunch. I've been enjoying Modesto (with a few unfortunate exceptions) but I don't think you want to do Italian in Asheville given Al di la and the pizza place you described.

                                              Don't eat there, but have a beer at Grove Park on the porch while you're in A'ville.

                                              1. re: danna

                                                I am really loving Bouchon- try the steak! I just got back from Paris a few months ago, and the backyard courtyard really reminded me of the feel when mixed w/the food. I also enjoy Rezaz- on Saturdays they have a lamb special w/lamb chops and an amazing lamb sausage. I'm considering Fig- read it is good. And for lunch? Have to say I've been to Carmel's just about every weekend this summer. I love to sit outside and the perfect salad is their BLT w/chicken, hold the tomatoes, and switch out to their house dressing...heavenly!!!

                                                1. re: danna

                                                  Jon, I haven't been to Market Place or Modesto, but Danna is correct--they both get mixed notices here. I also agree with everything else on her list, Zambra on exemplary word of mouth only.

                                                  I would only add that 28806 and Limones are as good as--and more affordable than--any similar cuisine I've had down your way.

                                                  1. re: Jeff C.

                                                    Hmm, decisions, decisions. I visited Salsa's awhile back and liked it, and I've been interested in visiting Zambra for awhile--but then I started reading mixed reviews of it here on chowhound. I only have the one night in Asheville, plus Sunday brunch the next day--maybe at Limones? Would Zambra and Limones be too similar to visit back to back? I'll probably start a thread here in a little bit so you and Danna and others can review my itinerary and give me more suggestions.

                                                    1. re: Low Country Jon

                                                      My vote would be Limones for dinner. Tupelo Honey or Corner Kitchen for brunch. I thought Zambra was good, but not great. Limones is one of the best in Asheville. I have never been disappointed.

                                                      1. re: Low Country Jon

                                                        In deference to the near universal acclaim for Limones, I've refrained from commenting on their "Spanish paella." I had it some months ago -- as I remember, it was one of their specials -- and even to call it paella is a travesty. More like yellow Uncle Ben's with seafood and vegetables. Even if I could forgive their using long grain rice (which I can't if they insist on calling it paella), I can't overlook that they cooked the rice in water instead of stock (and didn't even bother to salt the water, at that), and that if there was any saffron in the dish at all, which I doubt, it was only enough to turn the rice the palest shade of yellow. No flavor whatsoever, to the extent that the only elements of the dish that tasted of anything at all were the peas and the mussels. It was served in a bowl, rather than a paella pan, and the complete absence of any crispy rice, combined with the lack of flavor, tell me that the ingredients were cooked separately and combined just before service. If the rice were over or undercooked, if the seafood was tough, if the peas were too al dente or mushy -- any flaws of execution I could have chalked up to a bad night in the kitchen and given them another chance. But the dish I had was simply not paella, it was not even good food, and its flaws were in its conception and design, not in execution. And they are cynical flaws, corners cut in a way that only the mendacious would try to pass off. So even though Limones gets rave reviews elsewhere on this site, I haven't returned and don't intend to.

                                                        1. re: JepJonson

                                                          too bad - all i can guess is it was an off night...I've been 3x and have only had great food/service...

                                                  2. re: Low Country Jon

                                                    I went to Market Place last night for a birthday dinner and was blown away. This might be an aggressive statement, but this dinner ranks in the top 10 for best meals in my life! Let's begin: from what I've read about the restaurant and looking at it street-side, it appears to be a standard, boutique eatery. That is, it looks relatively small and quite modest. Before going to Market Place or ever stepping inside, it has been my understanding that instead of wasting time on superfluous junk, they'll try to wow you with tasty local fare, which they're known for. Upon walking into the restaurant though, I was stunned by the vast size, enormously lofty ceiling, and the modern charm of decoration.

                                                    Next and of greater importance was the food: incredible. I'll first point out my two slight drawbacks: price and portion size... the former being large and the latter being small. However, despite being the type of person who enjoys copious amounts of yummy food, the quality, exquisite flavors, and presentation more than made up for these gripes of mine. My three scallop appetiser, at more than $3 apiece, appear pricey, but the delicate flavors were breathtaking and worth every penny. My entree was the pork tenderloin accompanied with "bacon." (Thankfully I'm not concerned with my weight, or else I might have skipped eating the fat, err... pork belly.) It was stunningly melt in your mouth delicious. The tenderloin was also accented nicely by sweet pea puree and black eyed pea risotto. My girlfriend had the strip steak with roasted sunchokes and creamy swiss chard. All of it was phenomenally good... Take-your-breath-away good... Words-fail-me good! What really struck with me was that everything on the plate was memorably tasty. It wasn't simply that there was a centerpiece of protein with a pile of starch and a few veggies on the side; nope, every bite was exquisite and shows the input of much thought and time by the chef.

                                                    Dessert was a brown sugar cake with maple ice cream and poached pear for the lady and warm chocolate (birthday) cake for me. I thankfully got to enjoy the majority of both of these since my girlfriend doesn't have the sweet tooth that I have. Holy moly, I don't even want to know how many sticks of butter or cups of brown sugar were in that cake because it was GREAT!

                                                    Long story short, being my first visit to Market Place, I was slightly concerned given the mixed reviews I've read. Biased based on just one visit, my advise is to go immediately.

                                                  3. Limones for dinner and Tupelo or Corner Kitchen for brunch are great recs! Have fun on your visit!

                                                    1 Reply
                                                    1. re: jbyoga

                                                      I second this...but let me hasten to add that you must try Limones' brunch on your next visit! (Can you tell it is one of my absolute favorite restaurants ever?)

                                                    2. Can anyone comment on Bistro 1896, Carmel's or Cafe on the Square? We are making a one-night trip to Asheville in a few weeks and I'm having a hard time figuring out where to have dinner!

                                                      8 Replies
                                                      1. re: ChadB

                                                        I have never been to, and thus can't comment on, any of those.

                                                        Plenty of recommendations above, though!

                                                        1. re: ChadB

                                                          wow, I would skip all three. Bistro and cafe on the Square have a great location with sub-par food at best. I have never been to Carmel's, but have heard negative things about it so do not plan to go. Look at the list at the top of this thread, and some of the additions through-out. Those really are the best bets for asheville.

                                                          1. re: ChadB

                                                            I'd have to echo what Danna and WNCfoodie said - skip all 3 - esp. if you only have one night. None of them really reflect the best Asheville has to offer.

                                                            1. re: leahinsc

                                                              Ditto, ditto and ditto. I have eaten at all three of them. Mediocre at best. If you have one night, I would choose either Fig, Limones, Rezaz, Corner Kitchen or Vigne. You won't be disappointed.

                                                              1. re: LifeisGood58

                                                                I ate at Fig last night for the first time and was very impressed. It had such a nice feel, and the food was amazing. The duck was great, but especially impressed w/the scallops- they were served over cauliflower w/a cream sauce, and shredded granny smith apple as a garnisth- very unique. The rissoto w/the chicken also a winner! For starters try the ceaser- that bacon is so flavorful, and although we didn't have dessert- the options looked fabulous.

                                                                1. re: prgalnc

                                                                  I was wondering if you or anyone can recommend a place in Boone?
                                                                  For dinner and breakfast/brunch?
                                                                  Thanks, we will be biking through over Thanksgiving.

                                                                  1. re: hamahoney

                                                                    Try a new posting for Boone. I suspect your request here won't get as much response as a new posting will. :)

                                                          2. Well, we just spent a week in Asheville biking. It is a beautiful piece of the U.S. and the road biking is world class, the best pavement and views ever.
                                                            I read every post I could on the area and here is our review of the local restaurant scene:
                                                            1. 12 bones and Green river barbecue
                                                            Both are very good, we preferred 12 Bones, the sides are excellent, truly great comfort food.
                                                            12 Bones also has great green tamatillo jalapeno sauce...

                                                            2. Salsa - High energy place with excellent fusion food
                                                            We had the Splif roll, Pulled-pork burrito and the Fish tacos.
                                                            Great flavors and spices, good service even though they were really busy.

                                                            3. Sugo - Terrific experience all around; an inexpensive trip to northern italy
                                                            Everything was excellent and a few things were remarkable, the red pepper dessert being one of the more unusual/exciting new treats that I've had in a while.
                                                            Everyone should go to this restaurant. Good, inexpensive wine list as well. Great service.

                                                            4. Table - Terrific experience all around
                                                            Obviously this is one of the best restaurants in Asheville and was Willy's favorite meal.
                                                            The grilled sweetbreads with Arugala salad was maybe my favorite dish with sweetbreads that I've ever had...
                                                            Spciy Prawns with polenta also outstanding and spicy.
                                                            This is a must for good food, good service.

                                                            5. Bouchon - Excellent bistro food; the real thing; excellent service at the bar
                                                            We had:
                                                            Mussels with Mediterranean sauce
                                                            Steak au Poivre with frites
                                                            Chocolate Mouse
                                                            Great atmosphere and really good, solid bistro food.

                                                            6. Corner Kitchen - Excellent food; a tad sweet and lacking in spices; excellent service
                                                            Even-though the restaurant was basically empty, thus lacking energy, we enjoyed our dinner. Staff was well trained and the food was perfectly prepared. We usually like things more spicy but couldn't find any fault with the meal, very good.

                                                            7. Doc Chey's - Disappointing; formulaic; similar taste to everything
                                                            We were shocked by how disappointing and downright bad this restaurant was especially after seeing this appear on many lists as good. Nothing had any distinct flavor or taste, very bland. Considered our visit to Doc Chey's a waste of a meal that we could have had at a better restaurant in Asheville.

                                                            8. Noodle Shop - Better than Doc Chey's but still average chinese
                                                            This was more typical average chinese, the calamari was good and some of the entrees were tasty. Not disappointing - not exceptional

                                                            9. Old Europe - lively but not good; pastries for people that do not know what Old Europe real pastries taste like. Wow, what can I say? This was really a downer. Incredibly average desserts, messy, undefined flavor. Surprised anyone goes here.

                                                            10. Tupelo Kitchen - Great place: great food and atmosphere, good service
                                                            We ate here a number of mornings and loved it!
                                                            Favorites were: Sweet potato pancake, Fried green tomatoes, Grit cakes stuffed with pesto and tomato gravy, Cornbread
                                                            Great room, fun service and the food was so satisfying, exactly what you want. Some great southern options. The sweet potato pancake was outstanding.

                                                            11. Early Girl - Very good food; uninspired room
                                                            We enjoyed the food here, the Sausage and sweet potato scramble was excellent.
                                                            The room however was like a cafeteria, lacking any charm.

                                                            Finally, we stayed at the Princess Anne. Terrific little hotel with a great staff. The room includes a lovely breakfast and the hotel is very quiet/private in the evening, good for sleeping after a long day on the bike.

                                                            We loved Asheville, we live in Burlington, Vermont which is considered a smaller similar city.
                                                            We managed to sneak in some yoga at Namaste, what a great place. They were really nice and the yoga was outstanding.
                                                            Can't wait to come back and try all the restaurants we couldn't fit in on this trip.

                                                            p.s., loved the Drippolator, great coffee and baked goods

                                                            1 Reply
                                                            1. re: hamahoney

                                                              Great reviews - thanks! Glad you enjoyed your time here!

                                                            2. I've been going to Asheville quite a bit for the last 10 years (in-laws live there) and I have to say that it's a pretty overrated casual dining destination. Food and service quality are pretty uneven across the board. When a friend tells me he or she is going to Asheville for a few days and wants restaurant recommendations, I have a hard time coming up with a solid list of places I can recommend unreservedly. That said, I have consistently good experiences at:

                                                              --Heiwa Shokudo. Wonderful Japanese, with organic ingredients.
                                                              --Zambra. Marvelous tapas & wine selection, unbeatable atmosphere.
                                                              --Moose Cafe. First-rate country cooking.

                                                              13 Replies
                                                              1. re: gjthorn

                                                                I must respectfully disagree. In fact, I would rank Fig, Limones, 28806, Salsa, and Gabrielle's (which is hardly "casual," I know) with similar restaurants anywhere.

                                                                And the "country cooking" at the Moose Cafe is mediocre at best IMO.

                                                                1. re: gjthorn

                                                                  I disagree as well with your opinion of Asheville.
                                                                  Please see my post on dec 5, just above yours, describing our recent experiences eating out in Asheville.
                                                                  For someone visiting for just a few nights I would recommend Sugo and Table for outstanding food and excellent service.

                                                                  1. re: gjthorn

                                                                    I'm with Jeff and hamahoney. Asheville is a wonderful food town with a plethora of great casual dining restaurants.

                                                                    1. re: gjthorn

                                                                      Well, it depends on where you're coming from. If you're used to eating in NY or Chicago, maybe even Atlanta, then yes...Asheville is no great shakes. If you've been eating in most small southern towns and cities, it's an oasis.

                                                                      I, too, love Zambra. That someone could enjoy Zambra, yet also enjoy Moose Cafe, which I find to be less than mediocre, straight from a can, just goes to underscore the whole "one man's trash is another man's treasure" rule that makes Chowhound so damn useful. You can get dozens of opinions from dozens of different palates, and deduce your own best options to try.

                                                                      1. re: danna

                                                                        I just read Danna's note.
                                                                        I sort of disagree with the premise, that if your from Chicago or NY you can't expect small town restaurants to live up to your big city food.
                                                                        Willy and I've traveled the world extensively and one of our goals is to eat interesting food. In fact, we travel to try new food.
                                                                        We didn't pick Asheville for the food scene, we picked it to extend our road biking season by an extra 10 days.

                                                                        We were pleasantly surprised by the food, in fact our meal at Sugo was excellent, that restaurant could slug it out against any NY Italian place and still be standing at the end of the day.
                                                                        We look for creativity, places that are enthusiastic about serving you a meal that they're proud of it.
                                                                        Asheville has that in spades. Salsa's, thought very casual made an effort by marrying traditional Mex/American with Caribbean flavors - terrific!

                                                                        Table, a very traditional nouveau American place, really delivered. Interesting flavors. Great presentation. High energy room. What more do you want?

                                                                        Also, there are clearly restaurants that we didn't get to like Zambra. We are planning a spring road biking week...perhaps we'll swing through Asheville again and satisfy our appetite again!

                                                                        1. re: hamahoney

                                                                          I was underwhelmed the one time I ate at Table (over a year ago), but it gets such consistently good notices here that I'm wondering if I shouldn't give them another shot. Anybody else been lately? What did you have, and how was it?

                                                                          1. re: Jeff C.

                                                                            Went to Table for lunch - had a greens and gruyere sandwich with great fries and loved it!

                                                                            1. re: jbyoga

                                                                              Sounds good...and I should also mention that I like the modernist space and decor there very much.

                                                                              1. re: Jeff C.

                                                                                Only eaten a table once so far, recently, liked the food, not amazed, but had really pretentious service, so much so that I do not wish to return. Has anyone else had any similar experiences with the service there or was this just a one-off?

                                                                                1. re: charlottecooks

                                                                                  ok, it's been a while but we had brunch there and something I ordered was in pieces so big is was impossible to maneuver. Maybe it was something in a soup or salad? Anyway, when the server asked how everything was I made a comment that this particular item was way to big to handle and perhaps should have been presented torn/cut into smaller pieces. His reaction was to shrug and say "well, that's just how our chef does it" and walk away....if you're going to ask......

                                                                                  1. re: leahinsc

                                                                                    On the night my wife and I were there they had a large party booked and seemed much more interested in rearranging the furniture so they could all sit together than with taking care of us. I don't remember anything as haughty as the above, but I do remember having to wave somebody down just to get a water glass refilled and not being offered dessert.

                                                                                    They had only been open about a month at the time, so I just thought they still getting their footing servicewise...

                                                                            2. re: Jeff C.

                                                                              We ate at Table for a big family meal right after Christmas, and I thought it was awesome. We had a lot of items (party of 5).

                                                                              I had a Duck Duo (leg and breast) that was cooked perfectly. My wife had a veal chop that I still think about - it was cooked to perfection and had brussel sprouts in a balsamic reduction.

                                                                              Other plates: Sweatbreads done in a nod to Southern cooking - with a biscuit and white gravy. So good. Hangar Steak was done well, as was an Arctic Char. We also sampled a fritto misto and beet salad.

                                                                              I was impressed - the food was cooked perfectly and the sauces were excellent. Desserts were nice also.

                                                                              We will defintely go back to Table

                                                                        2. re: gjthorn

                                                                          Man, the Moose Cafe is prime gravy-sucking-pig food. In a good way. Don't miss the biscuits, whatever you do.

                                                                        3. Your list has a few of my top ten. Zambra-just a fun place to eat and drink ,Fig- high end experience in a small area,excellent all the way around, Limones- fresh and nice wine list, Bouchon- just like being in Paris, Rezaz- has taken food to the next level-another good wine list, Black Forest- German and Italian food mixed into a fun place, Savoy- the best food on the north end of town, Vincenzo- Great fun before and after dinner with the bar downstairs with wonderful dining upstairs, great Italian wine selection, Corner Kitchen- southern cooking done very well, Bistro1896- great for people watching with good fresh seafood. Excellent selection of wines at a better than fair price.
                                                                          I wasn't very happy with my meal at Table. The food was just ok and the wine selection was just average. Lot's of off the wall wines marked up high.

                                                                          1. Any thoughts on Vigne vs. Fig? Going to be in Asheville for one night and my research has guided me to these places though I can't find much feedback.

                                                                            4 Replies
                                                                            1. re: jeisenhardt

                                                                              I have been to both fairly recently and I would pick Fig over VIgne. While I like Vigne, I think that Fig is just a bit better and perhaps even a little less expensive.

                                                                              1. re: leahinsc

                                                                                Thank you! I'm so glad I found this board. I wanted to try Table but they are closed on Tuesday and that is our one night so ... Fig it is! Thanks again!
                                                                                :) J

                                                                              2. re: jeisenhardt

                                                                                I would say it would depend on what atmosphere you were hoping for, I think the food at both is great. Fig is a small, more intimate bistro-y type place. Vigne is more modern, with a popular bar area. Either place you choose, you are in for a treat.

                                                                                1. re: WNCfoodie

                                                                                  Since it is a Tuesday (and an early dinner) I suppose Fig would be best then but I was definitely intrigued by Vigne as well and look forward to returning. If any of you are ever traveling to Houston, let me know. Believe it or not, we have some pretty amazing chow down here! :)

                                                                              3. We're from Ohio, but everytime we're within 100 miles of Asheville, we always try to go to Gabrielle's. 5 star!

                                                                                1 Reply
                                                                                1. re: Dick814

                                                                                  Absolutely one of the finest restaurants in the south, even if poor public servants like moi can only afford it once in a blue moon.

                                                                                2. Sunnyside Cafe in Weaverville is a definitely must visit restaurant. Small, well-chosen menu,with no losers in any category. Chef Jack Kearen makes his own sandwich buns, and the quesadilla is unique. $$
                                                                                  Same goes for Que Sera in Black Mt. Original and interesting menu; super service.$$$
                                                                                  And for pizza-do not go any farther than My Father's--also in Black Mt.$

                                                                                  1. No one I saw mentioned the Market Place. I wonder why. We have lived in New York City and New Orleans; we know good food -- and we know technique and cook a lot.

                                                                                    So our comments:

                                                                                    The Market Place -- have had numerous great meals there. Our #1 favorite Asheville restaurant. The new chef is marvelous. They are extremely dedicated to local and seasonal ingredients. So, the menu is never the same. Expect to have local blueberries, Spinning Spider cheese, the Agar's pork, and such. Couldn't be better. Excellent service and atmosphere. Lovely wine list.

                                                                                    Stoney Knob -- incredibly dependable and always delicious. Worth every dime, every time. Super lamb shanks, dependable salads, and last night we had the best octopus appetizer. We ordered it again for dessert -- really! The head chef has always been right there, every time, working, just like the billboard they used to have on the interstate on the way there. Again, excellent service and atmosphere. Interesting and original wine list.

                                                                                    Salsa's -- Huh? People can eat this food? Look, I love spices, and I love experimentation, but this nouveau blender thing can go too far. I do have a pet peeve against fake Latino food, so perhaps that colors my review. If you want to eat at one of Hector's restaurants, choose Chorizo for brunch instead.

                                                                                    Doc Chey's -- agreed -- cheap and dependable.

                                                                                    Gabrielle's -- delicious and over the top on all fronts. The sort of place to mark a special occasion if you need to really pull out all the stops. We had excellent food in a private dining room for my mom's 60th birthday there. The hotel is also top notch -- we stayed in the croquet cottages. They have real croquet sets with the square mallets.

                                                                                    Laughing Seed -- again, that nouveau blender style of cuisine. What is up with Asheville people loving that kind of food? Salsas and Laughing Seed would both be gone in a New York minute were they in Manhattan.

                                                                                    Mela -- this is real Indian food. We found it to be excellent. But try ordering the mild level of spiciness on your first visit. We eat ridiculously spicy food (give us vats of kim chee -- we love it) but Mela is really up there on spice. Maybe that is why some people don't like it? Note that it is a very loud restaurant.

                                                                                    Sugo -- Ouch. Ugh. The best sounding menu with the worst food. We did not have one good thing in three courses. So sorry to say. We wanted to like it. Really. Great waitress, very nice atmosphere, a menu to die for -- but I am afraid every thing we had there was bad. And it was priced up there with the Market Place.

                                                                                    There are a few places on your list we still have to try -- and I didn't comment on a couple that are neither here nor there for us -- but thanks for starting a great Asheville food debate!

                                                                                    From two adventuresome and enthusiastic eaters.

                                                                                    15 Replies
                                                                                    1. re: cakemiks

                                                                                      Thanks for your comments. I would definitely try Fig, Limones, and 28806 when you get a chance. Let us know what you think.

                                                                                      1. re: Jeff C.

                                                                                        28806 has been on our list to try, ever since they donated an amazing soup in extremely generous proportions to the Empty Bowls benefit for Manna Food Bank (which is held yearly at Jones Elementary in North Asheville). People were raving about their soup. Thank you for bringing it to our attention, as well as the others.

                                                                                      2. re: cakemiks

                                                                                        I have to agree w/ your comments about Salsa's and Laughing Seed. For me I have found both to be just ok and tend to be overrated. I get tired of the mess of food and flavors at Salsa's and several times have paid for some of the outrageous combinations with GI distress. If I stick to something simple I am ok. Laughing Seed reminds me of the mediocre vegetarian restaurants near college 20 years ago. I like some of the offerings but I've found it to be really pricey ...considering you aren't getting any protein.

                                                                                        1. re: leahinsc

                                                                                          Sorry, gotta step in here - no protein? Perhaps if you only go with a salad - otherwise their dishes with beans/rice, tofu,tempeh and dairy/eggs (98% of the menu) all are fairly loaded with protein.

                                                                                          1. re: jbyoga

                                                                                            Ok, I knew I had this coming....I should have said no "animal/fish based protein"...

                                                                                        2. re: cakemiks

                                                                                          Salsa's is a shell of its former self.I really hate to see it go down hill from what it once was.It used to be a REALLY good little place.

                                                                                          1. re: Spreadhead

                                                                                            We ate again at Salsa a few weeks ago, and while I wouldn't go so far as to say it is in decline, I do think it is in a bit of a rut. This is sometimes what happens when a chef gets too successful and tries to branch out in several different directions at once, spreading himself too thin in the process. I think it is time for Hector to revamp the menu a little, esp. the throw-everything-togther-in-a-big-bowl approach to presentation. Also, this is one restaurant where huge portions have become a liability...After a while, the bold individual flavors tend to get buried in the overall mush...

                                                                                            Bottom line: Salsa remains in my shortlist but has slipped several notches, at least for now.

                                                                                          2. re: cakemiks

                                                                                            Gotta call BS here - Laughing Seed more than holds its own here (and in NYC) - lived there for years -ate vege food... for food quality IMHO - the service can be a bit uneven but the food can ROCK.

                                                                                            I agree with Salsas though - never again...

                                                                                            1. re: cakemiks

                                                                                              I am with you about Sugo. Some of the worst food I have had to try and enjoy. Mushy Braciole served tepid at best. $18 Gnocchi ( there were only 8 in the dish) making each on 2.25/pp OUCH!!! and they were tough to boot.
                                                                                              They were out of 3 wines we wanted. The waiter said he would "holler back" at us to see if we could find another. By the time he returned we decided to skip it altogther. We were not checked on to see if our meal was alright.
                                                                                              And then to top it off there was the ignorant owner flighting around. She really needs to stop and think before she speaks. Her dialogue with us should have been shorter than it was but she didn't seem to notice that we were not engaging. She just blithered on and on. I do not recommend Sugo to another. Save your money. Go to the Market Place, Corner Kitchen, Gabrielle's..your money would be better spent

                                                                                              1. re: starbird

                                                                                                I hate to hear this about Sugo. I have had quite the opposite experience each time I have eaten there. You said nobody ever came by to check on you, but you said the owner wouldn't leave. Did you tell them about your dislikes? I have read quite a few blogs where people don't say anything at the restaurant. If we are people who know and enjoy food, maybe the restaurant would welcome the criticism. Inconsistency is terrible.

                                                                                                1. re: starbird

                                                                                                  Like Crews L said, I'm sorry to hear you had a bad experience at Sugo. My experiences there have been overwhelmingly positive. Great food and service.

                                                                                                  1. re: carolinadawg

                                                                                                    I agree. Sugo is our new favorite. And one of the best things about it has always been the excellent service!

                                                                                                  2. re: starbird

                                                                                                    We've been to Sugo's 2x recently and been very pleased with the quality of the food. One time they did not have the wine we wanted but were quickly and successfully steered toward a less expensive and great other bottle. My only complaint has been that they seem to be perpetually short staffed. I've never seen the owner...

                                                                                                    1. re: starbird

                                                                                                      Service was great the one time I was at Sugo, but the food quality ranged from good (apps and bread) to poor (entrees). Errors in preparation, actually, more so than quality of ingredients was my take on it. So many good reviews do make me curious to give it one more try.

                                                                                                      1. re: starbird

                                                                                                        We, too were greatly disappointed in Sugo. My wife ordered Beef Tips that were so rare as to be inedible and my seafood pasta was the toughest pasta
                                                                                                        I've ever tried to eat. At the price they charge, they should be ashamed.
                                                                                                        We inquired of friends who were there the same night and they said out of their party of four only one enjoyed their meal!

                                                                                                    2. I would have Heiwa Shokudo on the list. Terrible, cramped little cinder-block box of a building, but the food --- and especially the sushi at night --- always and consistently is a joy.

                                                                                                      Zambra, for sure. I had some very uneven experiences there early on --- one night they told us as they seated that the kitchen had run out of everything except olives and wine. How does a kitchen run out of EVERYTHING but olives and wine? My recent experiences there --- most of them after Hector sold the place to his investors --- have been exemplary. I was there just a few weeks ago and almost tried to break into the kitchen to kiss whomever had prepared the scallops...they were perfect.

                                                                                                      I also would echo praise of Rezaz in Biltmore Village. The floods of 2004 destroyed the place, but they raised money locally and rebuilt. I always have been happy there. Never a crappy meal.


                                                                                                      5 Replies
                                                                                                      1. re: jatkin02

                                                                                                        Thanks for your insightful comments...and for reminding me that I STILL need to try Zambra!

                                                                                                        1. re: Jeff C.

                                                                                                          Yea, Jeff, I don't know what's wrong with you ! ;-)

                                                                                                          We have to force ourselves to try new restaurants instead of going to Zambra or Salsa, and 90% of the time, we're sorry we did.

                                                                                                          As for Salsa, unless things have changed in the last couple of months, here's what I think: When Hector was in the kitchen all the time, back before he opened Zambra, Salsas was a 10. Now it's a 9. Nothing else in Asheville scores better than 7.

                                                                                                          1. re: danna

                                                                                                            Hector hasn't been involved w/ Zambra for some time right? He's all about Modesto and Chorizo.

                                                                                                            1. re: leahinsc

                                                                                                              yeah, he hasn't been involved w/ zambra for several years now. salsas really seemed to get flaky when he started spending so much time on chorizo/modesto. i still like salsa, but i can no longer give it raves and unqualified recommendations as i once did.

                                                                                                              jeff, i have to say, prepare for a middle-of-the-road experience at zambra. i've been a number of times, and have just not been wowed by anything (sad to say given that it turns a rule on its head, but the best food i'ver had there was a prix fixe dinner on new years eve 2-3 years ago). yes, they execute some things well, but they aren't particulary inspired. and the prices are ridiculous (example, $5-6 for two tiny (not very good) pork springrolls; the rest of the menu is very much in keeping, if not more egregiously, with that). i normally drop $80-100 there (including alcohol) and have never left feeling like i've had a decent size meal. nor have i retained any memory of the food once the burping passed. all that's not to say that zambra is bad; it's not. it's just one of those places for me that completely misses the mark on value. i haven't had a single thing there that i couldn't have prepared better and far cheaper in my own kitchen. it is a very nice space for a romantic evening, and still part of the see-and-be-seen scene. they're now on my short list of places i'll go, but only if someone else pays.

                                                                                                              oh, and i've enjoyed heiwa as well. the trick there is to get a big enough group to be able to reserve the room in back (it probably only takes 6-7 people as a minimum to get the room). the sushi has been imaginative and fresh. i have noticed that they tend to leave veggies too big on some of the entrees which gets a little dicey when trying to deal with them with just chopsticks.

                                                                                                              1. re: leahinsc

                                                                                                                Correct. Thus, the pre-Zambra years, when Salsa was a 10 on the Danna scale, were quite some while ago.

                                                                                                                Then, there were the years when Hector was cooking at Zambra, when it was quite memorable: the rosemary-mint olive oil they served w/ the bread, the pickled onion and watermelon salad, the outrageous scallop/bacon dishes, the lavender and goat cheese stuffed grill quail, the garlicy salsa verde that came w/ the fried calamari. Fabulous. Zambra today is not what it once was, but I still like it better than anywhere else overall. I don't see it as expensive, but I'm petite, so the portion sizes suit me perfectly....and I'm one of those horrid people who fill up on bread ;-)

                                                                                                        2. Has anyone tried Stovetrotter Bistro?

                                                                                                          1. I think Gabrielle's is grossly overrated and over priced. My meal there was horrendous. Having heirloom tomatoes as one of the courses on the tasting menu is not exactly inspired given that we can all easily obtain heirloom tomatoes and make a basic vinaigrette. As well, they didn't even know how to make a decent Martini.

                                                                                                            I would never go back there.

                                                                                                            2 Replies
                                                                                                            1. re: garysanta

                                                                                                              too bad. I haven't been there in over a year but the tasting meal I had was pretty stupendous.

                                                                                                              1. re: garysanta

                                                                                                                Haven't been there in awhile myself and know nothing about who's manning (or womanning) the kitchen these days. But my last meal there was exemplary.

                                                                                                              2. Hi Everyone-
                                                                                                                I am going to Asheville on Sunday 4/6 with 10 friends to celebrate my best friend's 30th birthday. She has never been to Asheville and wants to go around town and then have a late lunch/early birthday dinner. Where should I take the group? I'm in charge of planning and I'm totally lost. Also, is there a must-go-to bakery that I should get a birthday cake from or should I just do cake with dinner at the restaurant? Please help a girl out on this one!! Our group of friends loves their food and I usually end up wanting to try new places that turn out to be crap. Thanks!

                                                                                                                1. BTW - We are all kinda on a budget - so if main dishes could stay around $15 bucks that would be excellent! :)

                                                                                                                  4 Replies
                                                                                                                  1. re: MissMiss

                                                                                                                    For a late lunch on a budget, I'd suggest Stoney Knob Cafe on Weaverville Highway just north of Asheville. They have a wide variety of food (everything from salads, panini, and wraps to pasta and seafood) for very reasonable prices, and you can sit on the patio if it's nice, or in the ultra-cool red room. They always have at least two specials that are usually very yummy. A few weeks ago, I had one of the daily specials-a large, lightly-battered and fried grouper filet over risotto, topped with blue cheese coleslaw-YUM!!! All for only $8.50. In fact, my hubby got the other special (linguine with homemade bolognese sauce and a salad) and my daughter had a panini with salad, and we shared a chocolate mousse. The total bill, including two soft drinks, came to less than $40.00. So if money is an issue, but you want really good, tasty food, you can't go wrong with Stoney Knob.

                                                                                                                    1. re: stephw1

                                                                                                                      Stoney Knob is open for brunch on Sundays, though that has got to be one of their busiest times. They are only open Sunday's until 3pm. If you are going to reserve space for 10 I'd do it NOW. Their desserts aren't that great. You'd have to check and see if they'd let you bring in a cake. Many restaurants won't. Does your friend like carrot cake? There is an awesome place just down the road "World's Best Carrot Cake" in a little strip mall. Otherwise I'd go just up the road to Well Bred Bakery in Weaverville as they have a very nice selection of decadent cakes. Other options: Corner Kitchen in Biltmore Village - I think they are open all day for brunch and then dinner.
                                                                                                                      Ambassador Grill in W. Asheville is open for Sunday dinner and they have gotten some good reviews.
                                                                                                                      If you want to stay downtown and really get the downtown flavor you might try Barley's for great beer and pizza or Mellow Mushroom for people watching. Both inexpensive and at least at Barley's you could easily do 10 people at a table. Or Old Europe, I think they have a back room and they do desserts.

                                                                                                                      1. re: leahinsc

                                                                                                                        Where is Ambassador Grill in WAVL? What types of foods do they serve? Also, any idea of the cost of the carrot cake at World's Best? My husband loves carrot cake, so that would be a great idea for his birthday. Do they sell other kinds, or just carrot? He is also a goner for really good Italian cream cake. I agree with you about the desserts at Stoney Knob; they just never look that tantalizing, although we really enjoy the mousse-it's the only one we've ever tried.

                                                                                                                        1. re: stephw1

                                                                                                                          Sorry, I confused two places. I should have written the ADMIRAL. It is at 400 Haywood Road across from Harvest Records. I heard that the chef on Sundays and Mondays attended the French Culinary Institute in NYC. As far as the food, they've been written up here so you could probably search on them.
                                                                                                                          No, the carrot place JUST sells different kinds of carrot cake.

                                                                                                                  2. No one has mentioned Stone House Market on the Old Leicester Highway. My wife and I had a wonderful meal there in December of 2006. Is it no longer there or just no longer memorable?

                                                                                                                    4 Replies
                                                                                                                    1. re: iko.iko

                                                                                                                      We ate there on a Saturday night in February , Dinner was fairly good- Really out of the way and and hard to find- very reasonable. Only have a few tables and only one was taken.They are only open Thursday-Saturday. I heard they had GREAT FOOD- not true ..but it could have been what we ordered or an off night

                                                                                                                      1. re: mustardgirl

                                                                                                                        I think they have good food, but haven't been since the chef/owner took last summer off to study abroad so maybe it has changed. My husband was never that impressed. Always thought it was just ok.

                                                                                                                        1. re: leahinsc

                                                                                                                          I pass by almost every day on my way home (it's less than a mile from my house), and it looks as though they may have sporadic hours-one of those "open when we feel like it" type of places.

                                                                                                                          1. re: stephw1

                                                                                                                            It was definitely a "mom and pop" operation. The husband was the chef and the wife handled everything else the night we were there. It is very small, as Mustard Girl indicated -- probably doesn't hold more than 2 dozen at the most. It's a bit out of the way, yes, but actually fairly easy to get to after you've been there once.

                                                                                                                            We had a late, and very good, lunch at Rezaz one day, and then an excellent dinner at the place the following evening. Unfortunately, it's too been too long to remember any specifics, but I know we were both quite satisfied that the chef knew what he was doing.

                                                                                                                    2. This is my first post on ChowHound, though I've been coming here for recommendations for some time now. My husband and I are currently obsessed with Fig and Vigne. Both serve fresh, interesting dishes and have wonderful service... the cocktails are great, too! We also really like Zambra, Sunny Point and Savoy.

                                                                                                                      I'll need to try Sugo again... we tried it a couple of months ago and my appetizer (some sort of grilled squid) was so salty, it was inedible. That definitely put a damper on my opinion of it, but my whole family adores Sugo, so we'll give it another chance.

                                                                                                                      I'm surprised that no one here has mentioned Green Tea for sushi. It's located right off of Patton on the other side of the bridge (across the street from Denny's). In my opinion, it is the best sushi in Asheville, hands down.

                                                                                                                      8 Replies
                                                                                                                      1. re: janakel

                                                                                                                        Trip to Asheville May 2008
                                                                                                                        1. The Market Place
                                                                                                                        2. Sugo
                                                                                                                        3. Tupelo Honey vs. Early Girl
                                                                                                                        Four of us ate at The Market Place Memorial Day Weekend – and have to say we found it over-rated. The restaurant was about 1/3 full, yet it took 15 minutes for the server to ask us if we wanted a cocktail and the rest of the meal went from there--we had to ask for every single thing- from butter for the bread to refills for water. Beyond telling us the names of ingredients on the cheese plate or in the entrée, there was no description of any menu item.
                                                                                                                        The specialty cocktails on the small side but good - especially the bellinitini with peach puree, vodka and sparkling wine but very slow in coming, and we nearly had to beg for a second round.
                                                                                                                        For appetizers we had a cheese plate – which was ok, but the cheeses were very similar in taste and texture. The chilled asparagus soup was very tasty and fresh. In general the menu was not very inventive- but the trout others have mentioned was good, as was the young chicken- crispy skin and tender meat. The roasted halibut was well prepared; the duck breast entrée was tough. The plates were minimal- not more than 2 tablespoons of vegetable or starch (the risotto was tasty).
                                                                                                                        We ordered four desserts including the soufflé of the night. It was truly a shock- it was barely sweetened stiffly beaten whipped egg whites ONLY, baked a little with a thin sauce poured into it. It did not resemble any recipe for soufflé ever published- and was tasteless to boot. The rhubarb crisp was good, not special. The vanilla panna cotta with strawberry sorbet was good. The best was the deconstructed lemon meringue pie- a frozen semifreddo with really tart lemon sorbet, a shortbread cookie and a little baked homemade marshmallow cream on the plate. All and all I wouldn’t go there again -it’s just too expensive for a “fairly good meal”.
                                                                                                                        The next night we ate at Sugo- and had a better experience. The waiter was knowledgeable and attentive- and made cocktails for us himself. They feature some neat retro cocktails like Tom Collins, Gibson, and Sidecar. I had a delicious Side Car- and my daughter had a berry martini also very tasty. An amuse bouche and the sound of our drinks being shaken set a nice tone for the rest of the meal. The goat cheese truffles went nicely with the little salad of beets and greens, the fried olives had a good flavor and texture. The spaghetti carbonara was very good- but quite spicy with pepper flakes. The beef tips on pappardelle – the sauce and veggies were smokey and creamy- but the meat itself was very tough. The chicken with a fruit glaze and risotto was tender and flavorful. The gnocchi with duck was a hit- although I thought the red sauce overwhelmed the duck flavor. The table next to us had the whole trout- and it looked quite unappetizing- like you caught a trout, bopped it on the head then put it on a plate! She sent it back- fresh is good but this was pretty primitive!
                                                                                                                        Compared to The Marketplace-Sugo had better service and portions and in general the choices more interesting. However I have enough reservations about both places that I would not send friends there without a lot of caveats.
                                                                                                                        I plan to be in Asheville every 6 weeks or so- so I plan to try a lot more restaurants- Limone and Gabrielle's are high on my list.
                                                                                                                        By the way we ate at both Tupelo Honey and Early Girls for breakfast. I thought the biscuits, pancakes and the overall experience was best at Tupelo Honey. It reminded me of a diner atmosphere, fast paced, crowded, noisy, good service- fun all in all.

                                                                                                                        1. re: cathi50

                                                                                                                          Agree with you re: Marketplace and I would never return to Sugo - we had a terrible experience. You already mentioned one of my favorites - Limones, but you should also try Fig, Rezaz and Stovetrotter Bistro - those are our favorite Asheville restaurants. Flight in Hendersonville is also very good.

                                                                                                                          1. re: LifeisGood58

                                                                                                                            Sad to hear about Marketplace...I was there a few months ago and it was 98% perfect (service a tad slack for the $) Last time I was at Limones it seemed to have slipped a notch (But I'll give it another chance..) and Cucina 24 was GREAT the one and only time I was there...

                                                                                                                            1. re: jbyoga

                                                                                                                              Where is Cucina 24? When did it open?

                                                                                                                                1. re: LifeisGood58

                                                                                                                                  24 Wall Street
                                                                                                                                  Here's the link ~ http://www.cucina24restaurant.com/
                                                                                                                                  It's one of my new favorites downtown

                                                                                                                                  1. re: NANCY

                                                                                                                                    Went to Cucina 24 again and was totally disappointed this time. Last week we had a great meal. This time, two of the pasta entrees were below average. Pasta was mushy and had no flavor. One was with truffles and it barely had any truffle flavor and the pasta was stuck together. Although, my husband's tuna was excellent. A good restaurant needs to be consistent. The service was very slow and somewhat unprofessional. Maybe they were having a bad night. We will try it again, but I hope they read this review. I really think it has lots of potential and the space is terrific.

                                                                                                                                2. re: jbyoga

                                                                                                                                  We went to Cucina 24 last night and also thought it was great! The food was prepared perfectly. Finally, a terrific Italian restaurant in Asheville. This will definitely become one of our favorites. Can't wait to go back.

                                                                                                                          2. Fig is very good also and should be at least in top 5. I went there at Dana's suggestion with my mom and enjoyed it. However, it was not an inexpensive meal but worth it for special occasion.

                                                                                                                            9 Replies
                                                                                                                            1. re: priss

                                                                                                                              Was downtown this morning and drove by S&W. Saw there is a breakfast place right beside it (in one corner?) called Cornerstone, Cornerhouse...something like that. The sign featured banana pancakes. Has anyone checked this out or am I behind?

                                                                                                                              1. re: leanpig

                                                                                                                                The breakfast place at S & W was mediocre when I went, and the S& W restaurant's menu look uninspired to me. Too bad, I love the building.

                                                                                                                                I would do a thumbs down on Salsa.....we noticed years ago the most of the expensive sounding items in a description were missing when the dish was served...Hector pooh pooh'ed our complaints. Don't think most people noticed the missing ingredients. You can cover a lot of missing ingredients with a heavy suace.

                                                                                                                                Sunnypoint Cafe is inexpensive and VERY popular. When the weather is nice,you can sit outside with your dog. Their angel biscuits are the best biscuit in town. I have never been disappointed with Bouchon.
                                                                                                                                For Sunday mornings I love Well Bred Bakery in Weaverville.....they make a divine chocolate eclair this size of a cow pie. With a light bavarian cream filling and dark, dark chocolate covering and very flakey crust. They always have a working espresso machine.

                                                                                                                                Lately Rezaz has been consistantly problematic (undercooked couscous, strange taste to the softshelled crab, stale bread, very stale and expensive pound cake from the deli side, cold vegetable sides, very greasy mussels that were almost impossible to eat, since they didn't give you any utensils to eat the damned greasy things with. For months they've been serving the same eggplant "amuse bouche" on a slice of stale toast, that is un-amusing to the bouche. Rezaz used to b e consistantly excellent....maybe they've changed chefs recently?????

                                                                                                                                1. re: Dixiegirlz

                                                                                                                                  Getting ready for regular summer trek to Asheville. I've never made it to Fig -- was wondering if their menu offered something for the 14-year-old male teen whose dinner requests stem from burger to filet?? Also, any update on the 28806 relocation?? From perusing the board, it seems like most of the new spots are suffering from inconsistency. Any new restaurant that's an absolute must?? Thanks.

                                                                                                                                  1. re: gbailey75

                                                                                                                                    Usually FIG has some fairly substantial meat offerings that your teen should like - although it won't be cheap. I don't think 28806 is in its new location yet, drove by a week or so ago and didn't look like anything was happening.
                                                                                                                                    My recent favorite is Curras in Woodfin for "modern Mexican" the owner comes from Austin TX where he had some very successful restaurants. Also had a great meal at Corner Kitchen this week..they have always been consistently good for us.

                                                                                                                                    1. re: leahinsc

                                                                                                                                      We tried Curras on Friday night. It was excellent. The guacomole and duck entree were delicious. Had the watermelon magarita - it was perfect. They use fresh lime juice - not a pre-made mix. Homemade blackberry cobbler was sinful. This is definitely going on our short favorite's list. Fig is still our #1 choice in Asheville - it is always fresh and consistent.

                                                                                                                                    2. re: gbailey75

                                                                                                                                      Fig had a burger on the menu the last two times I was there, and it seemed a popular item. They won't cook it less than medium, though. Yes...the new restaurants are inconsitent.

                                                                                                                                      Corner Kitchen was mediocre/bad to me, but I seem to be in the minority on that. Leah, what do you usually get? do you go for dinner or some other meal?

                                                                                                                                      1. re: danna

                                                                                                                                        I usually get something small and have a bite of my husband's food. He always seems to make better choices. They have an awesome smoked salmon app on the menu. Sort of like a salad w/ shaved fried onion and bits of smoked salmon, it was awesome. He had a tuna that was very nice.

                                                                                                                                        1. re: leahinsc

                                                                                                                                          Thanks for the advice -- much appreciated. We can go to FIG without my wife fretting over what my son will be willing to eat!

                                                                                                                                        2. re: danna

                                                                                                                                          Fig was tremendous, and the 14-year-old was satisfied with the burger. The celery/gorgonzola salad is a great starter, and I had a flounder special that was outstanding. I'll go back, but my dinner in two weeks will likely be at Limone's or maybe my old standby 28806. As always, thanks to you all for your expertise. Love this board.

                                                                                                                                2. Was recently in Asheville for the first time and found too many great restaurants (and I'm from NY!) to have time for. Enjoyed Tupelo Honey, Zambra's (tapas and unique sangria, desserts) , Laughing Seed, 12 Bones and Rosetta (veg). Also recommended by others were Table and Salsa. Early Girl's menu looked interesting.

                                                                                                                                  1. Etc.
                                                                                                                                    Also recommended to us-Limone and Buchon (sp)

                                                                                                                                    1. If you're going to add Weaverville - OOA - out of asheville - then you've opened a whole other can of worms.

                                                                                                                                      There's Loma Grill In Waynesville, FlightWoodGrill in Hendersonville, and so on. Gabrielle's in the number 1 place??? It's expensive, overrated and not fun. Jeff C, you've lost your reputation! I'd vote for Rezaz - for price point and food and it's fun. It's adjunct Enoteca is a wonderful alternative for a wifi coffee shot -- wine instead! Although they do have coffee. The dishes are incredible and reasonably priced for all that you get. Right across from Biltmore House.

                                                                                                                                      1. We've been visiting Asheville 3 or 4 times a year for 5 years now. I've enjoyed most of the restaurants mentioned and I noticed someone finally mentioned a favorite of mine, the quirky Rosettas. It's the one place we go to at least once every trip, maybe it's the seasonality, the tastes are so different from summer to winter.

                                                                                                                                        1 Reply
                                                                                                                                        1. re: RoseAylmer

                                                                                                                                          Rosettas is solid - If you've never been get there and grab a family plate or the vegi burger with their really good fries...mmmm...fries...

                                                                                                                                        2. Just got back from Afghanistan on Friday, got demobilized from Camp Lejeune, and figured Asheville would be a good place to relax for a week. I should've looked at CH first-thing on getting here, but haven't done too bad just asking around for rec's.

                                                                                                                                          I'll add myself to the pro-Sugo list. Had a great meal overall there, and prices were very reasonable for the innovative menu and great ambience. Had the sopressatta appetizer (with a vinaigrette, wilted greens, fresh strawberries, and parmesan) which was great, and a small portion of the rabbit-leg pasta. I wasn't as impressed with the cream sauce of the rabbit leg, and would've preferred gnoccis or similar over tortellini for the pasta, but the meat and preparation was outstanding.

                                                                                                                                          Really not thrilled with Salsa. I was hoping for something more true to actual Caribbean cuisine, but it was a pretty standard "hippy interpretation of Tex Mex" sort of menu. The vegeterian sausage was just like store-bough veg breakfast sausage (all sage-y and mild), which is silly considering that veg chorizo is readily available and quite tasty. The beans were bland, chips standard, and the innovative salsas really weren't that exciting in application.

                                                                                                                                          For better hippy-chow, I'd go with Rosetta's (couple blocks north of city center on Lexington). Had a great grilled tofu and avocado sandwhich, and their vegan yeast-based "gravy" was really well-executed. Good ambience with salvaged hardwood tables and wall-murals, though "bus your own" service. Also open to 3AM, so a winner there.

                                                                                                                                          Though I haven't had their chow yet, Barley's Taproom carries some excellent beers. The standouts I've tried so far are the Catawba Valley offerings, particular the "Whiskey River IPA" aged in old whiskey casks, and the "Coconut Ale". The latter is actually a porter, and was a great contrast, having clean/white coconut notes rather than the usual coffee/chocolate notes common in porter. The Whiskey River IPA had the most complex palate of any IPA I've tried, very unlike the common perfumey IPAs. Really mellow but rich flavor, and the blurb claims that the flavor changes notably as the beer warms up in the room. Bar staff was very knowledgeable and helpful with selection, and made several "Hmmmm, that choice is really love it or hate it, let me get you a sip first." Main complaint is that they don't do flights/samplers; apparently dropped those due to the logistical/practical burden of running all the little glassware and such.

                                                                                                                                          Not sure where I'll go tonight, but probably either Early Girl's or Tupelo, though probably will go to Flying Frog for a G&T. Their actual food menu seemed to silly-eclectic, but their infused spirits looked cool and get great reviews.

                                                                                                                                          1. One of our favorites: South Side Cafe. Always fresh and flavorful. A little more expensive than some of the others. We also get "dressed" to go there.

                                                                                                                                            3 Replies
                                                                                                                                            1. re: Suannepg13

                                                                                                                                              I agree that South Side Cafe has very good food, but I just wish they would renovate!!!!! It's so dated.

                                                                                                                                              1. re: LifeisGood58

                                                                                                                                                I am SO glad you mentioned that!! I've had some good to fairly good experiences there, with the exception of a snotty female waitress but the decor....it's like the 80's all over again!!!

                                                                                                                                                1. re: leahinsc

                                                                                                                                                  Just came back from a stay in Weaverville (10 mins outside of Asheville) at the Secret Garden Inn and Spa. The inn provides breakfast coupons- we walked to the Well Bred Bakery- excellent and also really enjoyed North Point Diner for breakfast (same owners as Early Girl Eatery). Unfortunately, I was disappointed the next night at Early Girl with my farm raised "red" trout- very very mediocre. It made me wonder if the Market Place's would've been any better (they use the same vendor). It had little trout flavor and seemed like a generic broiled piece of barely OK fish. Early Girl's veg sides etc were tasty but nothing to rave about.
                                                                                                                                                  Also had a disappointing fish experience at Curras Dom- the waiter raved about the $26? "whole vermillion snapper" and it was awful- not fresh at all- I should have sent it back. Next time I would order the vegetarian tamales or try the shrimp. My husband enjoyed his duck but not the accompanying blackberry mole, however, the mole was on the side and could be avoided.
                                                                                                                                                  Soup and salad were delicious- if we lived in Asheville I would try Curras again but would not rush back there as a tourist with limited time.
                                                                                                                                                  Best meal was a Saturday lunch at Fig. Divine gruyeres/mushroom quiche and good burger. Excellent service and a very pleasant, relaxed atmosphere. Outside seating is also available. Fig is a very small place- maybe 8 tables inside?
                                                                                                                                                  Next time will head to Fig and the Market Place where we've always had good meals in the past.

                                                                                                                                            2. Just came back from 6 days in Asheville. We used your list and visited some great restaurants. You MUST add Sugo to the list. We also ate at Limone's and Stoney Knob. All excellent!!! In addtition ate at 12 Bones (yummy!) and Pommodoro's new location on Long Shoal's Road (very good: nice location). Thanks for the suggestions!

                                                                                                                                              1 Reply
                                                                                                                                              1. re: Suannepg13

                                                                                                                                                Well, back from a week visiting the lovely town of Asheville, and I wanted to thank everyone for their restaurant suggestions. All in all, we did not have a bad meal there. I will list the restaurants---in no particular order---and a few comments on each

                                                                                                                                                --Veranda Cafe--Black Mountain-- very easy and relaxing lunch. First time able to sample the local Highlands brew. Nice sandwich.
                                                                                                                                                --Laughing Seed--dinner-- Nice, relaxed place and a munu that thrilled my wife. I got by OK with the Harmony bowl which was very good.
                                                                                                                                                --Jack of Wood-- downstairs from Laughing Seed and we picked Thursday night which was Bluegrass night. Great show as a bunch of kids (late 20's-early 30's) showed up and there were multiple instruments and great music. Nice bar to relax with a local brew and listen to excellent music.
                                                                                                                                                --Nine Mile--dinner-- excellent Caribbean fusion food--staff was friendly, knowledgeable and prompt.
                                                                                                                                                --Jerusalem Cafe-- dinner-- delicious middle eastern food
                                                                                                                                                --Okie Dokie BBQ-- lunch-- although people have commented on the vanilla atmosphere, this is a great place for a quick BBQ lunch if you are in the area. They do smoke with wood, which is always a good sign
                                                                                                                                                --Umi-- dinner- sushi in Hendersonville-- the sushi was fresh and delicious.
                                                                                                                                                --Meyfil--lunch-- New Orleans food--had a delicious fried catfish lunch plate
                                                                                                                                                --Fiddlin Pig--dinner--this will cause some controversy potentially, but we really enjoyed this place. We spoke to the owner and he has a great concept here. This is a large open area restaurant which serves BBQ and has live bluegrass playing on a small stage. The concept is to have a friendly place where a family can go for decent food and entertainment and enjoy themselves for 1 1/2 hours. The owner is a very nice chap and took the time to talk to us and give me a tour of the smoker in the back. I talked to him about adding smoked trout to the menu---we will wait and see. BBQ purists may resist this place, but we had a fun time and the food was good as long as you understand the concept.
                                                                                                                                                --Mela--dinner-- Indian food. Lovely interior and very good food.
                                                                                                                                                --12 Bones--lunch--I know that this place gets reviews both ways, but we enjoyed our lunch there. I got the pulled pork plate with a side of ribs. The sides were collard greens which had a sweet touch (molasses?) and the vinegary cole slaw. It was a great lunch.
                                                                                                                                                --Salsa-- I also note that this restaurant has received mixed reviews. Well, we apparently got them on a good night as we had a nice Mexican dinner. Good service and tables close together so we ended up in a nice conversation with others.

                                                                                                                                                All in all, I recommend all of the above restaureants. I know that we were only at each one once, and circumstances can change, but we had a great eating experience in and around Asheville.
                                                                                                                                                Thanks again for all of the suggestions.

                                                                                                                                              2. I have read this entire post and have a question of my own. We are meeting friends from NYC in Asheville in early October for a long weekend. We love dining out BUT!!! we will be traveling with our 8 year old daughter. We don't want to be limited to Doc Chey's or another chain, but there are lots of fine restaurants these days that have a decent selection of options for kids. Of all of the tantalizing restaurants mentioned here can anyone tell me which among them will be able to appeal to my daughter while challenging the adult palates at the same time?

                                                                                                                                                2 Replies
                                                                                                                                                1. re: sazall

                                                                                                                                                  2. Limone's
                                                                                                                                                  3. 28806
                                                                                                                                                  4. Stoney Knob (Weaverville, I know. But close enough.)
                                                                                                                                                  5. Salsa
                                                                                                                                                  6. Tomato Cucina Latina
                                                                                                                                                  7. Corner Kitchen
                                                                                                                                                  8. Doc Chey's
                                                                                                                                                  9. Laughing Seed Cafe
                                                                                                                                                  10. Sunny Pointe Cafe
                                                                                                                                                  11. Early Girl Eatery

                                                                                                                                                  pending: Fig, Sugo, Zambra
                                                                                                                                                  Ok, just looking at this original list I'd say Stoney Knob, Sunny Pointe and Tomato for sure for your 8 yr old. Some may offer Salsa's, but unless she is extremely adventurous I think the combinations will be too wild, though I would think they have more child-friendly combos. The other problems w/ Salsa's are: uneven reviews of late and it gets crowded very quickly as it is small. Doc Chey's would be ok as well as Corner Kitchen. The others I wouldn't take an 8 yr old to.

                                                                                                                                                  1. re: sazall

                                                                                                                                                    You might want to get on Google and search the websites for some of the restaurants mentioned, and then check out their menus. I'd agree with leah that Stoney Knob would work. Others that might also be acceptable include Zambra, Tupelo Honey, Sugo. Check out their menus online.

                                                                                                                                                  2. I am surprised that Savoy hasn't been mentioned more. I had a fantastic meal there a year or so ago. They had a wahoo fish special that was pretty close to perfect.

                                                                                                                                                    1. Just had drinks and an app at Limones. Drink- the house Marg x 2. Very good- tart, crisp, no sweet and sour, just what I wanted- I hate syrupy sweet margs.

                                                                                                                                                      The app was the Prawns and Grilled Watermelon. While the flavor was nice, especially on the watermelon.... but seriously- $12 for TWO med-large shrimp? The watermelon was the best thing on the plate by far- the "prawns" had no real discernible flavor at all.

                                                                                                                                                      1. just saw this old thread and have a question for all of you: I lived in Asheville from 1998-2004. Whatever happened to the Marketplace on Wall Street? and Cafe Pacific? These are two places my bf and I used to hit for all of our fine dining evenings.

                                                                                                                                                        5 Replies
                                                                                                                                                        1. re: hollyd

                                                                                                                                                          Marketplace is still doing well and recently opened a new concept w/in the restaurant called Bar 100 featuring foods from within 100 miles of Asheville. Where was Cafe Pacific - doesn't ring a bell and I've been here since 2000.

                                                                                                                                                          1. re: leahinsc

                                                                                                                                                            It was way down on South Biltmore. Kind of Asian-French fusion. Very good.

                                                                                                                                                            1. re: hollyd

                                                                                                                                                              oh, yeah right, now I remember - in the Harris Teeter shopping center and next to the bike shop

                                                                                                                                                              1. re: leahinsc

                                                                                                                                                                yeah! That place was great. Too bad. Glad to hear Marketplace is still going. Had my first date with my husband there.

                                                                                                                                                            2. re: leahinsc

                                                                                                                                                              Cafe Pacific is now China Palace South

                                                                                                                                                          2. Rumor has it that 28806 will finish with its renovations the end of October. I walk by the Meadows 1926 building frequently, and they are working. You are probably looking at mid November for the doors to officially open.

                                                                                                                                                            1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                            1. re: abraham123

                                                                                                                                                              that can't be good - about 5 months behind schedule? Plus they've totally missed the tourist season and have to open in one of the slowest times of the year...