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Jan 7, 2008 01:25 PM

Finally tried Corner Kitchen *sigh* (Asheville)

I think I'm definitely not allowed to pick the restaurant for a while. We lingered outside Vigne for a bit, reading the menu and admiring the exterior, but for reasons I'm not sure of any longer, we decided to try Corner Kitchen for the first time. We had reviewed
CK's menu once before, and I decided brunch and dinner looked interesting, lunch not so much, so I had been waiting for an evening to try it.

The house is charming, the room is pleasant, and in fine weather the outside would be very pleasant. The staff were very friendly. The wine list had TONS of wine by the glass, each at $6...things were looking good! Our waitress was not shy about suggesting I pick a different Sauvingnon Blanc from my first choice, and it was very nice, and served in a decent glass.

Things went downhill after that. First, no bread was forthcoming. Ever. Do they never have bread?

We had 3 apps and 1 you go...

app1 Fried calamari with a heavy, and partially uncooked batter. It went like this...crunchy exterior...layer of uncooked batter...calamari. This was only true for the bigger pieces of tentacle, btw.

app2 Unremarkable shrimp wrapped in almost raw bacon on a skewer, seved with completely flavorless hoppin john. Very disappointing.

app3 Scallop ceviche...we couldn't even finish this. I'm not sure what was up with the scallops, they seemed fresh enough, but it was like they were soaked in lime-y mayonaise. The rest of martini glass was full of shredded basil soaked in white stuff..mayo? creme fraiche? I was not happy. The plantain chips served alongside were not bad.

entree - The deviled crab cakes were not bad. Very heavy (mayo again), but not bad, and the sweet potato and green pepper salad they came with was the highlight of the meal.

So...there was nothing to absolutely *hate* here, but I found no reason to go back.

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  1. poor danna...we ate there recently and had a fabulous meal, again.

    1. Joe Scully is an amazing chef. I've had excellent food and good service there. Sorry to here about your experience. Maybe everyone was on vacation after the crazy holiday season?! Hope so.

      4 Replies
      1. re:

        Joe has a good and capable staff and would hate to hear that things had fallen apart when he was away - if that was the case. Danna, I'd send an e-mail.

        1. re: leahinsc

          All the right signs were there...we got there right at opening, and could see the staff tasting things from the kitchen through the windows. A guy came to the bar and was opening fresh bottles of wine and tasting. Both good signs. Everyone was professional and friendly. It's just that the food was mediocre.

          There were no specials..are there usually? There was no bread...usual?

          Leah, how would you compare CK with Vigne?

          1. re: danna

            I know you don't care for FIG but Vigne and FIG have more in common than CK and Vigne. Coincidentally my boss and I were just talking about Vigne and agreed that it was overpriced for what it is.

            1. re: leahinsc

              no no! My HUSBAND doesn't care for Fig. I have liked everything I have eaten there, in particular the scallops and citrus risotto. I like the atmosphere, too.

              If I'm ever allowed to pick again, I'll try Vigne, but yes, it does look like if you were disappointed there, it would be a much more expensive disappointment ;-)

      2. I've found the food to be uneven out of the kitchen as well, maybe not as bad as your experience though. We were there last month and I ordered a pork shank special thinking it would be fall off the bone tender. I was surprised to get a tough piece of underseasoned pork with a tastless sauce. CK falls short for me with the their seasoning and flavoring of their dishes. Either underseasoned which isn't bad all the time (I hate using salt or pepper at a restaurant, it shouldn't be necessary) or over done, particularly sauces that take away from the main flavors of the course. I've only been a few times but have found dishes (particularly the specials) to be hit or miss.