GREAT FINE DINING in Asheville NC
- JB BANNISTER Jun 2, 2008 02:54 PM
I need a really great place in Ashville NC. The fine dining Meetup in Greenville SC wants to make a July trip to the Asheville area. Hendersonville is fine also. Any help would be great. I think some of us will be spending the night up there so a nearby hotel recomendation would be great.
To see where we have eaten got meetup.com and type zip code 29601. Look for our group.
Thank you for your help.
Gabrielle's is widely recognized as the best fine dining in town. It is in the Richmond Hill Inn, where you could also look at staying. It is close to downtwon and Biltmore Village, pretty central location. I have not been, so I can;t say for sure, but it gets good reviews.
Here is the excerpt from the site: "
Recipient of the prestigious AAA Four Diamond Award for the 16th consecutive year, this Asheville restaurant presents an extraordinary dining experience inside the historic Mansion. Savor our continental cuisine in one of three dining rooms. The Mansion's original parlor and dining room, with its rich cherry paneling and three-tiered chandelier, has the stately Victorian ambience of the 1890s. The glass-enclosed sunporch features leather wicker furniture, ceiling fans, and beautiful views. For larger events, guests may receive their meals in the mansion's ballroom and drawing rooms.
Our Executive Chef uses only the finest worldly ingredients to create the sumptuous Tasting Menu. And the lighter ala carte' fare is not to be missed. Both menus have a spectacular wine pairing available."
BTW, on the site it says they are having a wine dinner on July 9. That may be fun for your group.
Next in line, I'd say, would be Fig in Biltmore Village. I have been there, and it's the best meal I've had in Asheville to date. Asheville is a pretty casual town, so there is not a lot of "fine dining"...although there are plenty of great restaurants!
I would 2nd the recommendation for Gabrielle's and I have been there 2 or 3 times. I love their Chef's choice menu with wine pairings. As was pointed out, you could stay there.
Also in that category would be Horizon's at Grove Park Inn .
The Bistro on the Biltmore Estate isn't quite in the same class but the food is very good and you could stay at the Inn on the Estate.
That's pretty much it for that calibre of restaurant...other very good options are: Fig in Biltmore Village, and then maybe Sugo downtown (sometimes inconsistent).
Gabrielle's is good, but since it's changed hands it's gone downhill. I'd suggest Flight
Wood Grill in Hendersonville. They turned an old bank into a beautiful, classy restaurant. Your group could meet in their private converted bank vault. Great food, great wine, very cool atmosphere. And, H'ville is such a quaint setting.
My wife and I had an after-Valentine's Day dinner at "Flight Wood Grill & Wine Bar" last week. I've previously considered "Flight" the special place to occasionally splurge It was expensive but worth the price.....until our last experience. We ate there on a Tuesday evening and, due to the economy, being off-season and mid-week, the place was virtually deserted. We opted for an early dinner and were the only diners in the restaurant when we first arrived. Things started off wonderfully. Prompt service and a beautifully-prepared Sea Scallops with a wilted spinach and Gorgonzola Sauce. Outstanding! After that things rapidly went downhill! We also ordered as a second appetizer of the Wood-grilled Caesar salad. We'd had this previously and it was wonderful. What we were served last night bore no resemblance to our previous Caesar salads. The Romaine lettuce was somewhat charred and the dressing was dreadful. My wife ate a portion of her share and I left most of mine untouched. When the Server cleared the salad no comment was made regarding the untouched portions. Either she didn't notice or didn't care.
Our main course was Corvina (an unusual fish from Chile) for my wife. It was excellent. I chose the Shrimp & Grits. It proved to be a disaster. The sauteed shrimp were rubbery and devoid of any taste and the mushrooms, and scallions with garlic and bacon were nondescript but salty. I will say the grits were good. (Damning with faint praise?) I ended up leaving a good portion of my entree since it bordered on the inedible. Again the Server did not comment that most of my Entree was left on the plate. There was more tI could say, but I think you get the picture.
It saddens we to have to report that we probably will not return to "Flight" in the future. I previously considered "Flight" one of the outstanding restaurants in the area. The day after our unfortunate experience I sent an email to the restaurant. Rob Keener, the Executive Chef, quickly responded with a simple "I'm sorry" and "You should have said something."
In my email to the restaurant I stated that since this was supposed to me a romantic dinner, my complaining would have ruined the atmosphere. I had several other problems with that evening. But I don't want to extend my dialog unnecessarily. I would hope others will report their experiences at "Flight". Hopefully, they will have a beautiful dining experiences, they way we did previously. If many people say our evening just happened to be an "off-night" maybe we will try again in the future.
I've never been to Gabrielle's, but the new S&W is another good choice. I tried it last weekend and was impressed. The interior is beautiful art deco. It is a traditional upscale steakhouse where you order your entree and sides are ala carte (family style.) It is downtown and the bar is upstairs with big windows which are great for people watching. But as far as hotels go, I am at a loss.
I would agree that Richmond Hill has slowly been going down hill over the last 6 to 8 months.
They seemed to have lost most of their staff and just doesn't have the same feeling it had. The new Steak and Wine was really good the other night. I have been twice, the first time food was excellent but staff was weak. Second time both were up to par. Back to the best food in town, I would say we have several places that come to mind. Savoy,Fig, Vincenzo's, Market Place,Limones, Sugo's, Corner Kitchen and Tupelo Honey are always on my list.
Stovetrotters is great! We had great food and so much fun at the "Dinner and a Chef" 8-course dinner. We were visiting from Seattle and looking for an interesting evening. The food compares to the best we've had anywhere. The conversations with the other guests, the chefs and the owner were the icing on the cake.
Other restaraunts that we liked in Asheville: Zambras Tapas and Rezas.
For those that consider Savoy i feel obligated to warn you and save your money... Here is the review i just posted on tripadvisor...
Let me start off by saying I am an ex chef and a big fan a food from dives to five star formal dining. I currently work at a local top rated bed and breakfast and have heard wonderful things about Savoy. I have been sending between 5 - 10 guests there a week ( I apologize to those guests.) I was aware of the high prices so I waited for a special occasion to try it myself. It was my girlfriends birthday and I had a day of pampering ready for her... Savoy was supposed to be the icing on the cake at the end of the night. When making the reservation i was clear where i was calling from and that it was my girlfriends birthday. Upon arrival the greeting was not warm, we were barely acknowledged until the shy by sweet hostess saw us and sat us. We were seated in an uncomfortable corner booth that due to the seating arrangement of the table did not allow us to face each other (ohh the romance.) Our server was nice but was not that of four star dining caliber. When the server finally got around to taking our order ... (apps, salad, and entree) we were not anticipating the long wait for our food. We waited nearly 20 minutes for our appetizer (bruschetta) which was decent, nearly an impossible dish to mess up however. My girfriends caesar salad was brought out ten minutes after we completed our apps and was about as impressive as a McDonalds salad but a smaller portion and for eight or nine bucks a heck of a lot more expensive. Our entrees arrived an hour after we ordered and my steak and sides were cold, my girlfriends penne was hot but less than impressive, and my side of baked mac n cheese came out ten minutes after my entree. Once we were done eating our less than mediocre food we were asked if we wanted dessert. Rewind for a minute... I told them twice before that it was my girlfriends birthday and i wanted them to do whatever they did for birthdays, the woman who took my reservation told me that they could do something special for her. I assumed that it was taken care of so i was hesitant to order dessert, the waiter then announced "i know we have a birthday" and recommended the chocolate caramel tart. We took his advise and about five minutes later he arrived with a tart the size of a Reeses peanut butter cup with a lit candle on the plate held up by melted wax. I believe even at Applebee's or any middle of the line chain if you say its someones birthday they make sure they bring you out a slice of cake, and at nicer restaurants they will bring a more gourmet dessert with out asking. I was charged 8 or 9 dollars for that terrible terrible dessert. My bill at the end was $90 (which would be considered cheap there) with no alcohol or any drinks for that matter besides water. I was extremely disappointed paying this kind of money for that kind of service, lack of care, lack of appreciation for all the business that i had sent their way, pretty much ignoring the fact that it was her birthday, and below par food for any class of restaurant. Then again i would have been upset if i had paid $30 for that meal. In conclusion, save your money and time and disappointment and go somewhere like Rezaz where service, food, and the price are amazing!
"I currently work at a local top rated bed and breakfast and have heard wonderful things about Savoy. I have been sending between 5 - 10 guests there a week ( I apologize to those guests.) I was aware of the high prices so I waited for a special occasion to try it myself. "
Why in the world would you send people to a place you had not tried yourself?
I think there are several restaurants in Asheville that fall into the category of Savoy, i.e. used to be the only game in town in terms of "fine dining" but for whatever reason...change in ownership, change in chefs, competition from new and better restaurants, should have fallen by the wayside but are still hanging on. Savoy and Vincenzo are ones I won't go to any more.
I would like to add something about Flight. Last year about this time (Feb 2008) we chose to try Flight for my son's 30th Birthday -- my son came to vist us from Richmond VA. We had never been to Flight but went on the basis of great reviews. Things started out OK, but then...we waited...and waited... and waited... for our entrees. People around us on the balcony started to leave, we were still sitting and, then, we noticed our plates sitting under the lights on the counter at the kitchen down below, while the cookstaff was cleaning up and putting away. Many more minutes passed. I would have and perhaps should have gone downstairs to tell the waitstaff to deliver our food -- the waitress was engaged in conversation with someone at the cash register. Eventually, she woke up, the food was finally delivered, cold - my son and I ate it dutifully, my wife did not - the food was cold and now the kitchen was closed. Who wants to create a bad scene on your son's 30th birthday? When I expressed my displeasure to the waitress, the maitre-d (also the chef) finally came upstairs and asked, what do you want me to do? I thought to myself, well, why are you asking me? Can you come up with something yourself, like, for instance, we are so sorry, your meal is on us? But no... Bottom line - bad service followed up by arrogance, and no caring at all that they had ruined what we had told them was a special occasion. We will never ever be back. Restaurant owners, why do you alienate your customers when you know that one bad experience lasts and lasts in your customer's minds? A badly managed place - you take your chances.