Restaurants in Asheville NC
Hubby and I will be vacationing in Asheville for our 25th anniversary. Of course, we will see the Biltmore, but I was looking through restaurant.com for coupons at restaurants near where we will be staying (zip code 28803). Has anyone been to these restaurants and what did you think of them?
Havana Cuban Cuisine
Ophelia's World Cafe
Sante Wine Bar
Any other suggestions are of course welcome!!
Thank you for your help!!
wow, there are a lot here - will only write about ones I've been to:
-Cafe Azalea - have only been there 2x - just ok - it seems to be evolving into more of a bar than restaurant but perhaps that's just my perception
-corner kitchen - consistently good - in Biltmore Village -
-Havana - pretty good cuban-style
-Ophelia's - only went once - very undewhelmed w/ food and service
-Sante- great place for bar apps and wine and people watching
-Southside cafe - S. Asheville landmark - dated dining space - service can be snooty but food is generally good
-Sugo - I think they are out of business now
-Vincenzo's - unreliable - some good meals some wretched
-Zambra - cool and romantic space - great tapas - generally food and service are very good
Ones not on here:
Stoney Knob in Weaverville - one of my fav's
Curra's in Woodfin - Austin/"new" Mexican - very good and fresh
Cucina 24 - stellar Italian - they are probably why Sugo's went out of business
Fig - Biltmore Village - small place but a great menu that changes w/ the season
I second the Stoney Knob recommendation-it's also one of my faves. I've eaten barbecue at Luella's on several occasions, and it has always been really good-moist and flavorful, very much in the eastern NC tradition with the vinegar-based sauce, although they do offer a tomato-based sauce as well. Their mac and cheese is great, IMO. We've had experiences at Frankie Bones that ranged from pretty okay to fabulous, but we enjoy it for lunch more so than dinner. Their lunch menu offers two "combo" options, one being the Two-Way Parlay, where you get to pick two items (several entrees, sandwiches, salads, soups, and sides from which to choose) for $7.50; the other being the Full Parlay, where you pick three items, for $8.99. They also have make-your-own s'mores, which is a lot of fun. I did not like Havana the one time I went, and Southside Cafe was a regular date destination for my husband and myself before we were married, but we haven't been more than a couple of times since we were married 13 years ago. The food was always good in the past. No, no, no to Pastabilities; it's very poor.
Mayfels is a mixed bag - can be inconsistent. I've usually gone there by default when the wait is too long at Tupelo Honey!
Vincenzo's is kind of old school. There are a couple of menu items they do really well (saltimbocco is one I recall off hand). I don't like the upstairs. I like the downstairs bar area, but it is a smoking area. They do a good traditional martini, the oysters and other apps are good, the bartenders are great. Often have piano music too. Nice for a drink and a nibble in a more grown-up bar, especially if you want to be able to have an un-rushed conversation.
The also offer two sizes for many of their mains, which is a plus for me! I order selectively, and always have a very good meal.
Zambra - food is interesting, creative and usually very good. Atmosphere is quite nice. Not a place to go to if you are in a hurry! The menu lends itself to a leisurely meal, and the focus level of most of their servers insures a slow pace. (45 min. wait for a not made to order desert?) That said, most of my out of town guests always wanted to go there - it is a very Asheville sort of place.
Happy Anniversary! You don't say when you are going...some places cut back on hours between Jan - March. If you visit then, call and confirm hours before you make a trip to a specific restaurant!
Of the places you mentioned I've been to I'd recommend Sante and Zambra for a drink and lite fare, and well...that's about it. Not that the others are bad...I just haven't been to them.. Another poster mentioned Fig and Cucina 24 - both great. Avoid Mayfels and Rita's. Have a great time!
Of these, I would only (but also definitely) pick:
Corner Kitchen - excellent for lunch, dinner or brunch (by Biltmore)
Luella's BBQ - very casual but solid BBQ and sides - not near downtown or Biltmore, though
Sante Wine Bar - nice for a drink, app if you can sit outside or in the cozy back area
Zambra - my top choice of those listed