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ASHVILLE- Anniversary dinner. PLEASE Help.

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NatasiaM Nov 2, 2008 07:37 AM

Good morning to everyone, I have been going insane for the past few hours looking for two good restaurants for my anniversary weekend in Asheville (Nov. 14-16). I have scoured at least 25 menus, and have yet to find a place that I'm dying to go to. I have seen good reviews for Zambras, and Limones so those are possibilities, but I would like to expand my choices. While I can appreciate rich flavors and different cuisines, unfortunately my husband can not. He is an extremely picky eater, and so I'd like to stick to a place that serves dynamic chicken or beef dishes. I looked at the menu for Bistro 1896, and there seemed to be some delicious-sounding chicken dishes on their menu, so is it worth a try? Any help I can get would be sincerely appreciated. I have literally been on 25 different sites to look at menus, before I found chowhound and registered to use this.

Also, please also consider the environment. Ambiance is a must, considering it is our anniversary. Thank you so much for the help!!

  1. n
    NatasiaM Nov 3, 2008 06:10 AM

    Thank you everyone for your help! I really really appreciate it!

    19 Replies
    1. re: NatasiaM
      Joe H Nov 6, 2008 06:47 AM

      Asheville's best restaurant is the creative "New Southern" Table downtown. Softly lit, personal, approaching Atlanta's Bacchanalia or D. C.'s Vidalia for excellence it was the equal of any dinner on a trip which included Greenville's Soby's and Savannah's Sapphire Grill.

      We were at Zambra the next night and enjoyed it but, honestly, it's nowhere near the level that Table is on. I should also note that last Monday night Table was full with every table occupied and several turning over while we were there. It was 35 degrees, windy with snow flurries that night.

      Table is known. It is also Asheville's best restaurant and among the best if it were elsewhere. I cannot rave about it enough. Zambra would also be worth a visit as would-for breakfast or lunch-Tupelo Honey's. There is a shockingly good chocolate shop in downtown Asheville called Chocolate Fetish. Particularly, you are looking for their $2.00 each "European" truffles which would be good if you found one in Manhattan.

      1. re: Joe H
        jbyoga Nov 7, 2008 08:05 PM

        Hi Joe and other readers - With all due respect head to The French Broad Chocolate Lounge for the best chocolate in this town. Superlative...

        1. re: Joe H
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          leahinsc Nov 8, 2008 01:56 AM

          With such a plethora of good restaurants I would hesitate to call Table Asheville's "best". Also, if you are looking for ambiance I think this is definitely a shortcoming for Table. It has only one dining area with one wall as primarily glass block so it can be a bit noisy especially if it is a busy weekend night.
          I would recommend Fig in Biltmore Village which is also a small restaurant but offers a more intimate dining experience. Your husband would probably enjoy Stoney Knob in Weaverville ( a short 10 minute drive from downtown). ask for the "red room" that has high red walls and a fire place and only about 4 tables. Stoney Knob serves some of the best meals in Asheville at the best price. Corner Kitchen, also in Biltmore Village has some individual rooms (get a corner tablein the room w/ the fireplace downstairs or upstairs there is a deuce in a corner that looks out over the Village). that would be nice and romantic. You could stroll around Biltmore Village lit up with lights before or after. CK is consistently very good and always features very good beef and chicken items..
          Chocolate Fetish IS a very good chocolate shop but Chocolate Lounge is a sit-down experience and in addition to chocolate you can order coffee, beer/wine and desserts.

          1. re: leahinsc
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            pilches Nov 8, 2008 05:25 AM

            I'm surprised nobody mentioned Cucina 24. We were there recently and were very impressed. I also think Rezaz is very good and has a very diverse menu. There should be something there for everyone.

            1. re: pilches
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              leahinsc Nov 8, 2008 05:54 AM

              I thought about mentioning Cucina 24...for some reason I was thinking more American leaning - I guess because of the reference to chicken and beef. But definitely...Cucina 24 should be on the list of top places in downtown.

            2. re: leahinsc
              Joe H Nov 8, 2008 04:35 PM

              Interesting that you would not have a higher opinion of Table. It is not elegant nor refined; rather simplistic and straight forward in its presentation. I stand by my opinion. Also I am not considering intimacy, elegance or proximity to a fireplace; only that which is presented on the plate. For me this restaurant was a "discovery," superior to what I expected. My mention of Bacchanalia and Vidalia (both regional Beard winners) was not without some thought: Table IS an excellent restaurant by Asheville, Atlanta or D. C. standards. More people should visit Asheville to discover this restaurant (and Soby's in Greenville, too).

              1. re: Joe H
                danna Nov 10, 2008 05:36 AM

                Table has must have improved a lot since I was there to be compared to any Beard winners. On second thought, our tastes may just be different, because I think very poorly of Soby's or any other restaurant run by the Table 312 cluster in G'ville.

                But when it comes to chocolates, Joe H and I agree entirely! i think Chocolate Fetish is great, and superior to the Chocolate Lounge.

                1. re: danna
                  Joe H Nov 10, 2008 11:46 AM

                  Table has no relationship to Soby's. I mentioned Soby's as an example of an excellent restaurant in a smaller town/city that should receive more regional attention than it does.

                  1. re: Joe H
                    danna Nov 11, 2008 04:51 AM

                    Yes, I'm sorry, I didnt' mean to imply that I thought Table was related to Sobys. Just that I'm very surprised you like Soby's.

                  2. re: danna
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                    sarahyla Nov 11, 2008 01:39 PM

                    I third the rec for FB Chocolate Lounge over the chocolate fetish!!!!!

                    1. re: sarahyla
                      danna Nov 12, 2008 04:35 AM

                      do your really prefer their chocolates? or is your rec more directed to the place in general? 'Cause I really like Chocolate lounge, great atmosphere, love the french press coffee, they've got a nice selection of wines by the glass and nice stemware, sinful desserts, and Ultimate ice cream. I could spend all day in there...but specifically the quality of their dark chocolate I think is inferior to choc. fetish.

                      1. re: danna
                        Joe H Nov 12, 2008 05:59 AM

                        Specifically, the dark chocolate "European" truffles at the Chocolate Fetish which must be eaten within ten days of being made. Not three day Spreugli truffles from Zurich, the Chocolate Line in Brugges nor Munich's Dallmyer's Champagne truffle (best I have ever had) but these are truly excellent for truffles on this side of the Atlantic. You are fortunate to have these FRESH chocolate truffles available to you in Asheville.

                        1. re: Joe H
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                          sarahyla Nov 12, 2008 12:13 PM

                          i think those of us who live in Asheville will mostly think we're much more fortunate to have a place such as the French Broad lounge that has an emphasis on local and organic ingredients, certified fair trade chocolate, and a really comfy atmosphere too...

                          1. re: sarahyla
                            danna Nov 12, 2008 12:28 PM

                            see, that's what I'm getting at...I think the allure of French Broad is something other than it's chocolate quality. not that there's anything wrong with that ;-)

                            1. re: danna
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                              leahinsc Nov 12, 2008 01:28 PM

                              I'm not sure what the big deal is...one is a smaill retail shop(Fetish) and the other is more a restaurant (Lounge)...I don't even think they view each other as competition

                              1. re: leahinsc
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                                DeacDiggler Nov 12, 2008 07:11 PM

                                How about the Grove Park Inn? It's beautiful. My wife and I got engaged there 10 years ago. Horizons restaurant was outstanding and had a pretty "normal" menu.

                                1. re: leahinsc
                                  danna Nov 13, 2008 04:28 AM

                                  why, Leah, we're HOUNDS! We're REQUIRED to parse out every little issue of which bite is better than which other bite. No nit too small to pick.
                                  *wink*

                                  1. re: danna
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                                    leahinsc Nov 13, 2008 05:56 AM

                                    hey Danna - I was down in Greenville earlier this week and was amazed at all the restaurants now. It's been ages since I've been...High Cotton, Smoke...and there were several other on that side of the river. Can you post a brief synopsis of what's good downtown ...don't need to hear about Soby's ("wink")

                                    1. re: leahinsc
                                      danna Nov 13, 2008 08:26 AM

                                      Briefly:

                                      Good - American Grocery, (Northhampton) Wine Cafe, Chicora Alley(although in a completely diff. bar-food class from the others)

                                      Tolerable - High Cotton, Mary's, Pomegranite, Oysters

                                      Bad - Smoke on the Water, Mellow Mushroom

                                      Unknown to me - Rick Erwin's, Liberty Tap Room (reported as bad food, but I've had a good beer there w/ my dog), Overlook Grill(looks bad)

                                      Since you were mentioning that end of downtown ("The West End"), I didn't cover anything above the Peace Center.

            3. v
              vein1 Nov 2, 2008 11:22 AM

              Happy Anniversary!! We have been to Zambras twice the first tiime it was excellent, the second time they were busy and our food was slow to arrive. If you go it is probably best to make a reservation. Bistro 1896 is excellent we have dined there several times in the last few months. The two are very different in style. We would recommend both.

              1 Reply
              1. re: vein1
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                miss piggy Nov 2, 2008 03:10 PM

                I would strongly recommend Fig in Biltmore Village. Excellent service and top-notch food. You may think the menu looks simple, but I assure you that you will have an incredible meal. We just celebrated our anniversarry there and it was fabulous. My husband had an incredible filet special, and I had a scallop special that was outstanding.

                http://www.figbistro.com

              2. n
                NANCY Nov 2, 2008 08:51 AM

                I'd consider Rezaz ~ http://www.rezaz.com/ . Took some visitors who are very definitely meat & potatoes types there last week. The steak special was a NY strip (I'm pretty sure) served with potatoes & asparagus. They loved it and ate every bite. You'll love the rest of the menu.

                Happy anniversary.

                ps....I just looked at their online menu. The menu last week was much different, so you may want to call and have them fax you a current menu.

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