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Jun 11, 2009 08:43 AM

Asheville Fig - similar to Market Place?

I'll be in town this weekend and given the great reviews (Tripadvisor, here, etc) want to give Fig a try. But the pictures and descriptions of the food, along with some reviews make me think it's similar in approach to the Market Place, which I didn't enjoy. I ate there two times and both times was underwhelmed - it seemed like there was almost no flavor.

Even if the quality is better, would you describe fig as having a very delicate approach and lightly flavored? If so, would I be better off at Table or Nova, which I'm also considering? Also, does the Admiral have a website?

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  1. nah...I wouldn't compare the two. I, also, found Market Place to be bland, but it has been YEARS since I went there, so things could have changed. Fig tries to be French bistro-ish, at least that's the way I take it.

    1. Fig is nothing like the Market Place. We went to Market Place once when we first moved here three years ago and have never been back. Fig is excellent!!!! We eat there at least once or twice a week when we are in town. Everything is flavorful and delicious. Fig would be my first choice. Table, Nova or the Admiral are all great second choices. Table and Nova have a nicer ambience. The Admiral is an old divey bar that is kind of hip, but the food is delicious.

      1. Fig is nothing like the Market Place. They are much smaller and and attention to detail is greater. Fig is also in the Biltmore area which has a host of great places to dine. The new hotel is doing a fine dining, Stovetrotters, Corner Kitchen and Reza's are all out performing most of the downtown places now. My choice between Table and Nova is Nova hands down. My reason for picking Nova is they have a better wine list.

        1 Reply
        1. re: ncwino

          We're not big wine drinkers. Is the food better at Nova? We we're thinking of going to Nova, but is Fig the better of two, purely based on the food?

        2. Excellent meal at Fig!

          My wife and I drove 500+ miles today, arriving around 7pm, only to discover downtown Asheville occupied by Belle Chere. We were coming from Brooklyn, and had only been here before on 4th of July--so all we could be sure of was that we wanted to avoid downtown.

          Hence Fig.

          Couldn't have been happier!

          Wonderful service (thanks, Jenny!) Wonderful winelist (special Tavel rose and rueda by the glass. Believe me when I say that either of these would have been memorable in the Big Apple).

          Ordered Gazpacho and mussels as appetizers, with the green salad (goat cheese + walnuts) and gnocchi. Waiter apologized that the gazpacho was out, so would we want chilled cauliflower soup with creme fraiche. We would. We were very happy.

          The soup--which had clearly been prepared on fairly short notice--was exquisite; think grown up Vichysoisse. And while you might expect a salad of mixed greens with walnuts and goat cheese to be ho-hum, this one was as good as a salad could be. Continued surpises: the mussels were very well cooked--tender, moist, with a nicely spicy sauce. And the gnocchi came with a vegetable ragout that was a revelation: spinach, lentils, a fennel ragout--the kind of haute simple food that makes you think you could learn to cook if you tried a little bit harder and really paid attention.

          We almost never order dessert, but we were feeling good, so we had the special blueberry sorbet (with lemon/tarragon jus!) and apple tart. Yum

          OK--all that, plus three glasses of wine. Total tab: $88!

          Folks, all I can say is, next time you pull off the road in Asheville after a 500-mile drive, and want a grown-up meal in truly gracious surroundings, with no parking hassles, and a gentle tab--this is the place.