Report: Philly to Asheville, NC
Thanks for all of your reports that permitted us this great trip.
Went south on 81 through Maryland, WV, Virginia and 25 minutes in Tennessee, returning by the same route.
Most nights we had a cocktail and wines by the glass.
Staunton, VA for2 nights. Staunton Grocery set the bar for our trip. Open kitchen. Well-informed staff. New American and very big on the farm to table thing. Didn't note what we had, but everything was awesome.
Zynandoa - ate early due to Shakespeare tix. Wife loved trout with peppers. I overdid it with chicken with grits in cheese sauce and mac and cheese side whichwere all great, but obscenely rich. Excellent service and nice drinks.
Stayed at the new Royal Bohemian Hotel in the Biltmore area. Great rooms, good location for tourists, not in Asheville center, but close. Don 't recommend staying in Biltmore estate due to welrd traffic pattern.
Corner Kitchen: nice drinks, smoked trout and salmon app, good trout entree. Pleasant service. I wouldn't return.
Cuchina 24 (in Asheville). We never eat Italian on vacation because it's so good around Philly, but we wanted artisonal pizza one night and were shocked by how good this place was. Stated with a cichetti of Fava bean puree with mint, roasted garlic and honey...awesome. We also freaked out on the goat cheese panna cotta. The pizzas were excellent...wood oven baked, very thin.
Rezaz/Enoteca-Mediterranean, superb food, great service. Best paella I ever had anywhere, even Spain, Portugal, and Newark, NJ. Thinks were layered so each item was perfectly cooked and he used Arborio rice. Pomegranite/nut dip in Enoteca bar was also excellent.
Fig- was suspicious and unsure because some posts were questionable. Drinks were good. Wines by glass were well-chosen. Both entrees, chicken and trout, were beautiflly prepared and presented. Spoke with waitress about there Mac and Cheese (my greatest weakness) and she ordered my a side (mac, cheese, opplewood smoked bacon..insanely good).
Lexington, VA - coming home stopped for two nights at House Mountain Inn outside Lexington. Beautiful place, big gorgeous, rooms. Really nice breakfast. Don't recommend staying for dinners. Food is better in town, though owners are gracious and serve nice wine and cheese at 4 PM.
Red Hen - small place, open kitchen. Charming waitress. Easy to dialogue with chef and assistant chef, both very creative. Everything is sourced locally from farms and bought that day. Sausages are handmade by them and awesome. Most cutting-edge, innovative cuisine of trip. They ha a killer Pinot Noir bottle not on their list which was perfect with our meal.