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Feb 14, 2010 10:52 AM

Dinner in Asheville

My wife and I are going to be in Asheville next weekend. We have reservations at the Red Stag on Saturday night, but would like some suggestions for Thursday and Friday. We have been to Asheville innumerable times, but is has been four years since we spent any time their without the kids in tow. We are big foodies and hardcore locavores. We aren't concerned with price, and would rather splurge on a nice meal than sacrifice taste for price. I'd appreciate any suggestions of places that might fit that niche. Also, lunch suggestions would be appreciated. We will eat anything, and love finding hidden gems/hole in the walls/dives with great food, wine, brews, and atmosphere. We will be staying at the Grand Bohemian, but geography is not a factor. We're willing to drive anywhere in town for good eats.

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  1. Highly recommend The Admiral (does not serve lunch) You can find many comments on The Admiral on other Asheville related posts

    1. Definitely do a search...A'ville has lots and lots of great restaurants. Bouchon, Salsa's, Tupelo Honey, Table, Zambra, 12 Bones are some of my favorites. New places that I haven't tried, but sound promising include Lexington Avenue Brewery, Chai Pani, Sazerac, and Kathmandu Cafe.

      10 Replies
      1. re: carolinadawg

        Thanks. It all looks good. We will have to figure out a way to try them all. The Admiral sounds like a must do, as do Chai Pani and 12 Bones.

        1. re: Dr.Ron

          FYI: Reservations are now a MUST for The Admiral.

          1. re: Dr.Ron

            I would strongly recommend Mela over Chai Pani if you are interested in Indian cuisine. Chai Pani's menu consists of Indian "street food" - a lot of fried options in a very casual, order-at-the-counter type place. It is an interesting place but not somewhere I'd suggest if you have a limited time in Asheville. Mela, on the other hand, is a much nicer restaurant, has a fun and lively ambiance, good cocktails and excellent food. The rice is perfection, and the fish curry, shrimp madras jingha masala and chicken tikki masala are all highlights.

            For dinner I'd rec Admiral, Zambra (downtown) and Fig. Fig is in Biltmore Village and would be a nice walk from your hotel. 12 Bones is good for lunch if you like BBQ (be there early or be prepared to wait in a long line outside...worth it, though) and I'd also suggest Tupelo Honey downtown (always a long wait there too). Have fun...

            1. re: miss piggy

              I concur with Miss Piggy. If you've only time for one Indian place during your visit, make it Mela.

              1. re: miss piggy

                ditto miss Piggy. Admiral and 12 Bones are THE must-do's in Asheville. 12 Bones downtown is not open on the weekend, however you could drive out to the one in Arden on Sat, and find the wait not as long as Downtown on Friday. Zambra coming in third, and Fig a fine choice as well.

                I personnally would not wait in line long for Tupelo Honey, Sunny Point is just as good (although you may have a wait there as well) if not better.

                1. re: danna

                  Thanks for all the info. Keep the recs coming. I'm developing a nice list of places for this trip and future journeys. All of these sound really good. Locals, can you direct us to any really good organic/farm to table/locavore haunts. I'd love to hear where you guys get your organic fix. (yes, I'm a old hippie tree hugger, although, unlike many of my friends, I love my animal friends (on a plate, that is). =)

                  1. re: Dr.Ron

                    I know this is not helping you for this trip, but it sounds like you need to come to Asheville during the growing season, and hit the City Market on Charlotte street. While I'm not a hippie tree hugger, I'm overwhelmed with joy and lust when load up my basket w/ local cheeses and breads and pastries and pastas and then I tear up a little upon snagging the fluttering micro greens, the glowing chard, gorgeous little fingerlings....I have to stop. Sorry...this weather has me a little overwrought when I think about spring, and whether it will ever come. ;-)

                    Seriously, though...I'm not sure where you'll find much in the way of local produce. You may find local jam (Imladris..yum) at Sunny Point or Tupelo Honey, and local cheeses at Greenlife or Earth Fare (grocery stores). I think some of the meats at the Admiral will be local, too. Oh, and Asheville is FULL of local beer, and a lot of it good!

                    1. re: danna

                      And pick up some Lusty Monk mustard at Greenlife, too!

                      1. re: Jeff C.

                        Oh, how I miss the Lusty Monk mustard. Sadly, I'm back in Florida and have used up the jar I brought back. Next time I'll bring several! It's funny, I have lost of "gourmet" mustards, but that's my favorite!

                    2. re: Dr.Ron

                      Although not the best restaurant in town, Table seems to be more committed to farm-to-table cuisine than most other restaurants in town. I'm sure some others on this board may have more to add. Given the list you are compiling, I would skip Table unless you really want that experience. Just about all the other places mentioned are better (in my experience).

                      Also, most of the places mentioned on this thread offer some amount of local food. It just seems that Table places a bit more emphasis on it than most. The Admiral does offer a LOT of local fare on their menu though (they just don't flaunt it so much). Do not skip The Admiral!!

            2. The original comment has been removed
              1. Just back in from our weekend in Asheville. One word, fantastic. Details later, gotta get unpacked, kids in the bed, and settled in for the week ahead.