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Storm Rhum Bar & Bistro, Asheville

Anybody been yet?

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  1. My Boyfriend and I went last night...here is our assessment.

    The Good:

    The space has looks lovely. Nuevo southern with a beachy twist.

    The crowd was clean and professional looking. A nice change from the dreadlocks and hipster wannabes that frequent the area. Not a soul drinking PBR...

    The cocktail list was great. I had a signature mojito, made with lots of fresh mint, grated ginger and coconut water. It was really perfect. There were lots of other creative choices for cocktails including some non alcoholic drinks with different muddled fruit and herbs.

    My boyfriend got a what was said to be fried chicken confit with an egg over it. He enjoyed it. I had a bite and thought the flavor was pretty good. I don't care for dark meat and was also served in the shape of a crabcake. I really wish they would have been more descriptive on their menu.

    French fries and homemade ketchup were served with my sandwhich were the only enjoyable items I tasted.

    The Bad:

    The noise level was terrible. My boyfriend and I could barely hear each other. The waiter had to ask for our order twice.

    They have squeezed the tables together. We were sat in a both/table/chair combination. Two other couples were sat on either side of us and we were literally rubbing elbows. The table behind us was so close that our waiter could not walk through and had to serve our food across the table besides us.

    Our service was weird. At first the waiter was extremely attentive. Then after our app course, he was super spotty. The two tables on either side of us (which were sat 15 mins after us) were both served first. Then at the end of our meal, we sat for 20 mins waiting for our waiter to bring out the check. Finally, some waitress we had never seen before handed us the bill.

    The Ugly...

    The food. We saw a tale get a beautiful plate of ceviche served with fried plantain chips. We ordered the tuna ceviche which was described to have jalepenos, lime, avocado and cilantro. We were served 4 pieces of raw tuna on a plate with a greasy clear sauce. On either side of the plate were about a teaspoon of chopped avocado and this weird onion marinated in sweet chili. Im guessing the jalapeno, lime and cilantrao were on vacation as they were no where to be seen.
    For entree I had the BLT. It was absolutely terrible.The bread was good, the spinach was fresh, I didnt see any tomato. The bacon the very thought of it makes my stomach churn. It was very thick cut pork fat. No red, just pinky white fat. I took a bite and could not get my teeth through it. The man next to me had it as well but did not eat it. My boyfriend a lover of all things pork took a bite and barely got it down.

    To be fair...

    I will say the girls on one side of us both really liked their food. One had a burger and one had a different chicken dish (however the chicken was bone in and not described that way on the menu) and the other a burger. The man on the side of me also had burger and raved about it. I really feel they need to be a little more descriptive in their menu though.

    We are going back Sunday night for a friends Birthday but Im not sure if we will give the food another shot. Overall, great for cocktails with rowdy professional friends that also happens to servce icky food.

    2 Replies
    1. re: caiogirl

      Hmmm... Sounds like a better place to have cocktails than dinner, at least at this point. Spotty service is always a symptom of growing pains, but you should ALWAYS tell your server when the food doesn't reflect what is described on the menu. That's unforgivable, no matter how new the place is. Also, loud I can handle. But loud and CROWDED not so much, esp. if I'm trying to eat dinner. Please let management know if things aren't improved next time, and please let us know here about your second experience. Based on the backgrounds and pedigrees of the owner-operators (Hank's, Peninsula Grill, etc.), there's absolutely no reason why Storm shouldn't ultimately be better than what you've described above.

      1. re: caiogirl

        My first experience there was good. Food, drinks and service were great. Upon my recommendation, some friends took some business associates out and were very disappointed. Two of the entrees were not well heated, one being seafood was completely undercooked. The issue was addressed to the manager but a lack of heat lamp was to blame. Hopefully this was a one time instance as I'd like to go back. The cocktails were fabulous and I especially enjoyed the mac n' cheese.

      2. Am a little confused about the concept. When I first heard about this, I was thinking "Rum" bar and envisioning rum tastings/drinks/etc. But, since I now see it is "Rhum", not "Rum", is it just another bistro or is there some unique spin to it? My husband was VERY excited when he thought a bar focusing on rum was coming to town, he will be sad if that's not the case.

        1. Decided to stop in yesterday (Sunday) afternoon for a cocktail and ended up staying for dinner. Neither the place nor the menu is very big, but I have to say (based on one visit only, of course), they do what they do well. When we first arrived (around 5:30) there were only a couple of other people at the bar and maybe three tables (including a large communal thing near the bar) occupied, but it picked up as time when on. First, they DO specialize in all things rum (or, ahem, "rhum"), but the drink menu isn't limited to just that spirit. Wife had above mentioned mojito with coconut water in it, and I had something called The Devil's Oasis, which features rum, passionfruit, and cayenne-infused honey. There's nothing else in Asheville like it--hot, sweet, and potent. Green Man is also doing a Storm Rum Porter for them, which has been aged in old rum barrels. I was drinking a Stella by then, but the barkeep let me try a sample, and it's pretty darn good. Having tempted us with their alcoholic libations and attentive service (again, they weren't slammed), we decided to give dinner a shot--nothing fancy, because we weren't super hungry. Wife had the fish tacos, made with mahi, and I had a burger with roasted jalapenos, crispy onions, and cheddar, served with fries. Everything was very fresh and very well-prepared. They do their own grinding, BTW, and you can get a medium-rare burger, if that's your thang. (I went with medium.) The fries weren't Bouchon good, but they were good enough. Two cocktails, two beers, and two entrees came to $47.38. (We were too stuffed for dessert.) I should also mention the decor, which is, in the immortal words of David Johansen, "funky but chic," with lots of polished concrete (including a really cool men's room sink), mismatched furniture, minimalist lighting fixtures, and artwork featuring everyone from Miles Davis and Jimi Hendrix to Pablo Neruda and Flaco Jimenez. Finally, though it was getting cool by the time we arrived, they have a lovely wrap-around patio which should prove to be very popular in the warmer months. Oh, and one more thing: Storm is on the LOWER end of Lexington, just a block behind the Orange Peel, which should keep tourists and the lazy away, but so far I'd say it's worth the trek to the bottom of the hill. We will be back to experiment further in both the cocktail and food menus.

          6 Replies
          1. re: Jeff C.

            P.S. Scirocco: Tell hubby he can get an entire flight of different rums at Storm (according to the bartender--I have no idea about the price).

            1. re: Jeff C.

              Ooooo, he'll be a happy happy boy! I, myself, prefer the stuff mixed with something fruity and served with a festive umbrella. :)

              And meant to say earlier, thanks for the clarification of what they offer and for your review!

              1. re: Scirocco

                If you can handle a little heat, I HIGHLY recommend The Devil'd Oasis cocktail.

                1. re: Jeff C.

                  that one did pique my interest. It's the first one I want to try. my favorite FBCL liquid truffle is the cinnamon/cayenne!

                  1. re: Scirocco

                    Then you'll LOVE the Devil's Oasis.

                    1. re: Jeff C.

                      Stopped by today just for a couple of drinks. It was an impromptu visit and we enjoyed it. I got the Devil's Oasis ($10) and loved it, although I had to ask for a bit more passion fruit juice just to make it a little bit sweeter for my taste, but I loved the kick! Once the extra juice was added it was perfect for me. One of our friends got a mojito and said it was very good. Another friend got a (virgin) Tropical Day Dream and liked it a lot (and only $4).

                      At 4:00, we were pretty much the only ones in there, but it allowed us to chat with the bartender quite a bit. He said they take these reviews seriously (here and on other sites - he knew about this thread), and everyone on the staff reads them, so that is good to hear. They want to improve if and where it's needed. I guess the point is, if you have an issue or something disappoints, don't hesitate to tell your server and/or the manager. They want to know.

                      Would love to go back to try some of the food.

          2. Second visit last night was slightly more disappointing. Still love the atmosphere and service. Great cocktails. The roasted beet salad is an excellent starter, though a bit overpriced at $8. The charcuterie plate has lovely meats on it, but for $14 one would expect at least a little cheese. Anyway, we added one the four cheese selections (for an extra $4), and when it came, it was literally a single piece of cheese. One piece of cheese for $4??? That's an outrageous markup, even by restaurant standards. Dessert was rum cake with poached peaches and homemade pistachio ice cream. Again, excellent, but, again, a bit overpriced at $7. Total, pre-tip, for two cocktails, two salads, two beers, the charcuterie plate, and dessert: $74. Next time we'll stick with the booze and lighter fare...

            2 Replies
            1. re: Jeff C.

              Third visit last weekend, and we were pleased. Excellent cocktails on the deck followed by mussels and frites and a cuban sandwich for the wife. (Total, pre-tip:$54) The manager is super attentive, so if you have any problem whatsoever (we didn't), just say something, and he will make it right. This is a restaurant that deserves more love than it is currently getting, foodies. (Hint: start with the burger.)

              Also: rum flights!

              1. re: Jeff C.

                that is great to hear! my husband was eyeballing the rum flights, but he was our DD today, so opted out this time. But, we will definitely be back.

            2. We had such a bad experience, but its great to hear all the good ones. I'll have to give it another try, the mojito was out of this world.

              1. We finally went for dinner last night (too much chatter on here lately - we HAD to try the food! haha). Overall, very pleased. As you said, service was hit/miss. It was great when it was great, then other times, looooong waits. Food and drinks came out very quickly though. It was busy, which was good to see.

                We had: Mixto (swordfish/scallops last night), wedge salad (nice mix of ingredients), small portion ribs which came with slaw and bean side (ribs were good enough, but no 12 Bones - or mine!, slaw was awesome, beans also very good), small portion hanger steak w/arugula and thin fries (very good - I liked the steak much better than my ribs). Agreed on the fries, not Bouchon good, but tasty. Found myself eating many more of them than I usually do (about 3 or 4 and I'm usually good). Got a side of the mac & cheese which we both really liked. We like the creamier style, so it was great. Oh and we also split the brownie dessert. I am most picky about desserts since my strength is baking, but this brownie was pretty good. Moist and dense. Only suggestion - I would've preferred a darker chocolate. this seemed more like milk chocolate - a bit sweet. For drinks, I got the Ernesto which was very tasty and my husband got a flight of rum, which he enjoyed. Total bill was about $64, which we thought was very reasonable for all we got.

                My only negative is that GEEZ that place is noisy!! We found ourselves yelling a lot. Not a fan of that. Some sound absorbing materials on the dining side of the room would go a long way to help with that. But, we would absolutely go back.

                12 Replies
                1. re: Scirocco

                  Agree on every point, Scirocco. Nice review. Go back and try the mussels!

                  1. re: Jeff C.

                    Yes! almost got them this time. How do they compare to others you've had?

                    1. re: Scirocco

                      Pretty darn good. In fact, I would rank them second only to those at The Admiral.

                      1. re: Jeff C.

                        sounds good! have you had them at Trappe Door yet? those have been our favorite so far (mussels quality only, my favorite sauce is at West First).

                        haven't had them at the Admiral yet. We're due for a trip back there sometime soon.

                        1. re: Scirocco

                          I need to get down to the Trappe Door sometime. I didn't even know West First had mussels. I'm so there next weekend.

                          1. re: Jeff C.

                            make sure you call WF first and ask. They always have them on the menu, then last time we went, they had run out. :( their parmesan/garlic/dill (??) cream sauce is SO good. Especially sopped up with their fantastic bread! Also, the lady bartender there had begun experimenting with cocktails. Had a pear ginger martini that was really delicious.

                            1. re: Scirocco

                              Sounds great. Thanks.

                              1. re: Jeff C.

                                We tried Storm last Thursday evening. We approached the door with another couple and let them go ahead of us. They had made a reservation and it quickly became apparent that the restaurant had lost the rez. The couple was agitated but polite, stating that they had called to confirm just that afternoon and now there was no rez. The girl at the front did a really horrible job handling it and was a total ditz. The weird thing was that the restaurant was half-empty. Finally after several minutes of going round and round the ditzy hostess said if they sat at the bar she could get them a table in about 15 minutes. ??? The couple was of course fine with this so finally we were attended to next. By now a big crowd had gathered in the entry so the idiot had her work cut out for her!

                                We opted to sit outside and sat there for a long time before being offered menus or water or drinks. Again, the strange thing was that two different people came over to us asking us if we had been helped - when we said no they said "we'll send someone right over." Finally the waitress came and I must admit that once she was clued in that she was assigned to us she did a pretty good job. But service up to that point was undeniably abysmal. They look like they have put a LOT of money into the place so it is my opinion that they need to fix this problem fast.

                                Honestly, I didn't like the cocktails. I thought they were weak and small, and at $9-10 each I want to be able to taste my rum. As for the food, we thought is was good but didn't order much because quite honestly I didn't want to give this place any more of my money. The mac and cheese was very good and a fried chicken confit thing was pretty phenomenal. It's a shame the drinks and service were so bad, otherwise I'd definitely go back.

                                We were still hungry so decided to revisit Limones for the first time in a long time. By comparison, for the same price we paid at Storm we had two large, potent, fresh margaritas (that's the way to make a $10 drink!) a huge plate of tasty lobster nachos, a sharable portion of chile rellenos and a tequila-spiked mexican coffee for dessert. It was money much better spent...

                                1. re: miss piggy

                                  I am very surprised your drinks were weak. Ours have been pretty stout! in fact, my devil's oasis had so much liquor in it that I had to have them add an extra splash of passion fruit juice. I've found the $9 - $10 range to be pretty standard these days for martini-sized cocktails. Not saying I like it, but seems to be the norm.

                                  1. re: miss piggy

                                    Hmmm... We've had cocktails at Storm several times, and they have never been weak. Spotty service, however, continues to be an issue, as I've indicated previously. When were there a couple of weeks ago, we noticed several new servers--which is good because they've picked up and have been needing additional staff. However, it is also evident that the new kids aren't up to snuff on how things should flow. Time will tell, but for now the food (and drink) are solid enough that I'm willing to put up with occasionally uneven service.

                                    1. re: miss piggy

                                      We went early last Monday night. Were seated outside promptly, and given food and drink menus. There was hardly anyone inside (we had peeked in), and only one other two-top outside.

                                      Maybe it was the heat making me peevish, but after waiting for nearly ten minutes for someone to take our order, and no one coming, we got up and left.

                                      Headed to Posana for wonderful cocktails, and then to the Noodle Shop for some great food (as always).

                                      I'd have to hear that they have improved their service before I would head back to Storm. There's a big difference between "leisurely" and "absent."

                                      -----
                                      Posana Cafe
                                      1 Biltmore Ave, Asheville, NC 28801

                                      1. re: Alex Halsey

                                        No excuse for that, Alex. Manager, are you listening?