Admiral, Table or Curate in Asheville
Trying to make my decision for one dinner in asheville, please help me decide
I think Admiral is in another class from other restaurants in Asheville. The cooking is at a level of creativity you aren't finding elsewhere. The only way I would select Curate instead is if I were dining with a large group of people, some of which were problem-eaters when it comes to trying new things, or if a shiny new, modern dining room were important to me. Or if I couldn't get a res....
I liked Curate, don't get me wrong, but the Admiral is special.
I don't like Table at all. I admit I have not been there at dinner, but the lunches I had there were both quite mediocre.
I agree that The Admiral is in another class. I have not been to Curate, but the meals I've had at The Admiral are among the best I've had anywhere. I would definitely choose it over Table, even though I have enjoyed my meals at Table. But any time I go to Asheville, I want to do a dinner at The Admiral.
1. I've expressed my views about Avl restaurants before, arousing much ire.
2. I live in N Avl having moved very reluctantly from W Avl...originally from NY-NJ...not Italian but raised in working-class Italian neighborhood.
3. ----enough resume...
4. IMO Admiral is worth visiting in order to sample a true "W Avl Experience" that isn't too young eg Universal Joint or that isn't primarily a bar ie bar in building with El Dorado painted on side. IMO W Avl experience is great in latter 2 venues, also
5. As an aside People here either ARE W Avl people or not...I am
6. Have not eaten @ Table though it is my best female friend's favorite restaurant in town
7. Have eaten @ Admiral many (too many) times only because it is my best male friend's favorite restaurant
8. Have eaten @ Curate a few times alone which for me is typical...
9. IMO it is not appropriate to compare A & C---simply no way in similar categories
10. Were I forced to choose however I would definitely go to C...I like Katie...the food is no way pretentious (and for many reasons one might expect it to be)...and the plates are attractive, quality of ingredients high...very simple though tasty food that is prepared well (though it doesn't take much skill to cook what's on the menu...seasoning & presentation however are IMO consistently better than average)...I have had several disappointments (understatement) & the gazpacho is insipid...however, I adore the fried eggplant including the absolutely stunning olive oil used by the kitchen; I also enjoy Curate's scallops...presentation is sensuous, scallops cooked exquisitely...could eat these any day...the shrimp & garlic is their most popular dish among townies; I am not fond of shrimp but tried it as a good way to evaluate the restaurant (I have a precise set of rules for testing & judging a place...); anyway, the dish is addictively good; I still don't like shrimp & won't order the dish again; however, I would highly recommend it...
11. My opinions about The Admiral and rationales for my opinions could, at least, end up as a Master's Thesis...will make 1 comment...I return from time to time for the atmosphere and because it is my best friend's favorite restaurant. However, The Admiral is the most consistently uneven restaurant I have ever frequented (and I am old & a foodie etc etc); admittedly, quality of ingredients very high; however, the cooks have for one reason or another ruined high-quality food items so frequently that literally I can almost cry thinking about it...I really would like the the place to live up to its reputation...
12. BTW I do not ever mind spending $$ on food that I consider worth it (according to my system); however, I resent paying for food @ The Admiral...lunch @ Curate has cost me as much as $45--without wine or bottled water or dessert...I mostly don't mind...BTW IMO the decor is tacky...
13. I don't think there are any good Avl restaurants by serious standards; however, the best of what is here (by the criteria I use) and, also, compared to other restaurants in its price range is Bouchon...
I think Admiral and Curate are both worthy. It depends on what kind of experience you're after. If you want creative daring in the flavor combinations, go with The Admiral. If you prefer quality ingredients simply prepared, go with Curate. I would skip Table.
P.S. Unless you want to eat at the bar, you'll need a reservation at either of the above.
I am a foodie from Atlanta and here are my observations:
I have been going to Asheville every year for 3 years during the Christmas season. The Admiral never has availability, it's either closed or booked, however I have heard some great raves from people whom I think may have great taste food-wise.
I usually dine at Fig which is very good but this year was looking for something different (their menu never seems to change, though their Bolognese is to die for). I have been to Bavarian Restaurant in Weaverville which, if you like German food, in excellent.
Table I have visited twice. I find the food just too pretentious and just not worthwhile. I wouldn't consider returning.
This year I have reservations at Curate for the first time. I am willing to give it a try, but don't have the highest expectations. I will hit the Admiral too, IF I can even get a seat at the bar!
1. If you hit The Admiral without a reservation between 5-5:30 bar availability is a very good bet
2. I will qualify what I am saying simply to insure that I won't be sued; however, IMO Fig is the biggest rip-off for the $$ in town; I would wager good $$ that this venue has the lowest food costs in Avl (ie way less than 20%); not to extend this to monograph length---in no way is Fig a French bistro as strongly implied on their webpage...enough...
yes, if you show up at the admiral at 5, you can eat at he bar. I have never failed in that endeavor. Show up at 6 and it's another story.
I suspect Curate will give you a pleasant dinner, even if it doesn't knock your socks off. Eating there at dinner is a good choice, because for some reason the price doesn't stick in my throat as much for dinner as it does for lunch.
If you have extra meals, the Junction is fun as is Storm. Have you been to Zambra?
Please give us your reviews after your trip!