Slightly Upscale Steakhouse[Grove Park, Asheville NC]
My wife and I dined at the Sunset Terrace Grille at the Grove Park Inn during a recent visit to Asheville.
Our reservations were for 7:30pm on a Sunday night. Our first choice was Horizons, but it is not open on Sunday nights. The Sunset Terrace Grille is billed as an upscale casual Steak and Seafood Restaurant. It has won several awards and has a notable wine list.
My wife and I arrived about 5min early and we were seated at precisely 7:30pm. Our table was in the middle of the room and near the fireplace. Overall very nice. Our server was enthusiastic but slightly inexperienced- unsure of herself when describing the menu and specials.
I examined the extensive wine list and chose a moderately priced 2007 Ca Pinot Noir, unfortunately I don’t recall the name. Quite good and a nice pairing with our meal.
We both ordered the Wedge Lettuce/Blue Cheese salad. My wife ordered the 14oz Ribeye and I went for the Veal Porterhouse. The restaurant offers what are called “upgrades” for the meat dishes. Oscar, Diane, and Surf & Turf. Oscar is as expected with lump crabmeat, asparagus and hollandaise. Diane is mushroom, brandy, whole grain mustard and mashed potatoes. Surf & Turf adds a 6oz lobster tail. A “special” upgrade for the evening was 3 diver scallops wrapped in bacon. I opted for “Oscar” and my wife ordered the Scallops.
The salads were average. A modest mound of shredded lettuce, julienne carrot strips, bacon bits and blue cheese dressing. The bacon bits were fine, while the dressing was bland with very little blue cheese included. Everything was cold and did taste fresh.
Our entrees were delivered after a reasonable wait. My wife’s ribeye was nicely seared, with a subtle rub and great flavor. I tasted one of her scallops and it was excellent. Tender and bursting with flavor, while the bacon was nice and crispy.
Unfortunately my veal dish was not as good. The veal was nicely seared, with a subtle rub on the exterior and was perfectly cooked. However the meat was very tough. This surprised me as high quality veal, cooked rare/med-rare tends to be very tender. The hollandaise was bland and lacking lemon flavor. The asparagus spears were cooked crisp tender and were fresh as was the generous amount of lump crabmeat. Had the veal not been tough, it would have been a nice meal.
We shared a chocolate mouse for desert. Not the best we have had, but not the worst either. Light, frothy with a decent chocolate flavor.
Overall this restaurant reminded me of a slightly upscale chain steakhouse. You wont go hungry, but it will not be your first recommendation to a friend.
3 stars (average)
Thanks for the review. While the GPI is a spectacular property and a wonderful place to stay, unfortunately its food doesn't match its ambience. As your review indicates, it's not bad, but it's certainly not worthy of the prices they charge and it has the potential to be so much more.
we go to the Sunset Terrace only when it's truly on the terrace (in the warmer months). The terrace is wonderful when it's nice out - fantastic view. I think the whole experience would be lacking indoors. ??
And we tend to stay away from the a la carte steaks unless a real "splurge" meal. I think those are a ripoff. The other entrees aren't priced that way. Why the steaks? The other (non a la carte) entrees are more reasonably priced and have been good for us. So far. :)
I agree with Danna that your reviews are informative and well written. however, I would respectfully suggest that you use a more descriptive title that includes the restaurant name and location, as opposed to a generic descriptor like "Slightly Upscale Steak house". Many people scan down the board looking at thread titles for restaurants and cities that interest them, and it is much easier to determine a thread's relevance if it contains that information.