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Jun 17, 2012 01:55 PM

Asheville Public - River Arts Dist Asheville

This restaurant opened up about 6 months ago and is now owned by a couple from S. Africa - or at least one of them is. It's across from the Grey Eagle and just up the street from River Arts District in a former greasy spoon diner. Fairly meat-centric menu, their charcuterie plate is one of the best I've had in Asheville. Wine by the glass is very reasonable, as are the creative cocktails. Any more cocktails are priced at $9 & over in most Asheville restaurants and these were I think around $8. I had a delicious vegetarian stuffed roasted pepper that would have been perfect if they'd removed the skin from the pepper. THey have some outside seating and ample parking. Very fun, eclectic decor inside. It reminds me a bit of the Admiral.

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  1. Agree ~ this place is good and reasonable. I love the cheese plate.

    1. I and Hubby really enjoyed our meal
      Great Sausage

      5 Replies
      1. re: mustardgirl

        We've been wanting to try it but it gets very bad reviews on both Yelp and Urbanspoon so that has been the holdup - good to hear the positive reviews here. Planning on giving it a try this week and will report back!

        1. re: miss piggy

          Wow! We had a great time here last night so thank y'all for the recommendation! We enjoyed an amazing charcuterie plate (house-smoked salmon and trout, corned beef and 2 salamis), an excellent cheese plate, and sausage served with carmelized onions, plus a $10 (nightly special) pitcher of pretty good sangria. Service was good and we lingered over our feast on the patio area enjoying the good music. We will definitely be back!

          1. re: miss piggy

            So glad you liked it. Don't understand why it gets so much bad press.

            1. re: NANCY

              Me either! I know they have changed owners and chefs since opening but I'm not sure when that occurred. It was truly fantastic and a great value. Not a lot of customers there - i hope they make it.

              1. re: miss piggy

                Posting about your positive experience on whatever boards you had seen the negative reviews might help. Can't hurt!

      2. Yesterday my wife and I went to lunch at a relatively new restaurant in Asheville (menu says established 2011). I had a Groupon to use, expired, but they gave me no hassle about using my cost against the ticket.

        The restaurant is called The Asheville Public ( Not fancy, but the most fascinating decor I've ever seen. 50's style. My wife tells me that's called "retro" style.. Everywhere you look something interesting to catch your eye. I also loved the music they played, loud enough to hear the lyrics, but not so loud you had trouble talking to one another. I don't know what kind of music to call it, it was easy listening, but not elevator music. The waitress (who was great, by the way) said it was being supplied by Pandora from a computer.

        The menu isn't huge so you aren't overwhelmed by the number of choices, sort of like The Homestead restaurant in Horseshoe. But there were a number of interesting items on the menu that you probably haven't seen before. I had a special of the day, a Smoked Turkey Panini. Unlike most smoked turkey, this tasted nice and smoky. It had drunken goat cheese, greens, and cranberry sage mayo on ciabatta bread. The crust on the bread was wonderfully crisp and the flavor was over the top. I was served with french fries in an attractive cup. They had the skins on and were some of the best I've ever had.

        My wife also chose a daily special, dumplings served with a wonderful soy-based sauce that I'm pretty sure had fennel as one of its components. It was delicious. It came with a seaweed salad that was also delicious.

        The meals were served on very fancy white serving dishes, unusual shapes - you know the type. Not the kind you'd expect in a 50's motif restaurant. The plating of the food was beautiful, like what you'd see on the Iron Chef show on the Food Network. And real cloth napkins! What's up with that! Before you even took a bite, the attractive presentation of your food told you it was going to be special and that turned out to be very true.

        We asked about the desserts and decided to split a Chai Tea creme brulee. It was DELICIOUS! I had a cup of coffee brewed from locally roasted beans that was exceptional.

        Their prices are very reasonable. My panini was $8, my wife's meal was $9, my beer was $4, my coffee was $1.50 and the creme brulee was $6 and worth every penny.

        They had a nice selection of draft beers. I had a Ninja Porter. They have a full bar with very interesting cocktails on the menu and drink specials during the week:
        Monday - $3 well drinks
        Tuesday - All martinis $6 (top shelf included
        )Wednesday - 1/2 price on all bottle of wine
        Thursday - $10 pitchers of draft beer and sangria

        And, as if that weren't enough to bring you back, they have a loyalty card. For every $1 you spend, you get 1 point. When you accumulate 100 points, you get $10 added to your card. You get double points on certain days during certain times. If you accumulate $50 or more on your card, you get a 20% reward.

        Paris of the South Flea Market ( is held every Saturday and Sunday in their parking lot and they serve drinks and food to attendees through a window overlooking the lot.

        If it sounds like I'm in love, I am. The whole experience was over the top, from the ambiance to the food to the service to music to the cost. It is my new favorite restaurant. I will probably post this review on the web to do what I can to see that this place makes it. I'd hate to see it go out of business now that I've found it.

        Take a look at their lunch, dinner, and brunch menus on their website. You won't be disappointed in what they offer. If you can't find something to whet your appetite, you're too picky :>).