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The Admiral in Asheville - Anyone else think it's the most overrated place in town?

Just curious.. been there twice now and doubt I'll go back. Personally I just do not think it's a value. Nice folks and all, just I think there's better (or at least as good) food for 1/2 the price to be found elsewhere...

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  1. If there is a better place to eat in Asheville, I would like to know about it. We have been to the Admiral about three or four times now, and make a point to go there every time we are in town. I have yet to find anything else nearly as good.

    1. I'd love some recs for better food than the Admiral for half the price.

      2 Replies
      1. re: carolinadawg

        One place: Curate. You can get out of there as cheaply or pricey as you want. We recently went, had many dishes, booze-- for four people we got out of there for around $100. On a side note, Curate has to be the best place going right now in Asheville.

        1. re: dineandcook

          It just goes to show that food is not an objective subject. I think Curate is by far the most overrated place in town. It's fine, and has some good items, but nothing brilliant. Admiral on the other hand....I've had maybe 2 good-not-great meals there, and a couple of dozen that were absolutely stellar. Nowhere else in Asheville do I ever get that "WOW, what was that I just put in my mouth and why is it so fantastic?" sensation that I often have at Admiral.

          Plus, Curate is way more expensive if you want the same quantity of food. And the menu doesn't change very often. I guess I've grown spoiled w/ the current trend toward chef-driven, frequently changing menus.

          But... the Lord knows Admiral doesn't need any defending. I'm pleased that you and chezdy won't be fighting me for a bar seat at 4:55 when I try to sneak in w/out a reservation! ;-)

      2. We spend waaaaaaay more at Curate for 2 than we do at The Admiral it seems. In my opinion they are completely different experiences, both are excellent, neither should be perceived as a "value" restaurant, nor do they probably want to be...and why should they?

        2 Replies
        1. re: miss piggy

          Interesting, I think Curate,Zambra and Plant are as good. Regardless of price, I want to feel like I got my money's worth and the times I ate at the Admiral I just didn't feel that way. Maybe the third time will be the charm...

          1. re: miss piggy

            "In my opinion they are completely different experiences, both are excellent, neither should be perceived as a "value" restaurant, nor do they probably want to be...and why should they?"

            Perfect.

          2. The admiral is the best restaurant in Asheville. No questions asked. Curate, Table, Homegrown, Bouchon, Limones, Salsa's, Chorizos, Marketplace, Carmels... Nothing ever meets the quality and authenticity of The Admiral. We will continuously try new restaurants and always walk out saying, "it was great, but, not the admiral..."
            I also think it's extremely fairly priced. The "small" plates are not small and can surely be an entire meal never reaching over $13. The highest priced item is the steak ($27) which is gigantic and served with several other items.
            The cocktails are always amazing (the dark and stormy is a must beginner) and the bar is just as great to sit at as a table if you don't have reservations.
            Yes, the food is authentic, and the menu changes every night, but I'm pretty sure it could rock just about anyone's pallet. A man once told me he couldn't stand brussel sprouts his whole life, but it came with his dish and he's never been so impressed with a vegetable. I could go on..
            Everyone is entitled to their own opinion, but this is mine: The Admiral is absolutely not overrated. Walk in with a smile on your face and the urge for a buzz.

            1. I'm not an Asheville local but as a Magnolia Grill mourning Durhamite when I ate at The Admiral this past July I thoroughly enjoyed it. I thought the price to yummy ratio was fine.

              1. No, I think it's great and very fairly priced. As with others on this post I'd love to learn about places in the same league at 1/2 price. Curate is excellent but it isn't less expensive than Admiral.

                1. Yep. I've never had a bad experience food-wise at the Admiral. I really like Curate, but a lot of what you're paying for there are great ingredients well-presented, not necessarily fussed over cooking-wise. Nothing wrong with that, but boy does the price tag add up quickly! Maybe we just lack control. ;) I will always go with Admiral, hands-down. The small plates are usually more exciting than the large plates, too. One small plate for an individual, with a thing of mussels for the table and a few beers? A bargain.

                  3 Replies
                  1. re: dingey

                    What do you all get at The Admirial? I've been twice and both times have been throughly unimpressed. One time I had scallops and the other time mahi. I want to feel the love you guys do, steer me in the right direction.

                    1. re: caiogirl

                      well, one thing we've found, which is kind of strange, is that the Admiral is better if you don't go in the winter. Our only good/not great experiences have been during cold weather when the menu runs to more comfort food, fewer seafood choices, yada yada. But since both of your disappointments have been w/ seafood, I'm not sure what to tell you.

                      We had freakin' chicken drummies there that were amazing. Not something I'd normally order...which leads me to another idea: the servers are really good about knowing what's great and steering you toward it...so ask!