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Ashville Restaurants

Old Dec 14th, 2004, 09:32 AM
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Ashville Restaurants

I'd appreciate any recommendations for restaurants in Ashville, North Carolina where we can eat an evening meal for about $25 per person not including drinks, wine or gratuity. We enjoy all kinds of food. The quality and uniqueness of the food is more important than the atmosphere.

Thanks in advance!
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Old Dec 16th, 2004, 10:43 AM
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My personal favorite restaurant in Asheville in that price range is Rezaz, in Biltmore Village. It has reopened after being closed due to flood damage in September. I also like The Market Place, downtown on Wall Street, and the Flying Frog.
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Old Dec 16th, 2004, 11:30 AM
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We had dinner at three restaurants last July that would easily meet your requirements, ranked best to worst:

1. Zambra - Excellent Spanish tapas
2. The Grape Escape - French inspired, and you can order a flight of wines with your meal
3. Bistro 1896 - average bistro food

All of the restaurants are downtown.
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Old Dec 16th, 2004, 12:26 PM
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Thank you to both of you for those suggestions.

Craig, when you mention a "flight" of wines, I'm not sure what you mean. Is this is a set of wines in tasting portions (usually 3 oz), recommended pairings with food, a combination of the two or what?

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Old Dec 16th, 2004, 12:38 PM
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Flight refers to a set (3 or 4, I think) of wines in tasting portions. They are all brought to the table at once, not paired with the food.
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Old Dec 16th, 2004, 01:34 PM
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I just returned from Asheville. I've got the perfect restaurant for you! It's called Tupelo Honey Cafe. This is arguably the hottest new restaurant in town. This place was so good that I had a long discussion with the owner about her interest in expanding! I ate breakfast, lunch and dinner here - all were outstanding. This place has a Savannah/New Orleans feel to it (good atmosphere). The prices are very reasonable. (My entree was $13)

Note that this place is downtown and the wait to get in can be long.

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Old Dec 16th, 2004, 02:43 PM
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Tupelo Honey is not a new restaurant. It has been around since at least 2002 when the NY Times recommended it. We ruled it out because dinner was only served Thurs - Sat and we were not in town then. Their hours may have changed - maybe they plan on expanding their opening times.
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Old Dec 16th, 2004, 05:59 PM
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Tupelo Honey is open for dinner Tuesday - Saturday. Their website is at www.tupelohoneycafe.com.
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Old Dec 16th, 2004, 06:59 PM
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Thanks to Craig for the clarification about the flight of wine and to everyone else about Tupelo Honey Cafe.
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Old Dec 17th, 2004, 06:58 AM
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Hi Mike - I liked your sensible comments on the cell phone/plane ques.

I recommend: Salsas, if you don't mind loud, eclectic and casual w/ close-together tables and a possible wait. IT's Carribean and will win in the "unique" category.

I second the Zambra recommendation, but you could not go crazy ordering a lot of tapas and stay under $25. Can be done easily if you aren't big eaters, however.

Tomato is Italian at bargain prices, but a touch hit-or-miss. Do NOT get the boar fettucini...ewwwh. But he does great things w/ gnocchi.

I think you need to go to MArketplace before 6:30 to get the $25 Rose Plate Special. (prix fixe)

Let us know what you thing after you go. I have been to both Rezaz and Tupelo Honey once. Both were OK in my opinion, but I don't understand how they get the press they do.
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Old Dec 17th, 2004, 07:25 AM
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Thanks, Litespeed, for the continuing ideas. I will submit them along with all the others to the committee.

I'll definitely let everyone know the results when I return. The trip isn't until after Christmas and unfortunately we will have only one full day there.
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Old Dec 19th, 2004, 04:39 AM
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Dear Mike - You posted this as "Ashville" when the spelling is Asheville. YOu might do a search w/ the correct spelling both here and on www.chowhound.com.
I haven't been to Rezaz's in a while and wasn't impressed before but perhaps they have changed. I've written about Salsa's before - too many flavors going on at one time for me. Zambra's overrated and hit or miss w/ service and food. My favorites downtown which have been the most consistently good in terms of food and service...Market Place(Wall Street), Flying Frog, Limones. Just tried Shangri-La last night on Biltmore Ave and was very impressed - had several dim sum and then hibachi grilled lobster tail w/ 2 sauces and a mashed taro, sweet pototo mixture that was very tasty.
Tupelo Honey is great...and reasonable haven't tried dinner there but they are a good lunch/brunch choice.
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Old Dec 19th, 2004, 05:15 AM
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Thank you, lea!
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Old Dec 31st, 2004, 05:45 AM
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Many thanks to everyone for their great suggestions. We made the trip to Asheville (between Christmas and the New Year) and loved it!

As for restaurants, for some unknown reason all of the recommended restaurants we called Monday night were swamped. We had to settle for dinner at the Black Forest Restaurant, a family style restaurant. My wife and sister enjoyed their food but I felt mine was ho-hum. All of us felt it was over priced. Considering that it was empty when all of the others were busy, that might be your best indication.

We thoroughly enjoyed Zambra Tuesday night. We started with a bottle of wine at the bar (wine list devoted exclusively to Spanish wines) before moving to a table for dinner. It was a terrific evening and a highlight that was exceeded only by our visit to the Biltmore Estate.

I saw an online review of Zambra that said it was far better than Jaleo in Washington DC. The three of us felt that it was as good as Jaleo (not better) but noticed that Zambra has far fewer menu selections, maybe less than half.

To view pictures of my day in Asheville:
http://www.pbase.com/mike_buckley/asheville

Thanks again to everyone!
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Old Jan 3rd, 2005, 04:40 AM
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I'm so happy you enjoyed yourself! Thanks for posting back with a review.

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Old Mar 23rd, 2005, 01:44 PM
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I found a website the other day while I was poking around. It was Asheville restaurant reviews by Susan Parke. She wrote a positve one about Mr Genes Family Restaurant for southern food. Anyone have any comments about this place?
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