& now for the happy news on haywood...
i dropped into the admiral friday night (they opened at 5pm that day). good tunes, kind of a swanky, adult feel to the place (no kids there friday, don't know if they're allowed, but it's not an appropriate vibe for the kiddies, imo).
disappointingly, there are no taps at this time, although i believe they're coming. still, they have a decent list of bottled beer to satisfy most tastes & price points. also a small bar selection of good, middle-road liquors; looks like they do straight pours and most simple mixes, but i doubt they get real frou-frou with the booze concoctions. i was happy with my mocha stouts. in retrospect, upon questioning by my wife, i don't recall seeing any wines there at all, although that's not to say they don't have any.
i started with the pimento cheese dip, which was just ok. i should note, i'm pretty particular about pimento cheese. i was introduced to it years ago in sc, where they take it pretty seriously. the admiral's version is a little too thin and not sharp enough for my taste. that said, it may very well appeal to those less picky than i am about this particular dish. served with toasted rounds and a few veggies.
happily, my entree of beef short ribs was excellent. a half dozen or so perfectly cooked short ribs, served with a pomegranate glaze, which was very tasty, although it didn't seem particularly pomegranate-y to me. accompanied by green beans, which were cooked perfectly tender-crisp, and roasted potatoes.
as i was sitting at the bar, i had opportunity to overhear other patrons, and can say that the asparagus & mussels (i think it was mussels, and those are two separate dishes, not "asparagus & mussels") were getting raves.
on the down-side, it did seem to take just a little too long for food, especially apps, to hit the tables. however, as they'd been open a grand total of 3 hours at that point, it's way too early to gig them on service. the kitchen is open to view (you can sit at a small bar right in front of it if you like), and the cooks seemed to take a great deal of pride and care with the food.
all-in-all, this seems to be a promising place that could throw a bit of competition sunny point's way. i'm looking forward to going back for more. their banger's and mash (veal & rabbit sausage w/ mashed root veggies) is calling me.