I had a friend in town recently and we hit a BUNCH of restaurants....here is a quick mini-review:
TABLE- Enjoyed our time here. Service was adequate, and the atmosphere is nice. Had a sandwich of gryere and greens on baguette. Only complaint was that the bread tasted day old--coming across as a bit tough.
FIG- I have never been disappointed here, and this visit was no exception. Excellent service and food. Had a cup of gazpacho and a celery and Gorgonzola salad (for the record, I get this salad every time I go here)
EARLY GIRL- I usually have good experiences here, but this visit was rather disappointing. The service and atmosphere were fine, that food was the main let down. I had the spinach and potato cakes, which I have had before and are usually great, but this time were rather soggy. The cucumber salad was so over seasoned with vinegar it was not palatable. My friend ordered the Fried chicken (8.50) and was presented with a few small chicken strips. When we complained to the waitress she replied "Yeah, I thought it was rather small myself" (hello???) She ended up bring out another lonely strip. Hopefully this was just a fluke. I really like this establishment and the owners are very good people.
THE CORNER KITCHEN- Fast becoming one of my favorite restaurants in Asheville. The patio is one of the nicest in town. Had the Ploughman's lunch consisting of a small salad, cup of soup 2 slices of different cheese (brie and a dill goustechier (sp?) and a slice of terrine. Perfect with a glass of wine. My friend had a ruben with in house Chow-chow...super yummy!
SANTE-Our first night we hit a couple of different spots for appetizers. Sante was the first stop. The people that own this place are one of the highlights. They regularly are the bartenders, never forget a face, and let you try just about everything. While they do not have a full proper kitchen, the have a good variety of meats, cheeses and dips. The blue-cheese and walnut is superb. Oh yeah..the atmosphere is outstanding
BUCHON-My friend being a transplant from France, we needed to get some escargot. Buchon hit the bill. We also had the homemade pate. Only downside, as we were sitting at the bar, with the restaurant 1/4 full at 8:30, they turned the close sign on. A bit early IMO, and it did make us feel a bit rushed. Great bartender BTW.
CAFE AZALEA- after being run out of buchon, we headed over to cafe azalea for some wine and an app on the patio. While it is in a strip mall, the patio does its best with foliage to make you forget that. we had the Salmon galette...a savory cheese cake with smoked salmon and asparagus, and the Mussels with a smokey tomato broth. Fast becoming a favorite haunt of mine. Especially when I don't want to deal with parking hassels, ect.
LOBSTER TRAP- I go here for oysters. period. They get them flown in from everywhere, and while they are pricey $12-24 a dozen) for an oyster lover, they are your only bet in town. Oh yea. the sea beans appetizer. Yummy, salty garlicy goodness.
USUAL SUSPECTS-If your are out late and need a decent meal, they don't dissapoint going much beyond typical pub grub.