I'll start w/ Zambra -
Had dinner there Wed. night. I've talked about how great it is several times, thought I'd just run down the specifics:
1. Mellon carpaccio - red and yellow watermellon and canteloupe slices w/ pickled red onion and honey/horseradish vinaigrette. A daring combo, but it worked well and was a perfect first bite.
2. Moorish bread and a dish of olive oil , diced tomatoes, cilantro & garlic.
3. Heirloom tomato salad w/ balsamic dressing. Rather simple, but delicious, and the bed of chopped basil it was served over was an interesting touch.
3. Pickled beet salad. I have always HATED pickled beets, but Hector apparently pickles his own, and wow! they're good! Served w/ gorgonzola and pistachios over mesclun.
4. Seared scallops w/ bacon and chili chutney. It was great! I could have eaten a bowl of the bacon chili chutney.
5. Two crab dishes served as one tappas. A warm fried brie and crabmeat croquette and a cool lump crabmeat salad.
I had a Spanish red, Casa d'Ermita (a special wine, not yet on the menu so I have probably spelled it wrong, that our waiter suggested when I told him my favorite was gone from the menu), and husband had fresh squeezed OJ. Fabulous, both. Waiter also very good. We ate a little more lightly than usual, so we were pleasantly surprised by a $45 check.
The next day's lunch we went to Savoy. It was our 3rd trip, previous reviews were posted here as well. This will be my last trip...it's a shame...I love Italian food and the atmosphere is great there, but...
We started w/ the fried calamari over salad greens. It was not bad...reasonable start.
Then my pasta (I ordered the special becuase everything on the menu struck me as heavy and creamy) came. The swordfish turned out to be chopped into hunks, breaded, and greasily fried/sauteed(?). ICK ! Seved over linquini in a completely bland (though inoffensive) garlic broth that supposedly had some saffron...they must have waved the bottle over it. The eggplant and zucchini tasted bad...and odd. It took me a minute...MARINATED. It was last night's (last week's?)antipasti chopped up and dumped in my dish! ICK!
BTW, the olive oil they serve w/ the bread is barely distinquishable from corn oil. The service was good.
Now I have had one fairly good meal at Savoy and two terrible ones. Those are all the chances they are getting.
Random notes for Asheville:
The Cava at New French Bar is good...sit the courtyard and order some!
Sweet Heaven (ice cream on Montford) is just that!
Has anyone been to the coffee shop on Montford in the res. area? Anything (pastry, etc.) there besides coffee?