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The Junction = YUM (Asheville)

caiogirl | Jan 2, 2012 05:25 PM

Having some Low Country foodie friends in town over the New Years weekend, we wanted to take them somewhere that would compete with their beloved Charleston. The choice for us was an easy one and needed little discussion, The Junction. I called several days before and left a message. That afternoon, I received a phone call from the owner confirming my reservation and asking if we had any special need or request.

Upon arrival, we were promptly seated, given menus and a dazzling cocktail list. The restaurant was alive, full of everyone from the ultra hip and posh to the casual and relaxed. Being New Years Eve, The Junction had a marvelous buzz, wait staff dashing colorful sparkling cocktails, patrons necks snapping at each passing perfect plate, owners checking and double checking on each exceptional bite.

First up cocktail hour. The boys choice was a boring double shot of Makers. However, I had the “Piper” a beautiful sparkly peach colored cocktail served up. The ingredients included sparkling wine, vodka, Campri, St. Germaine and spiced pineapple. This cocktail was New Years Eve in a glass, I sadly was the DD for the night and could only go one round with Piper, but make no mistake, I plan to take her on again VERY soon.

After much soul searching our table of 5 was able to narrow to our final food choice, all making promises to share. I was the only one who ordered off the nightly menu and the other members of the party ordered one of three amazing specials. I had the pan seared gnocchi, it was accompanied by tender braised short rib, thick smoky sweet bacon, plump mushrooms and sweet potatoes. The gnocchi were potato pillows of goodness, the house cured bacon was perfection and I’m not really sure what they did to the mushrooms but I have never had better, they literally burst with wine, butter and lemon. Two of our friends had the Rib Eye special. When they saw they could cut the steak with their fork, all promises to share forgotten. Two days later they both continued to rave about not being able to remember a more “satisfying meal” and “I didn’t know steak could taste like that.” Yet another order was the quail special, it was filled with a maple and sausage stuffing and served with the best damn collard greens I have ever eaten braised in Pisgah Pale and what I suspect to be baby angels. I myself did not get to taste the quail (not a poultry gal) but again there was not a bite left over even if I had wanted one. The final dish was the burger special; now, I know you must be asking yourself, why save the burger to write about last? Well, just loosen your waistband and listen up. This Hickory Nut Gap beef was prepared very rare (at my boyfriend’s request) topped with a braised short rib, a GENEROUS hunk of foie gras and finished off with a spicy creamy sauce of deliciousness. I am not kidding when I say I had to stop him from licking the plate, one bite of that burger and I had to stop myself…

With fabulous service, food and atmosphere I really cannot recommend The Junction more. I was told they will be starting brunch this weekend, happy New Years to me!

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