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Is Stovetrotter's the best restaurant in Asheville?


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Is Stovetrotter's the best restaurant in Asheville?

LPM | Jun 20, 2008 02:31 PM

I would encourage you to visit Stovetrotter's, a high-end bistro with an unfortunate name and no relation to Charlie Trotter's, just on the edge of Biltmore Village. We ate there by chance on a quiet Wednesday night and had a meal fit for a Saturday night special occasion.

They have a locavore ethic and a guy playing Beatles instrumentals on guitar. They have an expansive open kitchen with a wrap-around bar, a dozen or so tables, and a small fenced patio. I think they started as a catering company that also offered cooking instructions. We started with an amuse bouche of roasted until sweet garlic clove, brie, and a raspberry-something gastrique. A little tasty jewel in a pretty dish. We also had some of the best focaccio bread I've tasted in a restaurant, served with a trio of accompaniments -- blackberry butter, olive oil and aged balsamic, and a Asian-flavored chili oil.

We also moved on to a hyper-spinach and fresh berries salad that, when we said we would split it, they divvied onto two plates for us. We then had the scallop creation of the night. (It changes nightly.) This once could be described as scallops with apple pie filling. You had your seared scallops paired with roasted, super-delicate apples, and an almost caramel-like sauce. It sounds gross as I type it. It tasted delicious as I ate it.

For entrees, I had a perfectly cooked piece of halibut with a blueberry sauce, wilted spinach, roasted tomatoes, and "purple" rice. Nice summer flavors. The TW, turning back the clock to January, went with the osso buco, which was as tender as a Steve Earle ballad.

Dessert was a bananas foster bread pudding with Chantilly cream, one of the better bread puddings I've encountered in some time. There was only one waitress working the floor for three tables inside and two outside, but service was perfect. As we left, I couldn't help but wonder if this was the best meal we've had in Asheville.

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