Asheville dining?
March 24, 2010 6:50 AM   Subscribe

Friends are going to be in Asheville NC for a celebratory weekend April 2-4 and I'd like to get them a gift certificate for a meal at a great place. best I can come up with, based on previous threads, is Tupelo Honey. Any other suggestions?
posted by Ollie to Travel & Transportation around Asheville, NC (20 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
Tupelo Honey is good, but you could also consider The Flying Frog in Battery Park. (Menu).
posted by dortmunder at 6:58 AM on March 24, 2010

I've heard good things about the Southside Cafe, but I've not been there myself.
posted by something something at 7:00 AM on March 24, 2010

I've also heard good things about Zambra's, which is a tapas place, but I've never eaten there myself. And I should note that I have no idea if The Flying Frog or Zambras have gift certificates.
posted by dortmunder at 7:01 AM on March 24, 2010

thanks--I was just looking at the Grove Park Inn, which does have gift cards, and it looks like one could use it for a spa treatment or golf or other things as well as food. is this a nice place, near to asheville, etc? I've never been to NC so I'm flying blind here.
posted by Ollie at 7:09 AM on March 24, 2010

The Grove Park Inn is very, very nice. It's also very, very expensive. I don't know what your budget is, but your friends would probably be pretty grateful if you hooked them up with a nice package out there.
posted by dortmunder at 7:11 AM on March 24, 2010

My budget is $100. I guess they could get maybe drinks and appetizers and look at the sunset? Or breakfast or a round of golf. Or a massage for one of them, which is kind of lame. Or part of a dinner, even lamer. Hmm.
posted by Ollie at 7:13 AM on March 24, 2010

The food at the Grove Park is generally nothing to write home about. Yeah the sunset is spectacular but drinks on the terrace are going to cost almost a third of your budget - $14 martini anyone? Tupelo Honey is nice and all but it's not fancy - I wouldn't think of it for a celebratory meal. It's crowded as hell and noisy. Do you want fancy, linen tablecloths, etc? Then your best bet might be Rezaz in Biltmore Village, which is Mediterranean and very good or Zambras, which is wonderful. Table is also supposed to be great but I haven't been there. Or cross the river out of the tourist zone and send them to the Admiral, which looks like a dive bar but serves up probably the best and most innovative food in Asheville. (It's my local bar, so I'm a little biased, but seriously the food is amazing.)

I'm pretty sure that if you called any of these restaurants they'd be happy to fix you up with a gift certificate. You might also want to consider just calling AIRA - the Asheville Independent Restaurant Association - and see what they can do for you. There are a ton of really good restaurants here.
posted by mygothlaundry at 7:28 AM on March 24, 2010

Bouchon is probably my favorite place in Asheville. Reservations will probably be necessary, however; wait times can be brutal without them. Laughing Seed is interesting, as an experience—totally vegetarian—but probably not the greatest as food. I don't know the gift card situation in either case.
posted by sonic meat machine at 7:40 AM on March 24, 2010

if they like Indian food, Mela would be a good choice. food and atmosphere are great. also, seconding everything mygothlaundry said, especially Zambras!

one note about Tupelo - as far as I know they still do not allow reservations, so tell your friends to get there when they open or shortly after to avoid waiting for 40 minutes to be seated.
posted by wundermint at 7:42 AM on March 24, 2010

If you're willing to go to Hendersonville, Square One Bistro is also an excellent choice.
posted by 1f2frfbf at 8:33 AM on March 24, 2010

It was about two years ago when I was there, but my fiance and I had an absolutely amazing meal at The Market Place. If your friends appreciate the farm-to-table or locavore movements it would probably be a great choice. I liked Tupelo Honey a lot but I think The Market Place would be a better choice for a gift. However, I have not eaten at most of the other restaurants listed in this thread.
posted by horses, of courses at 9:22 AM on March 24, 2010

The Admiral. It appears to be a dive bar from the outside, but inside the most delicious meats (often wild and organic) and other foods are served. Its top notch gourmet and very Ashevillian. You will need reservations. You can wear a suit or tie-dyes...
posted by iurodivii at 9:36 AM on March 24, 2010

(here's the link) The Admiral
posted by iurodivii at 9:37 AM on March 24, 2010

(I really should read other's responses - mygothlaundry's got it)
posted by iurodivii at 9:42 AM on March 24, 2010

The Market Place has changed hands. It's probably still great but I haven't been there since the turnover.
posted by mygothlaundry at 10:14 AM on March 24, 2010

Passing through over the summer, we enjoyed lunch at Bistro 1896.
posted by korej at 2:03 PM on March 24, 2010

To supplement mygothlaundry, I have been to Table and I thought it was great. I recommend it.
posted by pasici at 2:04 PM on March 24, 2010

Table is owned by my neighbor, and it is indeed great (and celebratory). Last year I gave them a few bushels of pears from my tree and got a free meal out of it. Good, good food: fresh, local, and creative. I'll plug for them any day, and $100 for two would be the right range for it.
posted by rikschell at 2:58 PM on March 24, 2010

Nthing the Admiral....I also liked my daily special at Early Girl Eatery.
posted by brujita at 12:58 AM on March 25, 2010

Thanks all-I went with the Admiral. let's hope they like it!
posted by Ollie at 4:27 PM on March 25, 2010

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