Wednesday, April 27, 2016

The Admiral, Asheville NC

The Admiral is a funky little dive bar of a restaurant in West Asheville with a good reputation among chefs for being a place that does imaginative small plates. It was already on our list of places to dine when we heard from our friends Neil and Kay Harris of nearby Burnsville NC that they'd like to meet us there for dinner. Done!

Menu: Photographed Back at the B& B in the Light
After showering off the dust and sweat from our earlier excursion to Chimney Rock and partaking of a glass of wine on the porch with the other guests, we made the 10-minute drive to The Admiral to meet Neil and Kay who were already seated when we arrived at a minute or so before our 7:00 reservation. From the outside (and even the inside) The Admiral is not much to look at, being a flat-roofed, single story rectangle of a cinderblock building. The interior has the hot line against the left end of the back wall with a small bar just to the right of the hot line. The rest of the rectangle is devoted to just a handful of tables. It's so dark inside that it's impossible to photograph without flash, so I opted to take no photos.

For the four of us, we ordered two bottles of Abeja Cab from the Columbia Valley, Beet Carpaccio,  Steak Tartare, Duck Leg Adobo, Halibut Crudo, Curried Fried Chicken, Grilled Octopus, Grilled Quail, and Ramp Risotto.

With the exception of the fried chicken, nothing really stood out. Certainly I make better duck, octopus, quail, steak tartare, and ramp risotto than we had. The beet carpaccio was a good effort as was the halibut crudo. The steak tartare was really not as flavorfully seasoned as it could or should have been.

But the fried chicken was a different matter. I would never order chicken, but Neil wanted it and I'm glad he ordered it. The chicken breast was apparently marinated in Madras-style curry before being breaded and fried and was off the hook good. I didn't taste the mac and cheese; Ann says it was so-so as were the collard greens. I didn't detect the Texas Pete syrup though it may have been the spicy element in the chicken: it was too dark to see clearly.

We had a great evening catching us with Neil and Kay and though I would probably go back to The Admiral and give it another shot, it certainly didn't live up to the "some of the most creative young chefs in Asheville" billing that it got from others.

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