REVIEW: The Admiral – Asheville
The following is an excerpt from the Asheville Food and Entertainment Blog www.LushLifeToday.com
A Post by Blondesided
It was our first night dining out with the official LushLifeToday crew and we were excited to get started. It was rainy and dreary and so we decided on our favorite, cozy dive – The Admiral in West Asheville. By the time I showed up, Jeb was already sipping on his favorite Admiral drink, The Old Timey, which is a variation on an old fashioned but made with maple syrup. Hank was saddled up at the bar with his PBR already neatly wrapped in his “brought from home” coozie.
I love walking into The Admiral. Imagine if Waffle House turned the lights down really low, played good music and decorated with my grandmother’s garage sale leftovers. But something about that tiny, kitschy dining room with low ceilings just makes me feel so right at home.
I took my spot at the bar between the boys and ordered myself an Old Timey as well. Nothing like a little whiskey on a cold, wet day – especially when it comes with muddled fruit and maple syrup! That drink is quickly becoming one of my favorites as well as Jeb’s. (A little plaid clad birdie even told me he may be working on a version of it himself up at Jack of the Wood.)
Hank and Jeb had ordered a cheese plate while waiting on me. They were waiting on me to order because as Hank says, “Chivalry ain’t dead yet!” The cheeses arrived shortly after I did and the choices were perfect. A local smoked goat cheese and a Pecorino Toscano sheep’s cheese. The plate was also garnished with toast points, apples and Marcona almonds. The goat cheese had just a lightly smoked flavor and was the favorite of all of us.
We then ordered a couple of the small plates. The seared diver scallops were fresh and cooked perfectly. But the unexpected highlight of this dish was the bed of cannellini bean salad on which they were served. The great fresh flavors in the bean salad complimented the sweet, delicate scallops.
Our other small plate was the beef tartare. It was served with buttermilk blue cheese and toast points. The beef was perfectly seasoned and to my delight, the poached egg yolk was on the side (way off to the side). The presentation was beautiful and according to Hank, the tangy blue cheese paired with the savory chilled beef “really set it off.”
After so much food, we split one of the larger plates between the three of us. It was an enormous, frenched pork chop from the local Hickory Nut Gap Farm. It was cooked medium and was perfectly tender, but it was the bacon cream sauce and the farro verde that worked as the perfect stage mother by pushing that chop to become the star of the evening!
And in case you are wondering what farro verde is (because we certainly were), a quick Google search and it is basically a form of grain in the wheat family. It resembles barley. But it’s unique texture soaked up the bacon cream to pair perfectly with that pork.
Though dessert was tempting, I think we all knew a bite or two more of food would have put us in food comas…or at least ruined the whiskey buzz, so we decided to pass.
The friendly bartenders and the divey environment contrast so much to the upscale food that it takes the intimidation factor out of fine dining. I mean, it is such a rare occasion that you can wash down high end cheeses with an ice cold PBR and not worry about which fork you should be using. So go. Do it now. Get dressed up or don’t. Drink nice wine or cheap beer. Order big or go small. But no matter what you decide. Eat at The Admiral. And tell them we sent you!
We recommend going early. The bar opens at 4 and the kitchen starts serving at 5. But if you want to go much later, you had better have a reservation.