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“What a nice surprise!” 5 of 5 stars
Review of The Esmeralda Restaurant

The Esmeralda Restaurant
910 Main Street, Chimney Rock, NC 28720
(828) 625-2999
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Price range: $15 - $25
Cuisines: American
Dining options: Breakfast/Brunch, Reservations
Restaurant details
Dining options: Breakfast/Brunch, Reservations
Asheville, North Carolina
Top Contributor
74 reviews 74 reviews
53 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 28 cities Reviews in 28 cities
26 helpful votes 26 helpful votes
“What a nice surprise!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 21, 2013

The Esmeralda has been standing on its knoll overlooking the Rocky Broad River in the deep valley best known for Chimney Rock park. For Asheville locals it is about 35 minutes out Hwy 74A or up Hwy 9 about 40 minutes from Tryon, NC.
However you get there, it is a scenic destination. The Esmeralda has been there since about 1915. It was rebuilt in the 90s after burning down. I didn't stay there overnight, but the restaurant is open to all, and they recommend a reservation for the evening meal. My recent experience was that on a weeknight the restaurant was not crowded, the service was personable and prompt. The menu was a surprising mix of familiar items along with some unique chef's creations.
An appetizer of deep fried duck wings, Buffalo calamari and a cheese board of local creations was good. The entrees we had included skirt steak tenders, duck breast, porkchops and rack of lamb. All the sauces were chef-created and beautifully presented. The wine list was adequate and reasonably priced.
This is no touristy fast food place. Come expecting a pleasant experience in a beautifully rebuilt inn with a quiet atmosphere and dining in an upscale dining room.

  • Visited November 2013
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
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102 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
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    13
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Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
Cincinnati
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
“5 Star”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 20, 2013

The food was comparable to a 5 -Star restaurant. They definitely have a great chef here. I wish we could have experienced their wine pairing dinners.

Visited October 2013
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Canisteo, NY
Senior Contributor
35 reviews 35 reviews
30 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 21 cities Reviews in 21 cities
14 helpful votes 14 helpful votes
“Incredible Setting - Beautiful Property - Excellent Food”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 14, 2013

As one other reviewer put it... "Classy". Without a peer, this restaurant is the most classy of it's kind around Lake Lure.

The food and service were top notch. The outside seating is within view of Chimney Rock, one of the most beautiful spots in the Blue Ridge Mountains. Wine list is first class.

The Pan Seared Five Spice Duck Breast was my choice. Not a huge "duck lover" normally, but I wanted to try something different. The chef's use of spices and red wine/cherry sauces absolutely made this dish. Served on a bed of cous cous it was a special treat.

My wife enjoyed the Beef Tenderloin that came in it's own version of a red wine sauce along with garlic mashed potatoes and chef's vegetables.

Classy restaurant in a very wilderness type of area. If you want a great high end dining experience in the Lake Lure area, this is the place.

  • Visited October 2013
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Goldsboro, North Carolina
Contributor
11 reviews 11 reviews
6 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
“Great place to eat”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 21, 2013

Food was great as was the service. Great view of Lake
Lure. A must place to eat when visiting the area .

Visited September 2013
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Mount Dora, Florida
Senior Contributor
33 reviews 33 reviews
22 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 13 cities Reviews in 13 cities
13 helpful votes 13 helpful votes
“Classy”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 17, 2013

The restaurant with the most class in this town, elegant dining room,and good food. And they now have a bar and serve cocktails. A must place to see and stay overnight.

  • Visited August 2013
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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