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“Restaurants should be equal parts: Food, Service and Atmosphere” 3 of 5 stars
Review of Zambra

Zambra
85 W Walnut St, Asheville, NC 28801 (Downtown Asheville)
(828) 232-1060
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Ranked #26 of 644 Restaurants in Asheville
Price range: $10 - $30
Cuisines: Tapas
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Romance, Bar scene, Local cuisine, Special occasions, Entertaining clients
Dining options: Lunch, Dinner, Reservations, Late Night, Dessert, Private Dining
Dining style: Casual Elegant
Neighborhood: Downtown Asheville
Cross street: Haywood Street
Description: Our dynamic menu is the passion of Executive Chef Adam. Adam has attained many influences through his training in Europe and New Orleans. Zambra is his modern vision of the tastes and flavors of the western Mediterranean: Spain, Portugal, Gypsy, and North Africa. As an appropriate accompaniment, we have assembled the region's finest selection of Spanish and New World wines. We have been awarded the Wine Spectator's Award of Excellence and our wine list has been voted the best in Asheville.
Charleston, South Carolina
Senior Contributor
33 reviews 33 reviews
26 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 13 cities Reviews in 13 cities
8 helpful votes 8 helpful votes
“Restaurants should be equal parts: Food, Service and Atmosphere”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed May 10, 2014

My sister and I went to Zambra early last evening (5:00 PM) for some tapas before going to listen to music. The hostess was very pleasant and professional. We asked to sit in the bar area as we wanted a quick in and out. Within seconds of being seated, a server brought water and asked what beverages we would like. We were still deciding on the wine so we asked for a few minutes. No less than fifteen minutes later someone else finally showed up at the table. I was at the point where I wanted to walk out but the menu looked so good that I also wanted to stay.

We ordered several different small plates to share. The food came out in no particular order. After the first item came, another server came over and asked if we wanted to get anything else. We explained that we had already ordered several other items and were waiting on them. There seemed to be no communication between the service staff.

The duck and chicken terrine came straight from the refrigerator and so was fairly cold. Two large slabs were served with two wafer thing pieces of lahvash. The terrine was so cold that it felt hard and the lahvash so thin and fragile that it was impossible to spread the terrine. The flavor was good; the execution was poor. The quail was decent but the accoutrements seemed odd. There was some sort of beet splash on the plate that made it look like a bloody trail. The Pork tongue taco was tasty but a little dry and unassuming. The pork belly enchilada was odd. The enchilada tasted like it was filled with Thanksgiving stuffing and the pork belly, very well cooked, was laid across the top.

All together the food was mediocre. I find it off putting when a restaurant utilizes twelve ingredients in a recipe just because the ingredients are current and topical. Less is more. Simple food can be quite a culinary experience.

Additionally, the restaurant was so dark that one could barely read the menu. The table wobbled and spilled our drinks and the walk to the bathroom was down a tunnel like hallway that seemed to be a half block long. I would never return. There are too many places to try.

  • Visited May 2014
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 2 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 1 of 5 stars Service
    • 3 of 5 stars Food
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Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
Princeton
Top Contributor
112 reviews 112 reviews
54 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 54 cities Reviews in 54 cities
40 helpful votes 40 helpful votes
“Return visit just as good as the first!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 8, 2014

This has to be one of the best restaurants in Asheville! I love it because, in addition to the food being excellent, as a tapas restaurant, you can basically decide how much - or how little - you want to eat. This visit I shared a salad from the regular menu and, from the "specials" menu, we tried the "ponzu marinated quail w/sushi rice, pickled peanut slaw, cilantro oil, blueberries, spicy peanut sauce" and the "duck sloppy joe slider w/shoestring potatoes and micro mustard". Ohmygoodness, they were AMAZING!! The non-dairy vegetarians in our group were also very pleased with their selections.

The wait staff is very friendly, prices are reasonable and there is a parking garage a few steps away - what more can you ask for? Enjoy!!

  • Visited May 2014
    • 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.
Grove City, Ohio
Contributor
14 reviews 14 reviews
6 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
“Great Tapas”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 6, 2014

Great selection of tapas and awesome sangria! Our server was very helpful in that she made sure the dishes did not come out all at once as we had requested. Only complaint is that the lighting was a bit dim

Visited April 2014
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Whitefish, Montana
Top Contributor
57 reviews 57 reviews
54 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 34 cities Reviews in 34 cities
64 helpful votes 64 helpful votes
“Another 5 star night”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 23, 2014

We visited Zambra again and it did not disappoint. Every time we go, we try the most "exotic" things on the menu. This time one of the best was the beef heart tacos. Fantastic. Everything all the way down to the chickpea dish was outstanding. We ordered a bottle of the recommended wine, which was a Spanish Merlot, and it was also very good. Service was a tad on the slow side at times, but definitely nothing to complain about.

We have been here 4 times now and every time has been an excellent experience.

  • Visited April 2014
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
North Carolina Coast, North Carolina
Top Contributor
74 reviews 74 reviews
41 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 47 cities Reviews in 47 cities
41 helpful votes 41 helpful votes
“Venturing out to the wild side... and liking it!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 22, 2014

I never had tapas and I've never been in any restaurant that looked like this. The food was delicious and reasonably priced. The wine list is extraordinary. The waitress delightful. We chose 4 tapas dishes - bread, hot dish of spicy chickpeas, shrimp, salad with manchego, all of which were quite tasty! The only drink we ordered was ginger beer. We left the place happy and satisfied at the cost of under $30! Now that's something to write home about!

  • Visited April 2014
    • 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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