I went to Jargon on Friday, April 21st with my wife and another couple. My wife and I have a toddler and are limited to just a couple of date nights a year. When we do actually get to go out, we want to make...the most of it and usually don't hold back.
To be 100% transparent, I am in the wine industry and do business with most every restaurant in the Asheville area. That being said, I do not write bad reviews as it would not bode well for my business. I am reluctant to voice my concerns and usually just suck it up, pay the bill, and leave dissapointed.
However, when I have a great experience, I will rave ad nauseum about it to anyone that will listen. I had such an experience at Jargon. I had been once before, for brunch, and it was great. This however was an extravagant, 3+ hour dinner journey.
I became aware of Ryan Kline, the Executive Chef, almost 10 years ago at a pop up dinner. I was enamored with him from the beginning as somehow he had made a soup that included popcorn that blew me out of the water. I hands down believe that he is now the best chef in Asheville. Therefore, I knew going in on Friday night that there was going to be no doubt that the food would be over the top. It did not dissapoint.
I am not writing this review though becasue of Ryan's food. I of course will include him in my review, but this is about the service.
Asheville as a whole is not known for its great service. There are a handful of spots around town that will take care of you, but most will have you leaving with a bad taste in your mouth (pun intended).
Everything, as we know, has gotten way too expensive. The expectiation that I get my money's worth when I dine out has never had greater importance. I will even be happy with overpriced mediocre food as long as the service is over the top. I will definitely give you another chance if your service/attitude is happy/fun/congenial.
Jargon knocked it out of the park with their service. Couple that with Ryan and his kitchen staffs' food and you have a recipe for success. From the moment we walked in the door until the time we walked back out, everything was on point. Alyssa greeted us at the door as if we had known each other for 20 years. She informed us that our friends were at the bar and walked us over to them. She explained that our table was ready, but if we were willing to wait just a few minutes more that a table outside would be available. The back patio is a hidden gem right outside the back door. Ariana at the bar was mixing up delicious cocktails and promptly tabbed us out a few minutes later as our table was available. As soon as we settled in, Caitlyn greeted us with water and suggestions. She let us piece together our family style dining experience by coursing out our meal in several layers. We had: crispy pigs ears, fingerling potatoes, rabbit croquettes, duck pate, duck breast, lamb, ribeye, mushrooms, cucumber gazpacho, brown butter financier cake, and the chaco taco!
Eddie, another server, delivered some of our food and checked in on us several times as well. He told us that he had moved to Asheville from California several years back and had worked at a Michelin Star restaurant when he was out west. He said that he dined around Asheville upon his arrival and that he wanted to work at Jargon once he tasted the food.
Sean, the owner, visited our table several times thoughout the evening. He thanked us for coming in, checked that everything was up to our expectations, and told us about his businesses growth upon our asking. He made mention that he did not take a PPP loan during the Pandemic and that he wears that as a badge of honor as to his restaurants reputation. He also noticed that my friends Pimm's cocktail was missing a straw and offerd to get one. He explained that the cocktail was better enjoyed with a straw since it was built in layers. This to me represents a keen eye for exemplary service and shows that, as an owner, he has a pulse on the heartbeat of his business.
Jargon is in West Asheville. If you are from out of town, then you need to experience this side of town. It does not come with the headaches of parking and hustle bustle that downtown Asheville has. You can explore West Asheville for all of its eclectic wierdness as well.
I will continue to patronize Jargon when I can get a babysitter and afford to go out. I don't want to take a chance on something else that just may dissapoint. I hope that you give it a try.More