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“Not to be a snob, but......”

The Esmeralda Restaurant
Ranked #5 of 14 Restaurants in Chimney Rock
Certificate of Excellence
Price range: $15 - $25
Cuisines: American
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Dining options: Breakfast, Reservations
Description: Known as one of the best Chimney Rock restaurants, The Esmeralda Restaurant is the perfect place to dine during your stay with us at the Inn. Our menus reflect our exceptional attention to detail through carefully crafted dishes and combinations. We take pride in providing our guests with the very best service, ingredients, and overall atmosphere as they dine in our Chimney Rock restaurant.
Reviewed October 28, 2012

Maybe my standards are too high, but I went into this experience with really low expectations. They were met. I suppose the chef actually believes he's making food that is worth the price tag they've put on their menu. First mistake they made: Charging a corkage fee when they have no alcohol in the restaurant. It's one thing, if a restaurant has wine and beer, to charge a corkage fee to offset the money that is being "lost" on a bottle brought in. But here, there was no wine or beer available, so they were essentially charging us for drinking. At such an expensive restaurant, this is simply unacceptable (and bordering on ridiculous). Our appetizers were mediocre. I had the SSAM, which was supposed to be something Vietnamese. The meat was totally unseasoned, the lettuce leaves were wilted, the kimchee (actually Korean, bad mix on their part) was so spicy that I could barly eat it, and the sauce was frankly disgusting. My husband had fried oysters. They were not bad alone, but the sauce that came with them was so spicy that he could not eat it (and we both really like spicy food). Our entrees were slightly better than poor. I had the shrimp and grits, which were acceptable (at best), and my husband had the duck. He was not told until we ordered that the duck was actually duck confit, and not duck breast as it appeared on the menu. He ordered it anyway, and it was so salty that it was practically inedible. Don't they taste this food before they send it out of the kitchen?? No dessert, thanks.

5  Thank aph03
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
theesmeralda123, Owner at The Esmeralda Restaurant, responded to this reviewResponded November 3, 2012

I would suggest you look at the overwhelming majority of positive reviews and draw you own conclusions regarding this one.

Your email mentioned several issues with this meal. Usually, if there is a problem, we know about it prior to a guest leaving. So many bad experiences at one meal would warrant some comment. Especially from someone who seems to portray themselves as a food critic. Yet nothing was said to the Front of House manager or the Front Desk staff. If we don't know you're unhappy, we can't remedy the situation. This review was posted on the same night we received a very similar review on another site. These are the only bad reviews we have received. Please judge for yourself

A wine corkage fee is very common in restaurants that do not have a liquor license. The restaurant still must have a Brown Bag Permit through the state but it allows guests to bring in their own beverage and the restaurant charges a small fee to serve it. Still a far cry less than buying your wine at the time of your dinner. This isn’t our first choice but being a dry town it is a way to offer the ability for guests to still enjoy a beverage. What many guests don’t realize is that without alcohol many restaurants could not make a profit. So if this guest feels a $7.00 charge is not reasonable we understand them looking at a cheaper restaurant.

Our Inn & Restaurant get rave reviews from our Inn guests as well as visitors from all over the country (and world travelers!). We must be doing something right. Please read these reviews and make a good decision for yourself. Please also read the reviewers other reviews.

Thank you to all our guests and visitors who leave thoughtful, well intentioned reviews. We welcome constructive criticism as this is how we make the Inn better for all our guests.

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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179 - 183 of 213 reviews

Reviewed October 24, 2012

Being a fine dining Chef I believe I am qualified in saying that the Esmeralda restaurant might be one of the best dining experiences you will get in Western NC. The only thing missing was a good glass of red wine to go along with the exceptional courses we sampled. You can tell from the flavors and ingredients that the Executive chef as been prefessionally trained. The flavors were well balanced and tantalizing to the taste bud. This meal was well worth the ride in from Asheville. We spent the day kicking around Chimney Rock park and dinner was the perfect ending. Cudos to the Esmeralda for not wanting to be like everyone else.

Prepare to have a relaxing dinner at the Esmeralda by not being in a rush. Make sure you bring your favorite bottle of wine with you. Although as mentioned Chimney Rock is still in the ice age when it comes to alcohol. The town is dry. That's right dry. The mayor must be 110. The saving grace is the Esmeralda does have a brown baggage license that allows you to bring it with you.

    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Thank bob b
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 22, 2012

5 people in my party and everyone had something different and it was all great! The continental breakfast and daily coffee was a treat as well.

Thank Melissa c
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 1, 2012

The food was awesome but the chef was more awesome. He is the most well spoken young man ever! We saw him on UNC TV. He cans a lot of the fresh local organic food in the restaurant. When they asked him why canned his comment was "to catch summer in a jar." We booked our trip that day to go meet him. He makes homemade marshmallows, and he brought one to our table. Along with a blow torch and torched the marshmallow at our table. He then served that with a slice of cantaloupe topped with bacon. I have never had anything SO GOOD!

Thank Olivia J
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 1, 2012

Beautiful setting tucked against the mountain. Beautiful room, delicious food and very gracious owners. Worth your trip for a secluded get-away!

Thank Connie N
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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