My wife and I were visiting Asheville for a business trip, and we got to mix in a little fun too. The bar tender (Carlos... an awesome guy) at the Crowne Plaza made a few great recommendations to us, so we tried out Tupelo Honey.
We were not disappointed at all. The vibe in this place seems to reverberate the eclectic energy that is Asheville. There are servers, busser's, chef's and greeters/hosts all moving at a frenetic pace, all with positive, upbeat excitement. The energy is palpable... and it was 2:30 PM on a Friday afternoon. Wow. This is a place you just want to be in.
Service was outstanding...friendly, knowledgeable, efficient. The menu is large, and inventive. Great sourcing of local ingredients to be sure. While sitting there we saw someone walk through the restaurant and into the kitchen with a clear plastic bag of large trout filets. These were not frozen, just on ice, and were no doubt fresh.
My wife had the 'Southern Fried Chicken Saltimbocca with Country Ham and Mushroom Marsala' and I had the 'Not Your Momma's Meatloaf'. If I'm being honest, while everything else about this place is a 5 out of 5, I'd have to give the food we had a 3.5 to 4. My meatloaf was nothing spectacular and neither was the dish my wife had. I am a grit cake lover, so we tried their grit cakes as an appetizer. It tasted like a cornmeal batter, but the crust was too thick and hard... and, well, 'corny' tasting. The grits inside were just okay, lacking flavor. The hot sauce on the outside, is HOT, so be careful if you try this dish. The sauce, at least to me, did not bring anything exciting to the dish. We also tried the Chicken & Dumpling Soup. The soup lacked the depth of flavor you always hope for in this soup, and the dumplings were too thick and doughy.
All in all, this is a great local place that is worth the trip if you are in Asheville.