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“Neighborhood Gem”

Ambrozia Bar & Bistro
Ranked #208 of 781 Restaurants in Asheville
Certificate of Excellence
Price range: $15 - $40
Cuisines: American, Gastropub
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Bar scene, Romantic, Special occasions, Business meetings, Families with children
Dining options: Lunch, Dinner, Brunch, Full Bar, Outdoor Seating, Parking Available, Reservations, Seating, Serves Alcohol, Takeout, Waitstaff, Wheelchair Accessible
Dining style: Casual Dining
Cross street: Beaver Lake Shopping Center
Description: The focus at Ambrozia is a farm to table menu that evolves with availability and the seasons. The menu is heavily southern influenced but will also feature some southwestern, Caribbean, Asian, and European flair from Sam's different experiences as a chef. The bar is wine focused, featuring hand-picked food friendly wines. Craft beers and creative cocktails will also be available at the hand crafted bar. Whether coming to enjoy a multiple course meal or just stopping by for a drink, we want all our customers to feel the same family atmosphere that the employees have at Ambrozia Bar & Bistro.
Level Contributor
108 reviews
85 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 31 helpful votes
“Neighborhood Gem”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed July 11, 2013

What an incredible addition to the Asheville food scene. Off the downtown beaten path - totally worth the effort to go out of your way to eat here. The decor is amazing - The wood bar, lighting and wall decorations are beautiful. The service was impeccable and our server had good knowledge of the menu and food choices. We enjoyed several small plates as our meal and each one was better than the last. We especially liked the cheerwine braised short ribs, pancetta wrapped shrimp and lobster corn dogs. We enjoyed our experience so much that we went back for brunch on Sunday and was wowed with their brunch choices. It was a set price with a choice of a starter a main meal and a dessert. Great food for a low price. We will be returning many times to this local bistro. Try sitting at the chef's seats - he will make you a special meal based on what he is feeling that night - love this option!!

  • Visited July 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank Jenna L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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134 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
    70
    43
    14
    2
    5
Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
Asheville, North Carolina
Level Contributor
14 reviews
10 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
“Interesting menu = Good food and good times”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed July 10, 2013

So many new restaurants have opened in Asheville lately that it hard to keep up. So when it came to choosing where to eat last night, we went by the menu. Ambrozia has the misfortune of being located outside of the central business district so it won't get the traffic it might if it were in the way of the tourist trail. This is a pity. The decor of this restaurant is light, fun and different from what we are seeing so much of downtown these days. And while the menu caters to the local southern produce it does so with a different twist. The chef is not afraid of bold flavors. If you can't stand the heat, be careful in this kitchen! it's not overwhelming but it is definitely present. A small plate salad of watermelon salad with feta and pickled jalapeno was a visual feast which delivered fragrant sweet watermelon, salty feta and a punch of peppery heat in just the right proportion. Cheerwine braised beef short-ribs were to die for: a rich meaty gravy over a delectable pimento cheese mashed potato had me wanting to lick the plate. There were some misses in the mix. Most notably the bar snacks could use some tweaking. Buttermilk popovers with pimento cheese were presented beautifully but the popovers were dense and the cheese needed to be at room temp so that when it hit the hot popover more of it melted without leaving a curious hot/cold effect.And The Chocolate Bomb has some good parts but still needs work. However, the Blue Cheese Cake, a ricotta-based cheese cake topped with blue cheese with spiced chutney and nuts, had us fighting over the last bite. After dinner we talked a bit with the manager about the various dishes and it was easy to tell that these are people who are passionate about food and enjoy tweaking the menu and their dishes in the hunt to find the perfect bite. This is a restaurant for those who enjoy watching a chef try things out, celebrate the hits and applaud the effort for the misses

  • Visited July 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank SunsetSusan
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Tennessee Ridge, Tennessee
Level Contributor
71 reviews
45 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 29 helpful votes
“Good for one visit”
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed June 26, 2013

This restaurant opened in early June 2013 in a little shopping center on Merrimon about 1/4 mile past Beaverdam Rd. It has a "trendy" atmosphere - meaning chrome, blond wood, and a generally Spartan and clean appearance - it's not a cozy / comfy atmosphere. Unfortunately, the hard décor means that sound bounces off every surface. We literally could not hear ourselves talk when seated at a table across from a loud party of six at the bar. About half the seating is on a wall paralleling the bar.

The menu is unique - and that's a mixed blessing. You can try new things, but you may not recognize half the items listed as either main dishes or their accompaniments. The full meal section is limited to about 8 items with a similar number of smaller plates. Prices are just a little higher than the portions justify. I had a burger special for the evening with barbequed fries and bbq kale. The beef was something more than just plain ground beef - neither a plus or minus in my book, but a reflection of the "different" style of the place. My date had the lobster corn dogs and a plate of clams. Neither were impressive, except that the clams were dime-sized little guys - don't plan to fill up on the clams.

The restaurant has a long list of wines and drinks, so my guess is they are looking more for the "drink and a snack crowd" rather than full-meal diners. Ironically, you can't get iced tea or lemonade, but they will mix fruit juice with spritzer. The staff is friendly and maybe the owners will tweak the menu as they see what people want, but for my date and I, once was all we wanted. Try it for yourself and decide.

  • Visited June 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
1 Thank MrTopDawg
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Samuel E, Manager at Ambrozia Bar & Bistro, responded to this review, July 31, 2014
It's been a little over a year now and we've been working things out. The first few months is especially hard as we work through finding the right staff and rhythm. It pains us to see that your experience was unpleasant and it would be an honor to try to show you what we have become. We have a passionate kitchen and professional wait staff and things are really on a roll!
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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