Asheville has a new hotel/restaurant/bar. The Bohemian  Hotel opened a couple of months back, across from the entrance to the Biltmore Estate. It opened in times leaner than I think the owners had planned on. That said, they’ve done a good job bringing the bar and the restaurant in line with the current economic setting. We headed back tonight for my second and the Amateur Cocktail Spouse’s first visit.

The  Bar

The Bar

I booked our reservation through Open Table, not much of an accomplishment as they had open spots and welcomed walk-ins. There is a good laid-back vibe that gels with the local attitudes. We got they a bit early so we could hang out at the bar. Lynn had a nice gin-elderflower-grapefruit cocktail while I had my sights set on a Manhattan. I was still thinking about those cherry infused rye Manhattans from July 4th. The bar staff has done a good job coming up with some unique mixes. One involved cherry infused Jim Beam. With Manhattans on my mind, I asked if they could make one using the cherry whiskey. The bartender didn’t blink. A truely great drink was prepared and consumed. She left out the bitters, but that was  not a significant distraction from enjoying the drink, the ambiance and the present company. If I can do it anonymously, I’ll drop off a bottle of Fee Brothers Old Fashioned Bitters on my next visit.

My Manhattan - consumed

My Manhattan - consumed

Dinner followed with two melting filets and a nice bottle of Domaine Serene Evenstad (06). The wine list is well selected, leaning toward value, and priced appropriately with a reasonable mark up over retail – not the all-to-common confiscatory 200 to 300 percent markup that seems to be the norm nowadays. One quibble was the escargot apetizer (Where did the escar-go?).

A fun and enjoyable night. Give me week or two to get some proper bitters to the bartenders, then go and enjoy a Jim Beam cherry Manhattan.

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