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.
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.
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.