Asheville is renowned for its local food scene and we have enjoyed our share of tasty dishes at more than one restaurant in our first six months. As innkeepers, we are often asked for recommendations which are too numerous for one blog, but when discussing restaurants in Asheville, why not start with one in our neighborhood of historic Montford? Sometimes the real estate adage of “location, location, location” applies to restaurants as well so let’s start just one block from Pinecrest.
One Block: Nine Mile
It doesn’t get any closer than Nine Mile. The definitive authority, Google maps, says it’s a mere 0.2 miles or a 4 minute walk. Frankly we would walk farther in our kitchen if we stayed home and made dinner but why would we when we can take a trip to the islands without ever boarding a plane? The cuisine here consists of Caribbean inspired dishes, most served over your choice of pasta or rice with plenty of options leaning toward fish or chicken and many of the dishes can be adapted to be vegetarian friendly. Most entrees include a side of Natty bread and a salad. The choices of salad dressing alone indicates where their flavor profile is headed: Mango Vinaigrette, Jalapeno Lime Cilantro (personal favorite!) Orange Balsamic, and Sesame Garlic Tahini.
We can not help ourselves but to start with Reggae Mylitis aka black bean nachos with smokey chipotle queso and while we are at it–“big it up” with bell peppers, jalapenos, tomato and green onions.
The portions here, like many restaurants in Asheville, are beyond generous so we often share an entree….but not always because it’s hard to choose from the myriad choices and even harder to agree on just one. One such choice is Negril Nights described on the menu as grilled salt & pepper wild-caught tuna with garden vegetables and fire-roasted tomatoes, sauteed with white wine and a velvety diary-free coconut jerk sauce. It’s a mouthful for sure! As you can see on the left, sometimes we can’t resist taking a bite before we snap a photo. It’s that good.
Nine Mile always has a daily special too so be sure to check out the black board over the bar for their yummy description. The staff here are constantly pushing the envelope to use fresh ingredients in inventive ways that will challenge your preconceived flavor profiles.
Nine Mile serves beer which pair nicely with the nachos! They have a nice selection of bottled beer or ask about their rotating taps which feature some of the fine craft brews made here in Asheville. Wine is also available by the glass or bottle. The bar is a great place to grab a first come, first serve seat or sip a beverage while waiting for a table because this place is small…and popular…and doesn’t take reservations but it’s worth the wait.