If you’re eating just one dish at a restaurant, you’re missing out (at least, according to writer Jo Pinsker). Therein lies the beauty of tapas + other small plate restaurants — where small bites of everything are the point.
Here are four small plate spots where you can indulge in a multi-course culinary adventure. Just make sure your schedule is clear, as lingering around the table for hours is really the magic of the experience.
Zambra | 85 W. Walnut St.
Nestled below the sidewalk level of Walnut Street, this beloved local institution has a subterranean yet opulent atmosphere. The archway-adorned, amber-lit lounge focuses on western Mediterranean dishes like fried chickpeas, pan roasted scallops, and confit duck leg — and with plates starting at $7, it’s also one of the most affordable options in the 828.
Cúrate | 13 Biltmore Ave.
This authentic Spanish tapas restaurant takes service seriously — so much so that it recently won the James Beard Hospitality Award. The patatas bravas, gambas al ajillo (garlic shrimp in sherry broth), and piquillo peppers (peppers stuffed with spanish goat cheese) are executed to perfection. Make a reservation — or visit the seafood-focused pintxos bar, La Bodega, which is only a few streets away at 32 S. Lexington Ave.
Asheville Proper | 1 Page Ave., St. 151
Nearly everything tastes better when kissed with fire, and luckily, this live-fire steakhouse offers a plethora of small plate vegetable, seafood, and protein dishes. Menu standouts include the wood-fired beets, local mushroom ragout, and wagyu flatiron steak. Reservations are encouraged.
Red Ginger Dimsum and Tapas | 82 Patton Ave.
The soup dumplings are a must at this authentic Chinese dim sum-style restaurant. Though there’s no traditional rolling cart, guests are encouraged to select freshly prepared dishes like the pork short ribs, steamed shumai dumplings, and smoked duck breast with reckless abandon.