You may have plenty of time to look at Chop House Asheville Downtown stuck in 5 o’clock traffic on 240, creeping along agitated by drivers who haven’t mastered the art of merging from Merrimon. If you haven’t been inside though, or if it’s been a while, you’re missing what Asheville’s local steakhouse is all about. From the variety of dishes and drinks, the decor and relaxed vibe, to the convenient free downtown parking and the creative characters who pull it all together, let’s give you three reasons to discover Chop House.
There’s never going to be an afternoon where there isn’t traffic on 240. Take an evening and give yourself a Chop House break.
“We’re right off the Merrimon exit, and one of few places downtown where the parking is ample and free,” says Marc Biondolillo, Chop House front of house manager. “If you just want some light bites or hand helds, I guarantee we have a much better selection than you’ll get waiting in your car on the highway.”
Marc’s right. My Volkswagen has a ton of features, but no Beer-Battered Fish and Chips, Prime Rib Sandwich, or Chop House Wings and Calamari.
As far as that ample, free parking thing in downtown Asheville – I know it sounds mythical, like a unicorn. This, though, is real. Chop House Asheville-Downtown is not a hotel restaurant, but locally run with a uniquely Asheville vibe. It’s location adjacent to the Four Points by Sheraton, though, makes it easy to find a free parking space just steps from the restaurant’s doors.
“We have a real relaxed vibe,” Marc explains. “If you’re coming straight from work in a suit or if you’re in jeans and a sweat shirt, you’ll feel comfortable here. Catch up with friends or your significant other, decompress, watch a little TV at the bar, have something delicious and hit the road again once traffic’s thinned out.”
Being a local steakhouse, Chop House Asheville Downtown has a menu custom crafted by the colorful past of its executive chef, Pedro Alvarez. He is a former South Beach, bounty-hunting, Disney entertainer chef who has fused his skills with the many locally-sourced ingredients in Western North Carolina.
“One example of that South Beach flair is our Ahi Tuna,” says Chef Pedro. “We use pineapple, cilantro, lime juice. It’s got a South Florida feel, and really enhances the ahi tuna flavor.”
As for the other items on his resume? He’s certainly committed to entertaining you with a tasty presentation on your plate. The bounty hunting background? Chef’s Pedro’s certainly not afraid of a little heat. In fact, you’ll often find him stoking the fire.
“We have a wood-fired oven, that easily reaches 750 degrees. “All our meats are seared on it, and it gives steaks a beautiful, charred smoky flavor.”
The meat on the menu the best of the best. “Some restaurants use ‘choice’ beef, but we take it a step further and use grass-fed ‘1855 Prime Beef’,” Chef Pedro explains. “It’s the top of the line, you’re not going to find anything better than that.”
What meat matches your mood? Chop House Asheville-Downtown features the classic ribeye, filet strips, and porterhouse. “We also have different steak specials that rotate on the menu, when you want to try something a different.”
If the meat your in the mood for comes from mountain waters, Chef Pedro’s got just the dish to catch your taste buds. “We have our Mountain trout, locally sourced from Sunburst Trout Farms. We’re not just a steakhouse, but our steaks are indeed top notch.
This steakhouse menu is well crated, manager Marc, a vegan, leaves work full and happy each night. “We really have great salads like our kale salad and great sides including grilled asparagus and sauteed kale.”
Chop House Asheville Downtown has a relaxed atmosphere, and is decorated with stonework, iron light fixtures, and other touches that make you wish your place the same cool vibe. You also wish you had the same great selection of beverages behind your own beautiful bar.
“We have ten local beers on tap, good whiskey, plus a nice wine selection as well,” Marc says. “Plus, our bartenders have some pretty creative craft cocktails inspired by local flavors.”
You might be able to have a backdrop of live jazz, with a performance space to the right of the bar. When the weather’s nice, you can also have your friends meet you on the patio, with full food and beverage service outside in the downtown sunshine. You can even bring your dogs to unwind with you. Chop House Asheville-Downtown also features a private dining room for up to 25 people for your special function.
You don’t have to wait for 5 o’clock traffic to experience Chop House Asheville-Downtown. The next time you’re stuck on 240, though, and see it one turn away, just know there’s a way better way home. It’s located just off exit 5A at 22 Woodfin Street.
Former TV weatherguy who never got it right, til the day I predicted mostly cloudy skies with a 100% chance of unemployment. I've survived stints as a morning radio host, stay-at-home dad, and lab assistant. All left me with with varying degrees of side-effects, which somehow combined to make me a good fit to be the editor/video producer of the828.com.