Taking a spin on classic, mostly French dishes, Vivian, is doing something no one else is, in Asheville, North Carolina- which we believe will fare well for them. Let’s start with the ambience. Minimal and cozy, which is inviting, and a music playlist good enough to ask, will you share your link to Spotify with us? There is a downfall to their set up- in a full room, you may experience trouble hearing your dining partner, and the lights are too bright. We experienced several lighting adjustments in a two hour period, which breaks up the vibe. As far as service goes, the restaurant deserves props- A+ rating! Greeted immediately, the staff acknowledged our reservation and quickly seated us on a busy weekend night. (That says a lot.)
Now on to the culinary flair! Holy shit! The kitchen excels in presentation. The dishes were so beautifully presented, it was almost ok that the salt was overpowering in several selections. Let’s get down to the specifics…
For small bites we had Seared Foie Gras in a Brandy pan sauce ($12). It was so good, you could use a spoon!!!! The portion is a little too small to share, however the price was reflective of the portion…fair enough.
Unfortunately, the Choux pastry appetizer (Liseted as Congressman’s Doughnuts on the menu, made up of HUNGARIAN PÂTE À CHOUX, TROUT & ROE, ESCARGOT & HÔTEL BUTTER, CHICKEN LIVER MOUSSE & PORT, was cold and awkward to eat.
The ‘Oysters and Rose'($14) were extremely beautiful to the eye and summon up wonderful memories of summers in France… awe France. The lobster sauce served with the Scallop Quenelles ($18) was sooo f-ing spoon worthy!!!!!! Stuffed Quail, partially boned, came out with a grand presentation, but failed to live up to the hype. Veal Chop wasn’t visually anything special, yet the flavors were clear and our favorite by far.
What’s the word? The wine list is the shit (we don’t say that often). The pastry chef is doing a beautiful job. With only 3 selections for dessert it keeps quality in check, and we personally will go back just to try some more.
All in all? Bravo! Vivian had only been open 7 weeks at the time of this review. Great things should transpire if they are dilligent…
What we love…
Cocktails are totally worth it.
Beautiful French Cuisine.
348 Depot Street – The River Arts District