The Bull and Beggar

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Address: 37 Paynes Way #007, Asheville, NC 28801

Latitude/Longitude: 35.586144, -82.566320

Web site: click here

Phone: (828) 575-9443

Pricing: $$$


This dining establishment is one of our newer Asheville eateries, circa 2013. Found neatly tucked into the River Arts District, next to Wedge Brewing Company, lending it an adjacent revelry as beer samplers enjoy laughs and a few beers more on picnic tables right next door.
Of note, from both an artistic perspective and also getting a high A in the “interesting greeting category”, is the dinosaur suspended above the building as you enter Bull and Beggar. This metal, fully moving dinosaur sculpture, a creation of beloved, now deceased local artist, John Payne was initially completed in 1997 and was designed after a Utahraptor. I can think of no other Asheville eatery that can offer a greeting scene that rivals this one.

Moving inside through the front door, the bar is a curved wood area with wooden stools in surround fully present but not overpowering the space. The bartender, by all accounts is a creative sort and is tweaking new libations as an ongoing process. Dark and Stormy was recommended as a popular choice by a young woman working at our inn but Bull and Beggar folks Matt Dawes (formerly of Table) and Drew Wallace (owner at Admiral) are innovative in all they offer, so both the food menu as well as the drink menu morph frequently.

Moving into the dining area, which enjoys two floors, cool mood lighting, exposed brick, and mirrors made for a warm feeling. You will be treated with a happy greeting-second only to our server, Gina, a truly kind young woman with real knowledge about the menu and very willing to ease our path into the menu choices best fitting our diverse group. It was in this way that 2 innkeepers, sister in tow and two intrepid neighbors with vast international experience in dining took our seats at a lovely round wood table. To be entirely forthright, while Bull and Beggar is new…we usually go to new dining establishments fairly quickly seeing that as a grand way to best advise our guests regarding types of food, atmosphere desired etc. I held back a bit from Bull and Beggar. Two reasons, they do not serve lunch and that time frame is an easier fit for us. Secondarily, though some of the food is very mainstream, much of it is not. That said, for guests that enjoy cutting edge dining, out of the ordinary selections in a very cool location–this is the ticket.

Their most ordered dish is charred octopus. By all accounts, it is delectable. This writer cannot comment on this selection because while Bull and Beggar clearly seeks to push the diner’s culinary boundaries this particular selection would leave me out.

Feeling best able to report on our chosen foods of that evening, while this establishment is “meat heavy,” I opted for vegetables. I chose Pan Seared Broccolini, Roasted Cauliflower, Salt Roasted Beets and Hush puppies. Each was outstanding. The mornay on the cauliflower was exceptional and while in the south sometimes veggies are served well over done for my taste-these were superb. I also chose the Brioche Lobster Roll, Roasted Chili–a petite but excellent cold dish. My sister and I shared this – despite Gina’s warning it was small. It was but served as a nice complement to the veggie selection which we also shared. Both men, my husband and our neighbor enjoyed the oysters on the half shell. Both attested to the superb quality and really excellent flavor of the oysters and dually felt that the shucker might need a bit more training to leave less shell in the oysters. Not daunting enough certainly to dissuade either from enjoying this dish again. My neighbor’s wife went rogue, thoroughly enjoying the Grilled Spanish Mackeral, tomato and Bandade Potatoes with a minutia of caviar. We went on a Monday night (please see Tip and Deal below) so my husband, a true slider oficionado took this opportunity to top off the oyster selection with the $6 burger and fries option, Angus beef and gone in a flash if that tells you anything.

Seeking to expand your culinary experience, feeling a bit adventurous and in need of a night out worth talking about…brave the dinosaur and go seek what Bull and Beggar has on the outer limits tonight.

From the Author: Monday-Thursday open from 6 p.m.-11:30 p.m. Friday-Saturday open from 5:00 p.m.-12:00 a.m. Sunday open from 5:00 p.m.-10:00 p.m.

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