Average. Decided to give this place a try on our trip to Asheville, after reading the top restaurants from online. The decor was mediocre. Quaint, but nice. The hostess was friendly and greeted us warmly. There were two other couples in the restaruant on the Wednesday night we arrived, and rightfully so we were seated immediately. The server approached our table to greet us, and then stated she was going to grab menus and silverware (remember, only two other couples in the restaurant) which took well over five minutes because we noticed her having an informal conversation with the hostess...what ever could they have been talking about? The beer and wine selection were both adequate and to our liking. We started with the Calamria for an appetizer, and I would have to agree with the previous persons review about over-breading and lack of taste. Our entrees, (pollo piccatta alla veneziana , pollo saltimbocca, capelli d'angelo pasta) were reasonably priced, but lacked flavor and were served luke warm. None of the entrees were anything that we hadn't experienced elsewhere and with better results. We did not stay for dessert. The best part of the evening was the guitar player, "Mark", who did a great job of setting the mood with nice renditions of James Taylor, Gordon Lightfoot, Jim Croce, and others. Again, an average night, but umfortunately not one that we will repeat.
I have been eating at the Bistro 1896 for about 10 years and in my opinion, it consistantly has the best food and the best service. The help is always friendly and the food is excellent. I love to take my friends to 1/2 price wine day on Tuesdays. And I like that I can get a balanced/beautiful meal at lunch for a great price. I also like the fact that if I just feel like having a piece of chicken added to my meal, or I ask them not to make things spicey or spicier, they accommodate me without question. I have heard people ordering who have a special diet for things like diabetes and there is never a question--they will do what you ask. That seems to be a rare thing with some restaurants who just want to do it their way and seem to forget that customer service is what it is all about. I rate the Bistro 1896 with 5 stars, Exceptional! Sandy McCall, Southern Life Realty
We enjoyed the Piano player he did a great job. The service was poor, we mentioned it was warm and ask if the air conditioning was broke, the waiter said he had opened the front door so people walking by could hear the music, he admited it was warm in the restruant but didn't close the door for it to cool off. I ordered a shrimp and scallop dish in vodka sauce got very few shrimp and scallops in it. I did like that you could order a smaller portion which my mom did but then she only got one shrimp and one scallop in her meal. We did enjoy our evening there but the service could have been alot better, they took good care of us but the attitude was so poor it just didn't make you feel good. The food was gfood but I've had much better and thats dissapointing since I had heard wonderful reviews about it. I doubt if we will ever go back there. I will go to Olive Garden first.