Cocktail cavorting is one of my favorite pastimes no matter what town I’m in. I especially enjoy staggering around downtown Asheville where there is a plethora of bars and restaurants catering to any mood. There is never a shortage of fun to be had. One place in particular that I like to stop in at when I’m feeling a slight urban edge is Nightbell, James Beard’s Rising Star Finalist, Katie Buttons newest digs. I must admit that it is one of the chicer places in town…. And that’s probably why I adore it so, oftentimes finding myself popping in for an evening cocktail – or three.
I have yet to partake of dinner, which I do intend because the feedback I’ve gotten so far is incredible. I’ve heard many good words about the menu, and with Katie Button at the helm, there is no doubt. For me, it seems that I can’t draw myself away from the bar. The extensive list of craft cocktails has kept me captivated. The bar staff is superb, very friendly and extremely engaging. In fact one of my bar favs, the talented mixologist Drew is always game to entertain my pyromaniac sensibilities. “Set it on fire! Set it on fire!” is my common mantra, from which he will set a fiery light to many of my libations. With this kind of entertainment, there is no wonder that I can’t manage my way to a table.
I’ve introduced many an imbiber to this vibrantly intriguing bar and none have been disappointed. Their selection of cocktails range from such signature drinks as the Veracruz, combining the bite of chinaco anejo tequila, ginger liqueur, jalapeno, domaine de canton ginger liqueur, lime and rhubarb bitters to the aptly named, Penicillin #3 which synthesizes apple pie moonshine, smoked applewood, honey ginger syrup, lemon and allspice. The range and creativity of Nightbell’s cocktails are quite impressive and the overall ambiance is what keeps me coming back for more.
The vibe is cool, hip and slightly upscale. There is a definite bustle and an upbeat feeling as overhanging glass chandeliers reflect changing kaleidoscopic light sequences. This place is great for meet-ups with friends, date night adventures or anytime you’re wanting to experience a vintage setting with a neon twist.
The next time I visit Nightbell I will stay for dinner – more to come on that, probably in a post titled, Nightbell Part 2. Nightbell is open Tuesday through Sundays after 5pm. Reservations are accepted by calling 828-575-0375. They are located at 32 South Lexington Avenue. For more information, visit their website at www.thenightbell.com