#47 of 23 Asheville Restaurants

STORM Rhum Bar & Bistro

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STORM Rhum Bar and Bistro: Elegant Drinks and Innovative Food
Local Expert's Rating:
4.5 / 5
The Bottom Line:

This cozy bistro sometimes gets forgotten amid the sea of new restaurants that open (and often close) each year in Asheville. It shouldn't! Storm offers consistently good, uncomplicated food in a comfortable, friendly and sometimes romantic atmosphere. It's a welcome change from the ubiquitous sports bars. Oh, and you can sample more than 20 different types of domestic and Caribbean rums.

- The SmokyMountains.com Local Expert Team

Storm Rhum Bar and Bistro, which opened in 2011, offers a charming alternative to area brew pubs and sports bars. Known for its huge variety of rum and rum drinks as well as its innovative, locally-sourced menu, Storm is a the place to go for everything from a first date to an after concert nosh. The vibe here is relaxed and casually elegant and the service is unpretentious and friendly. The mismatched chairs and antique leather menu covers make Storm feel more like a private club than a restaurant. There’s also a charming patio with a huge outdoor fireplace that makes a great place to cuddle and share a drink with your special someone.

The Rhum bar (that’s the French spelling) at Storm features 20 different varieties from all over the United States, Caribbean and Central America. You can get a flight of samples, try a shot or have your favorite rum included in one of the bistro’s signature cocktails. The menu has a Caribbean, Latin American flair with a few American favorites added. The kitchen doesn’t try to do too many different things; there are just seven entrees plus specials from which to choose, which is generally a good sign. Although the emphasis is on meat, vegans will find offerings like the seasonal vegetable entree with a chickpea patty. Storm also has one of the best late-night menus in town.

It’s hard to find a down side at Storm. If I had to choose one, it would be the slightly dark atmosphere inside the restaurant and that the place can get rather lively (read loud) on weekend evenings. However, the staff is so friendly and the food so tasty, you’ll barely notice either.

A few of our favorite menu items at Storm include:

Gnocchi
This is our favorite menu item at Storm and features goat cheese stuffing and a sauce of pickled ramps, spring peas, fava beans and shiitake mushrooms.

Pimento Cheese Appetizer
Another consistent favorite, Storm has its own version of this summer southern staple that’s spicy without being overwhelming. They serve it with sweet pickles and slices of house-made bread.

Mac and Cheese
This is our favorite starter at Storm. While we rather like anyone’s version of mac and cheese, Storm takes it to a new level with bacon, roasted jalapeno peppers and three cheeses. They add a little toasted panko (seasoned bread crumbs) to give it a little crunch.

Painkiller Cocktail
We also enjoy this potent signature rum cocktail at Storm. They take Pusser’s British Navy rum and add pineapple, orange, cream of coconut and a hint of nutmeg. The combination is easy to drink and kind of makes you feel like you’re sitting on the deck of a cruise ship.

Insider Tips:
-Storm offers happy hour specials on food and drinks Sunday through Thursday afternoons. Don’t think that you have to order a traditional dinner here. The menu is set up so you can choose a variety of small plates for the table and sample a variety of food items.