Located at 233 Montford Avenue in Asheville (with an additional location in West Asheville), Nine Mile specializes in Caribbean cuisine. Entrees focus on fish, seafood, and chicken, and there are both vegetarian and gluten-free options. Beer, wine, and cocktails are available, and specials change daily.
Named for Bob Marley’s hometown, Nine Mile offers feel-good food worthy of the reggae legend’s name. The interior of the Montford location is your classic dark tavern enlivened by Jamaican flag trim and colorful, distinctive wall art. It makes for some nice ambiance, but the main draw here is the food.
About that food: this place knows fish. Tilapia, trout, tuna, salmon, and Mahi are among the regular offerings, and they come in a variety of iterations. You will find the expected jerk seasoning here, but you’ll also find maple glazes and white wine sauces. The Mayfield Falls is a favorite (even if the fish did come slightly overcooked the last time I ordered it): grilled Mahi with a jicama mint salsa and a coconut cream sauce over pasta or rice. Flake the fish and mix well, and it’s a mouthful of heaven in every bite. Another solid option is the Soon Come, which blends tri-colored cheese tortellini with bananas, apples, currants, and pineapples. The fruit may sound like gimmickry, but the sweetness balances the white wine butter sauce quite well. No matter what you order, you’ll get to sample a house-made dressing over a side salad. The sesame garlic tahini is a winner.
Given both the quality and quantity (plan on leftovers) of the food, pricing plenty reasonable. The vegetarian and chicken dishes tend to run between $11 and $13 while fish and seafood dishes are in the mid-to-upper teens. Go for lunch, and the prices drop to the $8 to $10 range.
Nine Mile’s one drawback is that service can be slow. This is exacerbated by the restaurant’s popularity as a weekend dinner destination. Come here anticipating a leisurely meal, and you should do fine. But come here starving and ready to eat right away, and you may rue the decision.
Fresh, vibrant, and flavorful, Nine Mile’s Jamaican creations are a worthy lure to anyone in the Asheville area.