While in Asheville in June, I desperately wanted to go to Plant. I had read all the wonderful reviews, but the problem was they are open only for dinner. Finding a good time to go became a problem, and towards the end of our trip we seized an opportunity to have an early dinner. (Of course we first called and asked if they could accommodate us.)
The restaurant is located outside of the main downtown on a busy local road. It is small and unassuming. When we went inside to ask about seating, the hostess led us through a minimalist and half-empty dining space to an outdoor patio. The outdoor patio accommodates maybe six small tables. The only space available for two tables pushed together was in the blazing sun next to the parked cars. I asked to eat inside since so many tables were empty and was told those were being held for reservations. The patio was covered, but since we were right on the edge, there was no protection from the sun and it was quite hot. Also, it is not decorated in any way to make one think they are sitting somewhere other than next to a bunch of parked cars. If this were a burger joint or a pizza place, then okay, but it falls short of the standard for a fine dining establishment.
We ordered almost everything on the menu--the warm olives, the fried plantains, the roasted artichokes, the shishito peppers, the kale salad. For entrees we had a couple of plates of the walnut crusted seitan, as well as the red curry and the oyster mushroom apricot adobo. The most disappointing dish was the olives, which just tasted like olives after all, and the favorite was the seitan. The dishes were well-prepared but quite rich. Even though we enjoyed our meals, no one asked to return.
We could not stay for dessert since we had an appointment to keep. Even without dessert, the bill was high, as we had expected.
Having visited most of the other veg restaurants in Asheville on our vacation, I can see why Plant gets high reviews. This is fancy, special-occasion vegan food. Even though Asheville was incredibly veg friendly, Plant was unique in its level of intricate preparation. However, I live in a city with several restaurants specializing in fancy, special-occasion vegan food, and they offer more aspects of the "fine dining" experience. My personal view that is if Plant is going to charge expensive, "fine dining" prices, then they should make the entire experience more commensurate with the bill.