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asta : boston, a new gem


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Restaurants & Bars 5

asta : boston, a new gem

rammeyers | Feb 4, 2013 04:18 PM

I'm surprised to see no one has posted about Asta yet, so figured I'd get things rolling. I ate at Asta its opening weekend and was impressed all around. The atmosphere is casual and comfortable, the staff inviting (with nary a sign of just-opened jitters), the open kitchen plan terrific (at the bar/counter seats you can watch the calm choreography among the kitchen staff and front of house, all sharing in the effort bringing food to table), and the food fantastic.

We tried the 8 courses, a splurge well worth it for the (generous) amount of food but most of all for the chef's creativity, care and confidence with preparing and serving excellent food. A number of the dishes are memorable for their playful and astute combinations of texture, color and flavor. I hesitate to say too much about the specifics–part of the delight is discovering these details as dishes are placed before you (and I don't know how often the menu will rotate); as you take a bite some individual elements reveal themselves as different from what your eyes expected, and the taste buds and the brain experience the concept and the taste and feel of the food in tandem.

These surprises don't feel strange for strangeness' sake; rather juxtapositions and provocations are smart without compromising on sensual pleasures. My husband and I are looking forward to trying the 3 course. I should add the restaurant accepted my request for a pescatarian version of the offerings without batting an eyelash–indeed only 1 of the 8 courses needed to be swapped out to make it so. I imagine they could do just as well for vegetarians.

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