Friday, April 8, 2016

Asti - Restaurant Review

Believe it or not, this is the first time I've been to Asti. I've heard great things about it, but with so many restaurants in Austin it kept slipping my mind. I'm so happy that we finally went last night!

The restaurant is simply and tastefully decorated. The atmosphere and service are warm and thoughtful. We sat near the back of the restaurant by the wine collection, where it was relatively quiet in comparison to the tables and bar near the open kitchen.

We each started with drinks - I went with our waiter Frank's suggestion, the Villa Vallmaggiore Campostella Sangiovese from Tuscany, which was $9 a glass. D chose Brooklyn Brown Ale, which was served in a glass from a bottle. I believe it was $6 a bottle.

Before our food began arriving, we were treated to the chef's amazingly soft focaccia. It was truly one of the most incredible breads I have ever tasted!

The Fried Shishito Peppers & Salami was a perfect antipasto and was only $6. It consisted of a large plate of perfectly fried peppers topped with three large, thin, crisp slices of salami and seasoned with salt flakes. So good!

I love Caesar Salad and try it every chance I get. Asti's is excellent, with full leaves of fresh Romaine and generous slices of Parmesan. It was $8 without the anchovies. D ordered the Burrata Salad, which was delectable Antonelli's cheese served on sweet leafy greens and topped with a fig vinaigrette. It was really fantastic! I think it was around $12.

I couldn't pass up the Linguine & Littleneck Clams dressed with chili flakes, garlic, white wine, olive oil, and breadcrumbs, $21. Frank highly recommended making it "dirty" (adding ASTI sausage & tomato, + $4). I went with that and couldn't imagine the dish any other way. It was fresh and flavorful with tons of clams and wonderful salty sausage and slightly spicy sauce. I loved the taste and the texture. It was fabulous! I had to take about a third of it home because it was a pretty large portion.

D wanted to try the Rigatoni Amatriciana, but he doesn't like guanciale because it's mostly fat. Instead he ordered the Chicken & Eggplant Parmesan, $21, which he enjoyed so much. I was lucky enough to taste a bite. The chicken was tender with a crispy breading, the sauce nice and tomato-y, and the eggplant very tender. Yum!

We were so full that we didn't order any dessert. Our total was $110 pre-tip for 2 drinks each, 1 starter, 2 salads, and 2 main courses. Loved it all, and will definitely be back!

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