The 45-seat concept (with 10 seats at the bar) is taking the place of 47 Pizza + Pasta (formerly Café 47), which closed earlier this year. Asta will feature chef tasting menus only, offering three-, five- and eight-course tastings at about $40, $70 and $90, respectively – though those prices are not set in stone. Beer, wine and cordials will help keep the mood, well, cordial.
Crabb pauses to define his cuisine while on the phone with Zagat. “Playful,” he says, repeating the word his business partner and girlfriend, Shish Parsigian, uses. “That’s a good word. Playful, but still sophisticated.”
Before his time at L'Espalier, Crabb, a Culinary Institute of America grad, did his internship at the venerable French Laundry.
At a time when sustainability and farm-to-table is hotter than ever, he is also going to “embrace the food around me.”
Asta’s interior will feature red oak and steel, and be focused on offering a “fun and laid-back atmosphere,” says Crabb. “I know it’s another form of casual dining – but I really hate to say that.” Crabb reaches for an analogy: “I hate to drop names, but I’m thinking like Momofucu’s Ko, where you’re getting great food in a stripped-down environment – [like at] a lot of places in New York. Get straight to the point, and the point is the food.”
Crabb is still playing with the hours, but as it stands the place will be dinner only and likely be open Tuesday through Sunday.