The monopoly tycoons of the nineteenth century traditionally did their wheeling and dealing at fine-dining establishments, cleverly concealing the fact that they still lived with their parents. Finely dine with nothing to hide with today’s Groupon: for $30, you get $60 worth of Italian cuisine at Asti Ristorante, located in the Gaslamp District.
Throughout the more than 15 years of Asti Ristorante’s Italian cooking, chefs have chopped together an eclectic menu of both traditional favorites and modern masterpieces. The vest-adorned wait staff handle trays laden with plates of crab cakes ($14.95) and capellini ai tre crostacei—angel hair strummed by shrimp, scallops, and lobster in a basil-kissed, white wine sauce ($24.95)—as well as authentic turf-raised selections such as the 9 oz. USDA prime filet moistened beneath porcini mushrooms, black truffle, brandy, and brown sauce ($32.95). All of Asti Ristorante’s pasta is handmade and each dish is prepared when it’s ordered so that the ingredients are at the peak of freshness rather than in the valleys of staledom. To keep the buds cleansed, guests can collaborate with their server when selecting from the extensive wine list, which doubles as 2011’s list of the most fabulous baby names.
Inspired by the storied Italian town of Asti, the restaurant warms visitors with soft lighting, aurally supplemented by the pings and clinks of its casual diningscape. Perch on a chair in the elegant interior or, during warm weather, kick back on the outdoor patio. For business, pleasure, or conducting pleasurable mock-interviews in a brand-new business suit, Asti Ristorante delivers the calm, well-paced meal in mind.
Zagat reviewers say that Asti is "very good to excellent." OpenTable reviewers give it an average of 4.2 stars. Six Citysearchers give it a four-star average, TripAdvisors grant it 3.5 owl eyes, and Yelpers give it an average of 3.5 stars:
- The staff were the best and the food delicious… Try the "Fritto Misto con Calamari"! This dish comes with calamari, jumbo shrimp, broccoli, eggplant, carrots and green beans… – RoseAlee, TripAdvisor
- They have a great selection of desserts - the creme brulee and chocolate lava cake are delicious. The wait staff and bussers are super friendly. – Pearl B., Yelp