Five Things: Asterisk Restaurant & Bar, Newport
Wednesday, November 28, 2012
One. Espresso Martini.
The espresso martini has certainly been done and done… but any time a server tells me, “We are known for this,” I have to try it. I can see now why Asterisk is known for this one. The bar wouldn’t divulge the exact concoction, but it barely mattered. What I could tell, it had a frothy crema top, a rich flavor and a thick viscosity. The bitter, freshly-brewed notes from the espresso shone through to create a stately blend.
Two. Fritters and Chowder.
An order of these, mid-summer, from many clam shacks can be a great meal. Asterisk, however, has brought quite a bit of class to the famous Rhode Island duo. The fish chowder with a great hunk of crusty bread would in itself be a great meal. A light, creamy fish base was joined by subtle dill notes and smoky undertones. The addition of a sparse amount of caramelized chorizo really added to the layers of flavor.
The menu listed this salad simply as Artisan Greens but the flavor in these greens was anything but simple. The mix was adorned with roasted pumpkin, dried cranberries, toasted sunflower, feta cheese, and a white balsamic vinaigrette. These ingredients melded wonderfully together to create a dynamic autumnal flavor that could make Thanksgiving jealous. In this dish, surprisingly, the star was the saline feta which helped to bridge all the other components.
Four. Seventeen-Year-Old Salmon.
Nothing welcomes the winter better than a braised dinner. Asterisk hit the mark with a wonderful braised lamb shank with heavily caramelized Cipollini onions. The rich and incredibly tender shank was complimented with capers and orange that really helped to brighten up the dish. The kind of dish that warms you on a cold night with robust flavor combinations to keep the taste buds excited.
Would I go back? Yes. Thoughtful combinations and great service. Certainly worth another trip up Thames.
Hit “Save” Asterisk Restaurant and Bar. 599 Thames St, Newport. 401-841-8843.
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