Neighborhood newcomer Asset is the place to be for an A+ brunch of excellent chicken and waffles. The salty-sweet dish goes especially well with the Wild Thoughts, a sweet-spicy cocktail of gin, strawberry, lime, and chili tincture
UWS Gains an Energetic American Hangout From the Owners of Tessa
Asset opens on the Upper West Side with a weekend DJ and American food with Mediterranean accents
October 24, 2019
The owners of popular Amsterdam Avenue Mediterranean restaurant Tessa open their second venture together on Monday.
Asset, at 329 Columbus Avenue, at 76th Street, is a modern American restaurant with Mediterranean touches set in an industrial space with soaring ceilings.
Tessa’s executive chef John Schafer will also oversee Asset, putting together a menu of dishes such as lamb and manchego empanadas, filet mignon carpaccio, various pastas, grilled fish and meat, and a double stack cheeseburger. Drinks come from beverage director Brandon Lester in collaboration with Soho’s Liquor Lab and include one with bourbon, whiskey, amontillado sherry, brown sugar, and bitters that are smoked in the glass.
Owners Will Tracy and Larry Bellone are going for a similar energetic vibe to Tessa, their well-liked Mediterranean restaurant nearby, and it shows in the highly designed space and programming. Asset’s design sets it apart from family-friendly neighborhood spots with a modern industrial look that uses lots of wood, metal and stone spread out onto two floors.
Stretches of pale wood, often slatted, soften the industrial look of black steel at this handsome Upper West Side newcomer. Larry Bellone and Will Tracy, the owners of Tessa, on Amsterdam Avenue, have opened this sibling (the name Tessa spelled backward) about a block away. As longtime residents of the neighborhood, they remember when the spaced housed Memphis, a 1970's celebrity magnet.
This new restaurant has a long stretch of bar with 24 seats, banquettes for two and intimate areas, with tables, that can double as private dining rooms. Upstairs is a big dining room and bar. The executive chef, John Schafer, has created a menu that's more American and somewhat meatier than the one he offers at Tessa, which skews Mediterranean. Pigs in a blanket, clams in a wine, and a grain bowl are some of the appetizers.
Tessa owners Will Tracy and Larry Bellone are expanding from Mediterranean to modern American. Also on the Upper West Side, Asset will offer dishes such as Moulard duck with plum, farro and vegetables.
“It’s an extension of what we’ve done at Tessa, creating a fun sexy mood,’’ says Tracy of the bi-level industrial-style dining room. There is an oversize bar on the first floor and a more intimate one upstairs, both serving a combo of classic and creative cocktails, including the Mrs. Robinson (a shaken mix of citron vodka, cranberry juice, dry Curaçao, St. Germain and lime juice). 329 Columbus Ave.