Thames Street Landmark Asterisk Renovates Restaurant and Redesigns Menu
~ Experience the lively atmosphere of Thames Street and the action of the kitchen while relaxing in the beautiful, newly renovated dining room and outdoor space.~
Known for its sophisticated bar and fresh take on traditional dishes, Asterisk on lower Thames Street in Newport has just completed a renovation that brings the dining experience closer to the rough luxe spirit of this part of Newport. In addition to an interior redesign, chef-owner John Bach-Sorensen has also recreated the menu for the 100-seat restaurant, focusing on the freshest ingredients available for his cuisine.
Established in 1995, Asterisk has become a fixture at 599 Thames Street. Situated in a former industrial building, Asterisk incorporates the relaxed, rich texture of the mechanic's garage it once was, with twelve foot glass garage doors that open to the street during the season. A new palette of colors draws light deep into the interior, with reclaimed industrial light fixtures and raw wood throughout. The renovation was directed by Nick Heywood, a young designer with degrees in Interior Architecture from Rhode Island School of Design and experience in the U.S. and Colombia.
Through the open kitchen design, diners can watch their food being prepared by Chef Bach-Sorensen and his skilled team through horizontal openings that run between the dining and kitchen spaces. For those that like to experience the bustle of the kitchen, a new large chef's table has been incorporated, which allows diners to experience the refined techniques of the chefs.
“The evolution of Asterisk has inspired me to reexamine everything,” said Bach-Sorensen. “My focus is on technique and incorporating lots of flavors. We specialize in the freshest available local seafood and produce and we’ve always been known for our hand-cut beef filets.”
With attention to detail on each plate, a sampling of new menu items includes:
Grilled Swordfish Sandwich
with roasted garlic and sundried tomato aioli
Grilled Seafood Pizza
with shrimp, mussels, roasted pepper, olives, capers, and anchovies
Belgian Drunken Beef
with braised tender steak with endive, sweet onions, potato gratin, & Belgian beer sauce
served with mushroom asparagus orzo risotto and cabernet sauce
Peking Style Duck
with mandarin pancakes, cucumber, carrots, scallions and hoisin sauce
over soft polenta served with Bleu cheese-mushroom wine sauce
Osso Buco Ravioli
with garlic cream and veal glace
New signature cocktails have also been added to the menu, including:
The Belmont Bloody
with vodka, tomato juice, Worcestershire sauce, Tabasco, horseradish, black pepper, beef jerky, stuffed olive, smoked oyster, pickle, and asparagus spear
The Frenchie Bloody
with vodka, tomato juice, Worcestershire sauce, Dijon mustard, Blue Cheese olive, pickle, asparagus, and green bean
Basil - Lime Gimlet
with vodka, basil infused simple syrup, fresh lime juice served straight up
Rhode Island Red
with silver tequila, Chambord, lemon juice, ginger beer, fresh raspberries, served straight up
The Sparkling Pomegranate
with champagne, pomegranate liquor & juice, lemon twist
The Nevin's Cocktail
with bourbon, grapefruit juice, Apry, lemon juice, bitters
Chef Bach-Sorensen first visited the United States from Denmark in 1979 as a high school exchange student in Michigan. His family owned hotels and restaurants and he was given a chance to apprentice with the Haeberlin family when he was young, who own the famous Auberge de I’ll in France. While Chef Bach-Sorensen has Danish roots, his food is influence by many other great chefs from all over the world, including Marcus Samuelsson, Thomas Keller, Alastair Little of Great Britain, and Pierre Koffman of France.
Asterisk is open for dinner seven nights a week beginning at 5 p.m. and offers brunch on Saturdays and Sundays beginning at noon. Reservations are recommended through the new website at: www.asterisknewport.com or by calling: 401-841-8833.