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.
Downstairs is a large solid brass bar and 145 seats, while an upstairs balcony has a smaller bar, accommodating 56 diners and doubling as a private party space. Music is global and there will be a DJ Thursday through Saturday nights — a play at pulling in a younger crowd on weekends, Tracy says.
“It took us a year to find this space and two years to build it. The look is very stylized and it will be like Tessa, but definitely amped up,” he says. “It’s very different from other places on the Upper West Side.”
Indeed the neighborhood is more filled with casual restaurants that accommodate families and older locals, but a few restaurants with more of a downtown energy have opened in recent years, including Red Farm and Jacob’s Pickles.
Asset is open weekdays from 4 p.m. to 1 a.m. and weekends from 11 a.m. to 1 a.m.