Noma, the Scandinavian restaurant considered by many to be the finest in the world, has acted as a finishing school of sorts for many young chefs. Their number includes Alex Crabbe of Asta, who interned in Copenhagen many years ago, mastering that kitchen's forage-to-fork techniques. He now applies them to ingredients of New England's forests, seashore and farms, in innovative ways and with less-usual ingredients, so your meal might include a dandelion crisp, some powdered seaweed or venison liver (the menu changes nightly). Surprising but pleasing flavors are the norm here, as are artistic platings. All is served in a small, woodsy room with tablecloth-free tables that contain a fun surprise: each has a drawer containing vintage, mismatched silver. Guests decide, with each course, which utensil to use. Two tips: Unlike other restaurants Asta doesn't require that everyone at the table order the same tasting menu. So to get a broader taste of Chef Crabbe's artistry, order the five-course one at the eight-course one, and then share the results. We also recommend requesting one of the seats that overlooks the kitchen, so you can watch the chefs making their magic.
47 Massachusetts Ave.
Our Rating Neighborhood Back Bay Hours Tues–Sat 6–10:30pm Phone 617/585-9575 Prices 5 course menu $80, 8 course menu $110 Cuisine Type Gourmet American Web site Asta
Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.