Asiago’s: A new dining experience

Published 9:24 pm Thursday, November 18, 2010

When Asiago’s and The Vino Bar opened, owner Chris Bray sought a unique dining experience for patrons in Pike County: elegant but casual atmosphere that encourages customers to relax, enjoy and return.

“An atmosphere that you can come into after work with good food – relaxed and contemporary, yet professional,” Bray said in describing the feel of the newly opened restauarant located on U.S. 231 South in Troy.

He added that he wanted Asiago’s to feel as if you want to come in for your anniversary but also on a Monday night when you don’t feel like cookingy.

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The menu for Asiago’s spans a variety of Italian and Greek dishes and includes American dishes such as prime rib.

“The portions are plentiful and our menu selection is full of healthy selections as everything is made fresh,” Bray said.

Although it opened less than two weeks ago, the restaurant already has fans and favored dishes. Favorites with customers include freshly breaded calamari, home-made fried ravioli and pasta with 6-ounce meatballs, Bray said.

Despite the Italian flair, Bray doesn’t want Asiago’s to be just a special occasion spaghetti restaurant. He added that Asiago’s is the only restaurant in town to offer dishes such as prime rib, tuna steak, Maui and fresh salmon.

“We’re selling the experience, not the food. We want this to become a regular place where you’re treated special every time you’re here,” Bray said.

And the food isn’t the only thing special about Asiago’s, Bray said. His staff is mostly entry level and college students, except for the managing staff.

“This is like a ministry to me, working with kids away from home who financially need a place to come make money that is stable and comfortable,” Bray said. “We hired everyone based on their hearts, not experiences.”

He added that the students and entry-level staff he hires want to come to work in an environment that provides a steady, comforting atmosphere.

“They depend on us as we depend on them,” explained Bray.

Server Hannah Mcleish said within the first week, she saw two separate couples return to the restaurant because they enjoyed their first meal so much.

“I look forward to coming to work. Our staff is good –we all came together and formed a team. Chris is dedicated to the service and the food being right. His outlook and actions resonate through the staff,” she said.

The Vino Bar portion of the restaurant offers a great wine selection — there are more than a thousand wines to choose from that make up the store selection, Bray said. He encourages patrons to come in and give their requests.

“First impression is every thing, and the customer is always right,” Bray said.

Asiago’s is open 4 to 10 p.m. Monday through Saturday and 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Sunday. The restaurant also offers a private dining room that serves 50 people and catering for large parties.