Bread: This is easily one of the best breads I’ve ever received at the beginning of a meal. Seasoned, thick slices, perfectly soft with a bit of crunch on the crust, served with a side of EVOO and some kind of tomato paste? Thank goodness there was only 1 piece per person because I could have gone for seconds… or thirds.
Menu: Primi, Pasta, Al Forno, Wood Grilled, Contorni. L’Andana also offers a prix-fixe 3-course menu for $45 (Sunday-Friday) which is a great deal considering the prices on the regular menu. The list of Primi is filled with salads, soup, seafood, and a few surprises (see below), the Pastas provide ½ and full portions, and the famous Wood Grilled section offers a few fish options but mainly different cuts of meat.
Four Cheese Fonduta, roasted garlic & sopressata
Before I go any further I’ll let you know that I work for the restaurant group that L’Andana is a part of (Columbus Hospitality Group), so this review may be a bit biased but it will also be truthful! This evening one of my co-workers was serving and he made it a point to come by and suggest a few dishes, one being this Fonduta which we couldn’t pass up. Essentially a creative cheese fondue, this app was served with chunks of bread for dipping in the warm cheese. Each bite was almost like a pizza sans tomato sauce. Perfect to split among the four of us!
Mussels, steamed out of the shell, tomato & basil crema
I don’t believe I’ve ever had a mussel appetizer where the mussels were out of the shell, which is really quite helpful! The broth was so flavorful I made people dip their leftover Fonduta bread in it. The bread it came with added a deep smoky flavor to the dish. A must try if you enjoy mussels.
Filet Mignon, 8oz center-cut tenderloin, salt baked potato, roasted garlic butter, vin cotta, grilled romaine with gorgonzola (with additional side of Squash Risotto)
My steak was perfectly cooked medium rare and was accompanied by a baked potato and romaine with a bit of somewhat melted gorgonzola. The meat was fantastic and I liked this different side of greens (rather than broccoli or asparagus, both of which you could have gotten as a side).
I couldn’t not try the Squash Risotto which I ordered as a side (and could have easily passed as an app). Topped with a chunk of squash, pumpkin seeds, and sage, this dish was creamy, rich & flavorful. The squash had a surprising sweet component which I loved.
Service: Our server was great, friendly and quite helpful; when my friend Sarah wanted to order the ½ Tortellini as her meal our waitress mentioned that the ½ portion only came with 4 tortellini, so she went with the full. Each course came out in a timely manner, with a nice break in between to digest the apps and prepare for the entrées! We were (un)foruntely too full to order dessert so our server brought out chocolate truffles with the check.
Restroom: 3 automatic sinks, stone counter top tiled walls and floor, thick L’Andana drying napkins, and a touch of bright orange on the stall doors. I love when even the bathroom has character and style.
Overall: Located in Burlington MA, L’Andana is small town restaurant with big Boston quality food & flavor. Part of Chef Jaime Mammano’s Columbus Hospitality Group (including Teatro, Mooo, Sorellina, and Mistral), L’Andana lives up to the high expectations set by his other popular Boston restaurants. The rustic décor has elements I’ve seen in both Mistral and Sorellina, a consistency which I appreciate. On a Saturday night the bar and lounge area was packed, as was the 210 person dining room. L’Andana won’t disappoint, especially is your looking for a great steak and/or pasta meal. Based on the prices I’ll be heading back for a special occasion 🙂
The Perfect Bite: This is nearly impossible to decide. Out of the dishes I actually ordered (I tried both Matt & Sarah’s pastas which were excellent) I’ll say… the Risotto with a piece of the sweetened squash!
For more photos & descriptions of what everyone in my party ate, visit my Facebook Page http://www.facebook.com/ThePerfectBiteBoston or find me on Twitter and Instagram!