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Heard anything about L'Andana?

m
mellospice Oct 19, 2007 10:36 AM

Has anyone heard any reviews or eaten at L'Andana. It is operated by the same group as Mistral, et al. I am going to an opening on Monday night, and was curious what if anything you chows have heard?

  1. k
    Kbee Oct 19, 2007 10:41 AM

    Well if you're going to an opening there, you may be among the first to know. Please report back.

    3 Replies
    1. re: Kbee
      r
      RichardA Oct 19, 2007 10:54 AM

      As far as I had seen, it has not yet been open so Monday night may be its opening.

      1. re: Kbee
        m
        mellospice Oct 19, 2007 10:59 AM

        Well then, I will definitely report back..

        1. re: mellospice
          c
          Cheffrank Oct 19, 2007 12:24 PM

          I work right down the street and have seen a tremendous amount of activity there lately after seeing nothing go on for months. Looks like they are scurrying to open on time

      2. s
        southie Oct 20, 2007 06:42 AM

        Where is it? Any news on concept?

        1 Reply
        1. re: southie
          Trixie Too Oct 20, 2007 05:00 PM

          Cambridge Road, Burlington, near the junction of 128.

          Concept is tuscan grill. They're already listed on Open Table. Here's their blurb:

          http://www.opentable.com/rest_profile...

        2. r
          RichardA Oct 22, 2007 08:45 AM

          I called L'Andana today and they stated they would be open to the public on Friday.

          1. peregrine Oct 22, 2007 01:45 PM

            Oh, It's a restaurant!
            I drove past the place today, saw the name and a sign "now hiring," but no clue what sort of a place it was. Restaurant? Furniture showroom? something with big windows was all I could see from the street.

            The link has no menu, btw.

            1. hiddenboston Oct 26, 2007 09:59 AM

              So is L'Andana definitely opening today? Is anyone going there tonight or this weekend?

              2 Replies
              1. re: hiddenboston
                r
                RichardA Oct 26, 2007 10:29 AM

                I stopped there today around lunch time and they were not open yet. I don't know if they will be open tonight or not. Place looks ready to open.

                1. re: RichardA
                  r
                  RichardA Oct 26, 2007 10:49 AM

                  I called L'Andana and they confirmed that they will be open this evening for dinner. I might stop there.

              2. r
                RichardA Oct 27, 2007 08:03 AM

                I went to dinner at L'Andana last night, their first night open to the public.

                I like the decor and style of the restaurant. It is elegant with a touch of rustic. There is a bar area, with about 8-10 seats at the bar and several tables for two. As the restaurant was rather quiet, it was difficult to determine how it would look with a full crowd. Overall, I think it presents a nice ambience.

                The restaurant has a full bar, including a list of speciality drinks. The wine list by the glass is short, maybe five whites and five reds, a mix of regions. I would like to see a larger range of options for wines by the glass. Glasses range from $7-10. I had a glass of the Dolcetto and it was a good wine.

                The list by the bottle is fairly extensive, with plenty of Italian wines, including some less common choices. The list also has many California Cabernets and French wines. There are an assortment of wines from other areas as well. Prices tend to be on the higher end, though there are bottles for around $30-35. They also have a fair sized list of half-bottles.

                The menu has Appetizers, Charcoal Wood-Grilled entrees, a couple Saute entrees, four Pasta dishes (which can be had in two sizes) and two special Sides. The menu is a work in progress and subject to change. In general, their prices seem a bit lower than the averages at Mistral and Sorrelina.

                There are 10 appetizers, priced $9-18, with an average of about $12. These are salads, soups, mussels, pork belly, tuna and more. There are 8 Charcoal Wood-Grilled entrees, the stars of the menu, including salmon, swordfish, veal chop, several steaks and chicken. Prices range $22-42 with an average of about $35. The 2 Saute dishes include a Veal and a Cod, prices at $32 & 34. There are 4 Pasta dishes, priced at $12-14 for the small size, and $22-26 for the large size. You can get a Spaghetti and Meatballs, with meatballs made of American Wagyu and with a Chianti sauce.

                Before any of my food came, I was brought a couple pieces of bread, slices of a type of rustic loaf. The bread was warm and the top had been brushed with oil and herbs. The bread came with a dish containing oil, a tomato compote and a cooked, whole tomato. This was perfect for smearing on the warm bread.

                I began with the Carpaccio: raw sirloin, amarena, gorgonzola picante, rosemary grissini ($15). This came out on a large oval plate which was covered by very thin slices of raw sirloin. Atop the slices were tiny bits of gorgonzola cheese and bits of amarena cherries (an Italian cherry). There were also two thin grissini, breadsticks. This was a tasty dish, the amarena and gorgonzola making a delicious pairing atop the sirloin.

                For my entree, I chose the Veal Chop ($42), 16 oz. topped with a chestnut maple butter and with a side of sweet potato polenta. This was certainly a large chop, nicely grilled on the outside but not overdone on the inside. The meat was moist, tender and flavorful. The butter added an intriguing flavor as well. The polenta came in a black cast iron pot, though it seemed more like a pudding than the usually firmer polentas. It was very tasty, smooth and a bit sweet. And there was certainly a large portion of it.

                I did order a side of the Truffle Parmesan Fries ($11). This was also a large portion and the fries were very delicious. Plenty of parmesan atop them, the fries were perfectly crispy on the outside and soft inside. Well worth ordering.

                There was a list of desserts but my eyes zeroed in on the apple cider donuts with vanilla creme ($9). This consisted of three, home-made donuts with sugar coating them and a dish of vanilla creme for dipping. They were hot and decadently delicious. I was certainly quite stuffed by this point.

                Service was very good. The only very minor issues were due to the newness of the restaurant. And they were all matters that I am certain will be cleared up very soon. For example, the menu has been changing so the servers still don't know everything on the menu. On any matter that did not involve the newness, they did very well.

                Overall, I was very pleased with my experience at L'Andana. The food is plentiful and delicious. Service is very good and the ambience is pleasing. I also expect that matters will only get better and this restaurant is going to become a big hit.

                3 Replies
                1. re: RichardA
                  r
                  raddoc Oct 27, 2007 08:28 AM

                  Nice review. Thanks for posting

                  1. re: RichardA
                    Rubee Oct 27, 2007 11:37 AM

                    Thanks for such a detailed report - looking forward to checking this new spot out.

                    1. re: RichardA
                      g
                      gramercyfoodie Oct 28, 2007 06:38 AM

                      Thanks for the great detailed review. I'm looking forward to having a little piece of Tuscany close to home.

                    2. s
                      southie Oct 28, 2007 08:39 AM

                      Does anyone know who the chef is there?

                      3 Replies
                      1. re: southie
                        v
                        veeva Oct 28, 2007 08:59 AM

                        David Blessing.

                        1. re: veeva
                          r
                          raddoc Oct 28, 2007 09:18 AM

                          From the James Beard Foundation website, in August:
                          Also due in September is L’Andana, a new venture from Jamie Mammano and the Commonwealth Restaurant Group (Mistral, Teatro, Sorellina, the Federalist). The “Italian country grill” will be located in the northern suburb of Burlington. David Blessing (ex-Aujourd‘hui at the Four Seasons), who has been cooking at Sorellina and Mistral since last fall, will be the chef de cuisine.

                          1. re: raddoc
                            s
                            southie Oct 28, 2007 11:23 AM

                            Thanks!

                      2. r
                        RichardA Oct 30, 2007 09:23 AM

                        It appears that L'Andana won't be open for lunch until December.

                        1. r
                          RichardA Nov 4, 2007 04:52 AM

                          I went back to L'Andana last night for dinner.

                          The wine list by the glass has been expanded so now there are 30 wines available by the glass.

                          The menu has changed very little since last week, though it is still subject to change.
                          We began with the Insalata ($12) and the small Pappardelle ($12, a new addition to the menu). The Insalata was a large dish of organic greens, wood-grilled pears (soaked in wine), Humboldt Fog cheese and a Chianti dressing. The dressing was very good and added a bit of sweetness to the salad. The cheese was a mild blue cheese and there was a large chunk atop a thin piece of bread. The pears were delicious too. The Pappardelle consisted of braised oxtail, buttery noodles and fresh parmesan. The oxtail meat was tender and in an intriguing brown sauce, maybe with some wine in it. The noodles were wide, long and cooked just right. I very much enjoyed this dish and probably could have had the large size for my dinner.

                          For our entrees, my wife chose a second appetizer, the Pork Belly ($12) and and I chose the Veal Milanese ($32). The Pork Belly was cider-braised with garnet yams and autumn fruits. The pork was very tender and juicy, with an intriguing apple flavor. An excellent dish. My veal had lemon, argula, cured tomato and shaved Parmesan. The veal was huge! I don't recall the last time I ever had a piece of veal that large. It was tender, lightly breaded and delicious. This is a dish I would highly recommend.

                          Service was good though a little obtrusive at times. For example, the water pourers refilled your glass even when you had only drank a little. They are trying to have exceptional service but are going a bit overboard. It certainly can be a fine line but I think that with more time and experience the service will excel.

                          Overall, I was very pleased again with my experience at L'Andana.

                          4 Replies
                          1. re: RichardA
                            k
                            kate used to be 50 Nov 4, 2007 08:02 AM

                            I am excited to hear of a fining dining experience on the North Shore, but the menu prices seem quite high for a suburban restaurant that doesn't have the overhead costs of Boston. Just curious if you felt it was over priced?

                            1. re: kate used to be 50
                              r
                              RichardA Nov 4, 2007 12:48 PM

                              For what you get, I don't really feel it was overpriced. It is a bit cheaper than their Boston restaurants. Most of the portions are generous and I have been very pleased with the quality.

                              1. re: RichardA
                                k
                                kate used to be 50 Nov 5, 2007 07:26 AM

                                Thanks. Good to know.

                              2. re: kate used to be 50
                                c
                                chicagotransplant Nov 5, 2007 11:49 AM

                                I think overall the prices on Boston menus are high. Rent is so expensive in town that it is passed directly to the consumer, and in turn, restaurants in the burbs can charge higher prices. Most upscale restaurants, casual upscale to coat/tie upscale in Boston, whether they are New York/Chicago/LA quality or not, charge higher prices than deserved, IMHO. My husband and I, who dined out at all levels regularly in Chicago, were completely shocked at how $$$ it is to eat out in Boston. Sadly, it is those high rents that ultimtely cause great neighborhood joints to close.

                            2. r
                              RoyRon Nov 5, 2007 10:06 AM

                              I am going tonight with a group of business clients.I will post a report tomorrow. Based on all I have heard I am really looking forward to it.

                              1. j
                                jimmygma Apr 22, 2008 09:12 AM

                                Went there last Sat night. Food is definitely good but the cost is enough to feed an African village for a month...If you can still swallow with that in mind, I think you'll enjoy it.

                                1 Reply
                                1. re: jimmygma
                                  r
                                  RichardA Apr 22, 2008 11:53 AM

                                  They have recently added pre-fixe meals which are more of a value. For lunch, you get a 3 course meal for $22. Soup/Salad, choice from 3 entrees, and then a choice from 2 desserts. I had this recently, the Salad, Chicken Milanese entree and Tiramisu and it was excellent. They have a 3 course dinner pre-fixe for $38 but I don't know what it entails.

                                2. MC Slim JB Apr 22, 2008 12:56 PM

                                  It's from the Mistral people, so the food is good (not ravishingly, just very), the room is pretty, and the service is excellent. It definitely feels kind of barn-like inside, and does indeed look like a furniture store from the outside. It has a couple of familiar Columbus Restaurant Group dishes, like the macheroncelli with Wagyu meatballs (you get three meatballs vs. Sorellina's two for the same price: the suburbs demand bigger portions, I guess). Lunch for two -- we each got soup, a pasta dish, a soft drink, and an espresso -- came to $70 inclusive. I think that's what people mean by pricey.

                                  3 Replies
                                  1. re: MC Slim JB
                                    r
                                    RichardA Apr 22, 2008 01:05 PM

                                    At lunch time, I have sometimes split an order of Macheroncelli with my lunch companion and they have given us each our own bowl with 2 meatballs, and it did not cost anymore.

                                    1. re: RichardA
                                      MC Slim JB Apr 22, 2008 03:21 PM

                                      What?! And I only got three meatballs? I have been swindled!

                                      Or maybe it's that Sorellina does three meatballs and L'Andana does four? I can't remember, which is sad, because I've had that same dish at both (it's my favorite dish at Sorellina) in the past month. I actually ordered another pasta at L'Andana, but encouraged my guest to order the maccheroncelli, which he loved (caveat: I was interviewing him for a job, so he probably would have claimed to love it regardless). I gotta take more careful notes, I guess.

                                      1. re: MC Slim JB
                                        e
                                        emanz Apr 22, 2008 06:10 PM

                                        I didn't think the menu was that interesting, but meatballs and scallop entree were good. Quite pricey.

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