Wednesday, December 19, 2007

L'Andana: More Changes

It has been more than seven weeks since the opening of L'Andana in Burlington. It is about at that point where a new restaurant should start running well, having ironed out nearly all of their initial kinks.

My initial visits to L'Andana had gone quite well, except for some minor service issues. The food was innovative, plentiful and delicious. I was impressed and felt that L'Andana would be a big hit. So how was my latest visit? Has anything changed, either positively or negatively?

First, the menu has undergone some minor revisions, which appears to be partially due to the chef desiring to try new and different dishes. I like the various changes, making sure that the menu never becomes stale. They are more subtle changes, maintaining the basic feel of the cuisine. And some of the new dishes sounded very good.

For example, the Carpaccio is now made from Red Stag venison rather than beef. Very interesting and something I do wish to try. There is a new Cod Saute dish with olive oil whipped potatoes and a white clam sauce. The most changes appear to be with their pasta dishes. For example, the Pappardelle now comes with braised rabbit rather than oxtail.

I started with the Fonduta ($14), a skillet filled with four melted cheeses, thin slices of spicy sopressata, and large pieces of roasted garlic. I also received a large pile of crunchy Tuscan toast. You spread the gooey cheese mixture on the bread and enjoy. I loved the flavor of the cheeses with a nice spicy tone from the sopressata and lots of garlic. The skillet had plenty of the cheese and could easily serve two people.

I also very much enjoyed a small order of a new dish, the Tortellini ($14). This consisted of four over-sized tortellini stuffed with fresh Maine crab, some Mascarpone and chives. The tortellini were in a cured tomato and tarragon broth. These were superb, with lots of sweet crab meat rather than filler. The broth was flavorful and well complimented the tortellini.

The food was still as good as all my previous visits. But what about the service? This time, the service was excellent. Although I had a primary server, additional servers helped out throughout the meal. Everyone worked well together. In my prior visits, the service sometimes got a bit overbearing, such as the water pourer. This time no such problem existed. It appears they have resolved the minor service issues that existed before, as I expected they would.

I am very pleased with how L'Andana has progressed and I continue to highly recommend it. It has become one of my new favorite restaurants. You definitely should give it a try. You won't be disappointed.

86 Cambridge Street
Burlington, MA
Phone: (781) 270-0100

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