Wednesday, November 13, 2013

L'Andana - Fine Dining Just Outside Boston

Living in the city, Nick and I rarely head to the 'burbs for meals - I mean, we have so much right at our fingertips, and without a car its a slightly more cumbersome task. However for most people who live outside of the city, venturing in can be a bit of a time consuming headache. Enter L'Andana, which is located right off of Route 128 in Burlington. Growing up on the North Shore there were not many nice places to go out to eat that were not part of a nationwide chain. Whether there wasn't the market or restaurateurs did not want to take the risk, I am not sure. L'Andana, however, took the risk and it has seemingly paid off in spades.

The warm-up - yes that bread has been toasted with Parmesan cheese! This could have been its own appetizer!

On a Friday evening without much fanfare we made it, on time, for our 7:00 reservation in just about 20 minutes - Burlington is not really THAT far away! L'Andana is part of the restaurant group that brings us MistralSorellina, and Mooo. With such amazing sister restaurants I had high expectations for the place, and (spoiler) they delivered. Upon walking in, the feeling keeps with the family; the ceilings are lofty and the space is large, but the warm earth tones, pillows at the bench seating and over-sized light fixtures and window treatments create a space that reminds you of a friends dining room - if they also could be pictured in a Restoration Hardware catalog! If you've ever eaten at Mistral, this space has a slightly similar decor vibe.

Four Cheese Fonduta with roasted garlic and sopressata
After quite a bit of perusing of the extensive wine list, which had everything from glasses to half and full bottles from all over the world, Nick decided to ordered a bottle of 2011 Josh Cellars Cabernet Sauvignon. The wine was great - very approachable and easy to drink, but held up throughout the heavier meal in which we were about to indulge. Decisions on what to order were tough, but our server was knowledgeable and thoughtfully led Nick through the various cuts of steak and explained not only the differences in each cut's accompaniments but also the expectations in taste.

For appetizers, we settled on the Fonduta and the Zuppa. While both were rich, both were delicious. The Funduta easily could have turned into a mess, but the balance of the cheeses was bubbling perfection that never turned rubbery. The soup was packed with flavor and the crema literally was the icing to finish it off. Each bite was rich, but had so much depth.

Zuppa - pumpkin squash soup with a maple crema
With so much success in our appetizers, I was looking forward to our entrees. After a nice little breather, fish and steak arrived along with a pile of Brussels sprouts for us to share. I decided on the salmon because it is not something I ever make at home (too fishy for Nick), and with a pumpkin puree and apple topping I knew had to get it. The fish was executed perfectly - moist and flavorful - and worked so well with the accompanying fall flavors.

Salmon with a pumpkin puree, wild mushrooms, and a honeycrisp apple brodo
Nick ultimately decided on the Tuscan Steak, which is a 12oz ribeye topped with arugula, Parmesan, truffle oil and vin cotto. The well-marbled steak had so much flavor in its own right, but the toppings managed to add so much more to each bite. The peppery arugula and sharp cheese paired perfectly with the juicy steak, and the hint of truffle flavor topped everything off expertly.

Tuscan Steak
We also ordered a side of the roasted Brussels sprouts with bacon and a Parmesan aioli since they're one of our favorite fall/winter vegetables. Being someone who loves a nice char on her Brussels sprouts, these were a perfect addition to the meal.

Brussela Sprouts
While it may be hard to believe with all the food we ordered, we did save a little room for dessert. In keeping with the fall theme and never passing up an opportunity to indulge in apple cider doughnuts, we ordered the Ciambella, which were apple cider doughnut rounds served with a vanilla anglaise and an apple cider glaze.

Extreme Close-Up!
This was a lovely cap to our fantastic meal. Not that I should have doubted them, but with the lack of competition, I was pleased to see that L'Andana did not slack in any aspect of the restaurant. The execution of everything makes the customers feel like they are being wined and dined at one of downtown Boston's best.

Whether you live on the North Shore or are looking for an excuse to get out of the city for the night, L'Andana is a great way to make an evening.

L'Andana on Urbanspoon

This meal was provided free of charge, but my thoughts and opinions are my own.  


  1. I'm such a city girl that I never consider that there are places to eat outside of the city limits. But this place looks amazing, and I'm guessing a little less crowded than places in town?

  2. That zuppa looks insane! I recently visited an outside the city restaurant too, and it's a nice change as long as the food still lives up to city standards. I've been to L'Andana for apps and really liked it there.

  3. This looks like a lovely meal! I love trying restaurants outside the city sometimes. It's a nice little getaway.


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