Sunday, June 08, 2008
Andu Restaurant and Lounge, Brickell
It's not often you find a salad as vibrant and refreshing as the asparagus and beet salad at Andu. Buttressed by baby spinach and gorgonzola, the dish is simple and clean, allowing the subtle flavors of the roasted beets and asparagus to shine through. It's dishes like that unfussy salad that give me reason to like Andu, even if other folks don't agree. I visited the Brickell spot when it first opened for a First Look and recently went back for a casual Saturday night dinner. It is Mediteranean fare, presently honestly and with good feeling.
- Artichoke puree dip topped with feta; tangy and refreshing.
- Yukon potato gnocchi. The cream sauce is lick-the-bowl delicious.
- Grilled yellowtail snapper. A little pricey at $27 but beautifully presented with crispy skin seasoned with lemon and sea salt. Perfect. It comes with a side of fennel slaw that nicely balances the meaty fish.
- Side of sauteed musrooms - a bowl of portabello, oyster and shiitake, flash fried for a crispy finish.
- Side of fries seasoned with cajun spices and Parmesan cheese. The bowl is big enough for four and you'll be fighting over the last one.
It all goes well with a $32 of Martin Codax Alabrino or a $40 bottle of Rosenbloom viognier, both of which are the best bets on Andu's short wine list. According to the owners, they plan to introduce a new summer menu soon, including a chipotle shrimp dish with spicy avocado and hearts of palm salad. They brought out a tasting portion for us to try and it was quite good.
Andu is definitely a downtown gem and not as expensive as other newcomer to the area Badrutt's and Abokado. Make your way over to the NeoVertika building and park yourself at the marble bar. It's a sweet spot.