Andrra: Waterfront Dining Done Right
Andrra is one of the many new Hamptons hot spots this season, but one of the few that has food to live up to their reputation. On warm summer nights, they open up their second floor venue up to the harbor to soak in the harbor breeze and smell the fresh air while diners enjoy meals and drinks in the dining room or lounge area.
Before we began our meal, we started off with cocktails in the newly renovated bar complete with concrete bar (and gas fireplace fit for winter months). We didn’t know which drinks to order, so let the bartender decide. We were more than happy with her choices including: a mojito with fresh mint and a Gibson Girl with Absolut Orient Apple Vodka, fresh sliced apples and ginger ale!
Once seated, we scanned the menu of Mediterranean fare and were served deliciously warm homemade bread with olives and a delectable homemade butter. Even though we never like to spoil our appetites, we had to have a second basket. The waiter then pointed our a few dishes he recommended before we ordered.
We began noshing on the Andrra Mezze, a solid sampling, which includes hummus, ajvar, pickled cabbage, seared red peppers, Cyprian feta cheese and roasted tomato bruschetta along with a choice of two of the following: Toskan BBQ shrimp, calamari fritti, baked clams or grilled sea scallops. We went with the calamari and clams. The hummus was top-notch. One of the best we’ve eaten at a restaurant. Bruschetta was bright and bold with flavors from the tomatoes, onions, oil and garlic. Crudo trio was also shared with the table and could not have been any fresher.
Beef Carpaccio consisted of prime tenderloin thinly sliced topped with arugula and endive. The bitterness of the two balanced perfectly with the Saba-truffle oil drizzle and the Parmesan was also a nice touch.
Lump crab cakes were crisp to a golden brown and served with an avocado chili lime mayo. The mayo had a nice symmetry between the richness of the avocado and the heat from the chili. It also paired well with the crab cake. The Andrra salad was refreshing and well dressed with a touch of thyme, a welcoming herb flavor, along with Cyprian feta and salt to bring out the taste.
We barely had time to finish our second basket of flaky bread before the entrees arrived. We tried huge pan-seared soft shell crabs, well cooked braised beef pappardelle with well-seasoned, tender meat and sauce to match, and extremely moist pan-roasted Peconic chicken seasoned with grain mustard, lemon and garlic that kicked the flavor up a notch without being over-powering.
The appetizers and entrees put a fresh spin on some classic dishes with unique flavor combinations that still paired together well.
We also had to taste test a number of sides and were impressed. Two favorites were the edamame mash that was vibrant in flavor and spot on with texture (better than mashed potatoes!) and Northeast Bay fries flavored with Old Bay seasoning and served with saffron dip. The Tavarro mushrooms stuffed with an onion marmalade was also tasty along with the vegetable tava and Israeli couscous - mix these together for a meal on their own!
By dessert, we were more than full, but could not stop eating the baklava! Also enjoyed were the flour-less chocolate cake, biscotti and cookies, and lemon cake. It was a sugary ending to a sweet experience.
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