Birthday celebration at L’Andana

Oh what a night!  We had such a blast!!  It was my mom’s 50th birthday yesterday so of course we had to celebrate it in style 😉  L’Andana has been on our to-go list for a while, but given it’s suburbian location in Burlington – it kept getting pushed back.  Funny enough, I think the location is what partly attracted my parents.  While Adam and I desperately try to take advantage of what Boston has to offer (thus somehow justifying the city rent we’re paying) my parents have no trouble choosing local spots in their neighborhood and surrounding towns.  In any case, L’Andana is owned by the same guys that own Sorellina and Moo0, both absolutely fabulous restaurants in Boston that Adam and I love (Mooo is one of the best restaurants in the City in my opinion!) so we were looking forward to this meal.  So let’s get to it… 😉

There was no traffic getting to the restaurant, so Adam and I were happy to spend the saved 30 minutes at the bar :)  I ordered the Tuscan punchSangiovese, countreau, mathilde piches, orange and pineapple juice – and was not dissapointed!  It tasted like a juicy sangria.  Exactly what I needed to start the night after a long day at work :)

Tuscan punch

Then my family arrived and we were seated in the dining room.  Adam’s co-worker has been to L’Andana 6 times (I don’t think we’ve ever been to the same restaurant that many times… except for the healthy fast food joints and salad bars) and he said the bread was a good enough reason to come back.  I was excited when I saw this plate of deliciousness…

parmesan crusted bread + EVOO dip

This was warm and crusty sourdough bread with parmesan cheese and olive oil.  On the side there is some EVOO with tomato paste and spices.  I had a slice and enjoyed every bite.  I would say that Mooo’s bread is still unbeatable in my mind (now those rolls are reason to come back to the restaurant for sure! ) :)

We looked through the menues, ordered some vino (one of the best Chianti’s I’ve ever had!  Sorry no pic.. dad, do you remember the name of the bottle?) and got 3 appetizers to share for the table.

First up: tunahand-cut tartare, mustard chili aioli, radish, sea salt cracker.  This was the best of the bunch!   I had a few little bites…

tuna tartar

Next up – my personal pic, the artichoke saladChiante-truffle vinaigrette, mache, Parmesan.  I did NOT like this :(  It tasted like bitter balsamic vinegar.  The best part was the few shavings of the parmesan cheese.  I had only a few bites before deciding I didn’t like it.

artichoke salad

Lastly, the crisp calamari with Tuscan peppers, tomato brodo, lemon aioli.  Quite yummy.  I had maybe 3 little rings and one pepper ring.  The dough was very flavorful and the sauce was nice, but I’m not a big fried food fan so I chose to save room for other courses instead.  The birthday girl and my husband enjoyed this very much 😉 

crisp calamari

And then we got our entrees.  I was craving a truffled pasta for some reason and they had one on the menu so the choice was very clear to me.  I chose the appetizer size and couldn’t even finish that.  It was VERY intense and I was determined to save room for dessert! 😀  What you see here is the linguine pasta –  maine lobster, wild mushrooms, truffle butter.  Even in the appetizer sized portion, there was a generous amount of lobster.  I couldn’t finish this but I definitely made sure to pick out all of the lobster.  Can’t let that go to waste! 😆 

lobster linguini

We also got a few side dishes that sounded irresistible… and they were!  So much truffled stuff.  Love it!

Wild mushroom risotto with truffle oil and parmesan… amazing!  I had a few healthy spoonfulls!

wild mushroom risotto

Fries with truffle and parmesan.  These are a specialty at this group’s restaurants.  We ordered them at Sorellina and Mooo as well and were happy to see them on L’Andana’s menu.  So good!!  I probably had 5-7 of those little guys.

truffle oil fries

(Sorry the pictures aren’t that good – a lot of the stuff I had to really reach for with my camera and some of them were taken without looking at the screen because of the angle I was shooting from)

And of course I got dessert!  You guys know I always always get dessert! 😀  This is the first time in recent memory I actually saved enough room for it and I was so happy I did.  I think dessert can make or break a restaurant experience for me.  The meal up until then was so fantastic (I’ve tried my mom’s chicken and Adam’s steak – both were excellent too) that I said even a mediocre dessert would not ruin the experience.  Fortunately the dessert was nothing short from amazing and defenitely enhanced my experience it even further.  Mmm, molten chocolate cake done right. I love you molten chocolate cake.  Why do so many restaurants screw it up?

My dessert:  Cioccolato – warm chocolate molten cake, vanilla gelato, salted caramel sauce.  The first bite I thought it wasn’t chocolaty enough but I was quickly proven wrong.  I ate every single bite (ok I gave 2 to the hubs… he asked nicely 😉  ) and would happily eat another one of these every day for the rest of my life. 😀

molten chocolate cake

I also had a bite of dad’s citrus panna cotta which was nice and milky.  Very good!  No chocolate there, though, so you know why I ordered what I ordered.

dad's citrus panna cotta

And grandma’s chocolate crema, Semi-sweet chocolate mousse, chantilly cream, almond biscotti, was also fantastic!  If they didn’t have molten chocolate cake on the menu and I got this, I’d be a happy.  Good thing they did, though, ’cause it’s my fave 😀

grandma's chocolate mousse cake

And the birthday girl got the same dessert as me.  The waiter picked up that it was her birthday and surprised us all with a special plate for my mom.  How nice is that?!

birthday girl's molten chocolate cake

She made a wish.  Hope it was a good one! 😀

take 2 - Happy Birthday mom!!

what's in the box?

the fam

And that’s that for dinner.  So good!  Best fancy dinner we’ve had in recent memory!  I want another one 😆

OTHER EATS

Starbucks apple bran muffin with an apple and coffee

hummus/turkey/avocado sandwich with grape tomatoes

Total calories for the day: 1 billion – all 1000% worth it! 😀

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