Several years ago I wrote a rave review for a Spanish restaurant near Lincoln Center called Gastroarte, and sadly never returned. I made a reservation to dine with a friend at another place which I did not realize had actually opened in the same location some 4 years ago. ANDANADA (www.andanada141.com) is a cute simple spot at 141 W 69th Street just off the corner of Broadway. Several steps down it is a very white place, with white brick walls, splashy bright art and great food from a Michelin starred chef to boot.
As I entered the place came right back to me as the décor has not changed at all. The menu is simpler with lots of tapas and many paella offerings as well.
We both enjoyed the Pazo Pondal Albarino white as NY was warming up a bit from the past cold spell, and most of the tapas are seafood centric.
A tasty amuse of truffled potato soup came and was gone in seconds. Another item was the Red Endive leaves with a dip of Blue Cheese, EVOO & anchovy that was okay, but won no awards. I adore both blue cheese and anchovies, but something just was not quite right with the flavor combination.
Our first tapas was Grilled White Asparagus with Salsa Verde (called Spanish emulsion in the English) and Mussels which was divine. I had never had the giant white European asparagus in this country before; they arrive in April/May each season and are called Feldspargl in Austria and I miss them horribly. They were a dream here...huge and white and char-grilled to perfection with that simple salsa and several steamed mussels.
Next came Ravioli de Espinacas y Gambas which is a true misnomer. You can see pictures of this on my FB page and they are really spinach stuffed into a shrimp "purse" with gratineed seafood sauce that was creamy and rich with pistachios and shimeji mushrooms; a true marriage of ingredients made in heaven (or this kitchen).
Next was Langosta y Pepino, simply a hollowed cucumber boat filled with Lobster and dabs of Lime aioli. It was simple, refreshing and a perfect dish as the weather warms up.
The last tapas we shared was Salpicon de Pulpo and was the only spicy one we tasted, but cooked perfectly with Cold Octopus layered with spicy peppers and topped with slices of fresh creamy Avocado. It is served like a tart and looks as good as it tastes.
If I had to complain, I would say it was the table location. This one table was set aside from the others which is why I asked for it, but once seated, the servers kept having to knock my arm and back to get past me to the other tables. Also, once we finished our tapas and were waiting for dessert, it took some time before anyone offered to wipe off the several blobs of olive oil or food on the table which had fallen during our meal. These were right in front of me and a bit disturbing.
Dessert was Torrijas de Calabaza which our server explained as French toast-like and it was served with yummy pumpkin ice cream and sugared almonds. It was nice, but won no awards and the menu said it came with vanilla soup, which the server said was never served before??
Not to worry--the food was superb and worth a return visit for sure!