WHY IT’S NOTEWORTHY
This is an Americanized Creole bistro, specializing in basics: fried and grilled seafood, steaks and chops, hamburgers and pizza. All of this is prepared reasonably well, but it seems to compete more with the upscale chains than their local equivalents. That said, Andy’s is a pleasant place to hang out and have a casual lunch or dinner.
The menu is more abbreviated than it appears. It’s possible for a table of four to sample everything worth eating here. Those include the superb, thin-sliced, hot-sauce-marinated onion rings; the steaks and chops, the stone-oven-baked pizzas, and (my wife says) the hamburger. The seafood appetizers are better than their entree counterparts. All this is made with raw materials of good merit.
Kevin Bennett and his sons Blake and Brandon opened Andy’s early in 2013. Kevin–who did well in the fast oil-change business–owns the building. It has been many restaurants since the 1970s, beginning with Archie & Danny’s, Romanoff’s, the Butcher Shop, India Palace and (most recently) Sid Mar’s. The problem seems to be that while the location is quite convenient for Metairie people, it’s just far enough off Veterans to be only marginally visible. Andy’s wasn’t exactly packing them in at the outset, but seems to have pulled together a strong regular customer base.
An L-shaped space wraps around a large, usually well-populated bar, with medium-dim lighting. All surfaces are hard: tile floor, lots of mirrors and windows, and unclothed tables contribute to high sound levels when the place is busy. The service staff shows all the friendliness and cooperation we look for, but needs a few more months of training in the fine points of their craft.
Baked oysters Andrea (Italian-style)
»Oysters Sherman (pepper butter sauce, blue cheese)
Crabmeat Napoleon (fried green tomatoes, crabmeat, remoulade)
Shrimp Sublime (fried BBQ shrimp)
»»Fried onion rings, hot sauce marinade
Pan-seared crab cake, jalapeño corn tartar sauce
»Classic barbecue shrimp
»Wood oven pizzas
»Chicken & andouille gumbo
Soup du jour
Bistro salad (green onions, tomatoes, herb vinaigrette)
Garlic roasted shrimp, asparagus & tomato salad
Crispy oyster or shrimp platter
Drunken chicken, garlic, rosemary, white wine, butter
Grilled Atlantic salmon, asparagus and potato relish
»Gulf fish meunière
Grilled or broiled fish of the day
»Double-cut pork chop
»Grilled veal chop, Bourbon sweet potato mash, collards
Surf & turf
»Angus beef filet mignon, sizzling butter
»Prime New York strip, sizzling butter
Angus ribeye, sizzling butter
»White chocolate bread pudding
King cake doberge
FOR BEST RESULTS
Start with cocktails and those onion rings, which are good enough to make the whole trip worthwhile. The pizza makes a good starter, too. The steaks are nearly as good as those of the high-end places, and a little cheaper.
OPPORTUNITIES FOR IMPROVEMENT
The kitchen has a very heavy hand with red pepper, and too many items on the menu slam into your palate with high pepper heat. Fried dishes are less than brilliant.
FACTORS OTHER THAN FOOD
Up to three points, positive or negative, for these characteristics. Absence of points denotes average performance in the matter.
- Dining Environment +1
- Consistency +1
- Attitude +2
- Wine & Bar +1
- Hipness +1
- Local Color
- Sidewalk tables
- Good for business meetings
- Open Monday lunch and dinner
- Open all afternoon
- Unusually large servings
- Good for children
- Easy, nearby parking
- Reservations accepted
ANECDOTES AND ANALYSIS
“Andy” is Chef Andrea Apuzzo of Andrea’s fame. He consulted in the opening of the restaurant and is a minority owner. Most of the signs show a logo much like that of the chef’s Italian place. But don’t expect to see him or much of his food here. (And these days, this may be a good thing.)
This location is tied with the restaurant space on the downtown river corner of Prytania and Robert in the number of restaurants that have come and gone over the years. But with the landlord also being the restaurateur, Andy’s may show more longevity. I’m pulling for it to apply the brakes to the recent acceleration of chain restaurant openings along Veterans Blvd.