ANECDOTES AND ANALYSIS
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.
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.
In the beginning, Andy’s was somewhere between a seafood and steak house with a neighborhood overtone. In recent times, steaks have become the major specialty, employing classy meats with interesting sauces and garnishes. A lot of people start with pizza, 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.
“Andy” was Chef Andrea Apuzzo of Andrea’s fame. He consulted in the opening of Andy’s bistro, but he is no longer involved in the restaurant. 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. They get a fairly steady clientele, many of whom are in the young-professional category. The bar stays busy on week nights.
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.
FULL ONLINE MENU
Sizzling Bacon, fried onion strings
»Crabmeat Napoleon, fried green tomatoes, claw crabmeat, remoulade
»Oven Baked Shrimp, garlic Butter
»Trio of Lamb Chops, mashed potatoes, tarragon butter, demi glace, chimmichuri
Wood-Fired Cauliflower, three-cheese cream sauce
»Wood Fired Oysters, Parmigiano Reggiano and Havarti cheese, claw crabmeat, peppercorn mélange
Colossal Crab Cocktail, Pacific blue crabmeat, remoulade, drawn
Charred Heart of grilled romaine salad, lump crabmeat, grape tomatoes, balsamic vinaigrette
Wood-Fired Oven-Baked Flatbreads
Pepperoni, fresh mozzarella, parmigiano reggiano, tomato sauce, fresh basil
Short Rib Flatbread, blue cheese, havarti, arugula, horseradish
Blackened Chicken Flatbread, alligator sausage, fresh buffalo mozzarella, fresh jalapeño, parmigiano reggiano
Sandwiches And Hamburgers
USDA Prime Beef, Choice of Side
»Petite Filet Mignon
»Bone-in New York Strip
»Wood-Roasted Redfish “On the half shell,” lemon butter
»Wood-Roasted Salmon, asparagus, cherry tomato
Pork Shank, potato puree, walnut-apple cider slaw
»Pan-Seared Jumbo Sea Scallops, roasted red pepper butter, fried capers
Panneed veal, pasta Alfredo, lump crabmeat
»»Double-Cut Pork Chop, fried sweet potatoes, baby spinach, roasted garlic and Steen’s reduction
»Fried Shrimp, Fried Oysters, house-cut fries
Fancy Fried Chicken
»Whole Wood-Roasted Gulf Fish, rosemary butter
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