#14 Among The 33 Best Seafood Eateries
3 Fleur
EntreePrice-27
BreakfastNo Breakfast SundayNo Breakfast MondayNo Breakfast TuesdayNo Breakfast WednesdayNo Breakfast ThursdayNo Breakfast FridayNo Breakfast Saturday
LunchLunch SundayLunch MondayLunch TuesdayLunch WednesdayLunch ThursdayLunch FridayLunch Saturday
DinnerDinner SundayDinner MondayDinner TuesdayDinner WednesdayDinner ThursdayDinner FridayDinner Saturday

Andrea’s

Metairie: 3100 19th St. 504-834-8583. Map.
Dressy
AE DC DS MC V
Website

ANECDOTES AND ANALYSIS
The restaurant identifies itself as Italian, and most of its customers think of it that way. But since its earliest days the most distinctive part of the kitchen’s work involves seafood. Chef-Owner Andrea Apuzzo makes much of the fact that, with few exceptions, all the fish he serves are bought fresh, whole and filleted in house. It is not uncommon for there to be six or more species of finfish on hand, with pompano, red snapper, trout, redfish, puppy drum, salmon, Dover sole, amberjack and flounder usually available. The shellfish offering is no less comprehensive, with crabmeat, shrimp, oysters (shucked to order), mussels, clams, lobster and scallops almost always to be had. The range of preparation is equally strong, to the point where it’s possible to say that the chef will cook his seafood in almost any imaginable way. It all adds up to a big enough seafood menu to stand alone. It’s better than any other part of the menu.

WHY IT’S NOTEWORTHY
The most useful aspect of Andrea’s is that it’s a white-tablecloth restaurant capable of serving a first-class repast made with excellent fresh ingredients, with excellent service and a seriously good wine list in pleasant surroundings. . . in Metairie. Where there are surprisingly few such restaurants. Another advantage: Andrea’s is open all the time.

Andreas-Andrea

WHAT’S GOOD
Chef-owner Andrea Apuzzo is a classically trained chef who can rise to the heights of Italian cookery. He buys superb ingredients and makes many items from scratch (pasta, bread, cheeses, house-butchered meats). But with the exception of the seafood side of the menu, many preparations are unexciting, too far removed from the chef’s own roots in Capri, and sometimes careless. When the place is on, it can’t be beat in its specialties. But the inconsistencies can be maddening.

Pompano.

Pompano.

BACKSTORY
Chef Andrea spent the first half of his long career as a hotel executive chef, winding up in New Orleans in that position at the Royal Orleans. In 1985 he and two cousins opened Andrea’s in the former Etienne’s in Metairie. In its early years, it became unquestionably the finest Italian restaurant ever to open in the area. Chef Andrea bought out his cousins after a few years, and the restaurant began to change and grow. Andrea’s is now a very large restaurant, open lunch and dinner 364 days a year (closed Labor Day, because nobody dines out then). On top of that, it has a bar that has its own menu, and a lot of inside and outside catering. It’s too big an operation for the fine points of old to be counted upon. In recent times, Andrea has turned over the everyday kitchen to Christian Rossit, a Venice native with a great track record around New Orleans.

The bar at Andrea's.

The bar at Andrea’s.

DINING ROOM
The restaurant feels distinctly suburban, but after importing Italian art and furnishings for many years the place has personality. The main dining room is bright and glittery, in a somewhat old-fashioned way. Private dining rooms, some capable of serving a hundred people, line up one after another. The new Capri Blu Bar is striking and comfortable, serving a menu of wood-oven pizza and appetizers. It has live entertainment many nights. The service staff is low-key and widely varying in competence. Chef Andrea himself spends a lot of time in the dining room, schmoozing the regulars.

FULL ONLINE MENU

BEST DISHES
Starters
Prosciutto di Parma, melon
Antipasto platter
Frutti di mare portofino (seafood salad)
Filet of beef carpaccio, Parmigiana reggiano, white truffle oil
Shrimp caprese (sautéed with white wine, herbs, angel hair pasta
Calamari, fried or sauteed with wine, olive oil, herbs
Mussels marinara (steamed in a white wine sauce or tomato) Baked oysters Italian style
Pasta e fagioli soup
Minestrone milanese
Stracciatella di Medici (beef and chicken broth, spinach, egg drops, parmesan cheese
Insalata Caesar made tableside
Arugula salad, tomato, shaved parmigiano
Tomato and fresh mozzarella salad Capresi

Pasta
Crabmeat ravioli, Alfredo sauce
Porcini mushroom ravioli
Ravioli with veal, beef, cheese, meat sauce
Linguine pesto Genovese
Potato gnocchi with four-cheese sauce
Risotto jazz (shrimp and crabmeat
Littleneck clams aglio e olio
Capelli de Andrea (angel hair, smoked salmon, vodka cream sauce, caviar

Entrees
Grilled salmon, white wine, sautéed spinach, lemon herb sauce
Speckled trout with crabmeat, lemon cream sauce or amandine
Red snapper “aqua pazza” (light tomato and herb sauce)
Cioppino (light stew of mussels, clams, scallops, shrimp, crabmeat, squid, wine, herbs, tomatoes, linguine)
Shrimp scampi arriabiata (spicy red sauce) or garlic butter
Veal scaloppini piccata or marsala
Veal scaloppini Maria Louisa (crabmeat, béarnaise)
Roast chicken grande
Veal osso buco Milanese (light brown sauce)
Chicken or veal saltimbocca (prosciutto, ham, sage, fontina cheese)
Filet of beef tenderloin, cognac-black peppercorn sauce
T-bone steak Fiorentina ai ferri
Ribeye steak pizzaiola
Veal chop Valdostana (stuffed with prosciutto and Fontana)

Desserts
House-made gelato, lemon or raspberry sorbet
Praline pecan cheesecake
Chocolate mousse
Zuppa inglese (trifle of sponge cake layered with cream, berries, Grand Marnier
Tira mi su
Cannoli siciliano
Strawberry cake

FOR BEST RESULTS
Find out whether Chef Andrea is present. He usually is, but when he’s not, things can slip. The restaurant is overambitious, and often fills the facility with more people than can be served at the restaurant’s best level. Overbooking occurs on holidays. The dining room staff seems always on the brink. If something isn’t right, make a fuss and they’ll start paying attention.

OPPORTUNITIES FOR IMPROVEMENT
This would be a better restaurant if the menu were pared back at least by half. It shows over 100 dishes now. Most of the deleted dishes should be on the Creole side of the menu, which are the worst eats on the menu. Don’t we have enough restaurants making gumbo, stuffed eggplant, red beans and bread pudding?

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 +2
  • Consistency -2
  • Service+1
  • Value +1
  • Attitude +1
  • Wine & Bar +2
  • Hipness -1
  • Local Color

 

SPECIAL ATTRIBUTES

  • Live music some nights
  • Romantic
  • Good for business meetings
  • Many private rooms
  • Open Sunday lunch and dinner
  • Open Monday lunch and dinner
  • Open all holidays
  • Open all afternoon
  • Good for children
  • Free valet parking
  • Reservations accepted

1 Readers Commented

Join discussion
  1. jay on January 29, 2016

    My lady and I eat at Andreas on Monday. It took 2 1/2 hours to eat. The food was just so-so and the service was awful. Ordered a drink upon arriving and it took 45 minutes to get it. The room was less than full and still the service was very slow.
    I have enjoyed Andreas in the past but was underwhelmed the last time. They simply were not that busy for the long delays at every turn. Hopes he gets his touch back

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