In the life of a New York City restaurant, three years is both an eternity and a beginning. When Andanada (141 West 69th Street) opened its doors in 2012, New Yorkers were drawn to the hype surrounding this modern Spanish restaurant helmed by Chef Manuel Berganza, the first chef in Spain to earn a first-time, two-star Michelin rating. Well, Chef Berganza has proven to New York diners that he's the real deal - his talent & authenticity keep customers coming back and earned Andanada a Michelin star in 2014 and 2015.
I was one of those New Yorkers who dined at Andanada when it first opened. The food was quite wonderful in 2012 but it is even better now. Chef Berganza has evolved his approach so that the culinary traditions of Spain do not get lost in a deconstructed haze of foam. The foundation of Chef Berganza's cuisine is strongly rooted in the authentic flavors of Spain but he is uniquely skilled at enhancing the cuisine with new, and even playful touches that rejuvenate the original without obliterating its essence.
Chipirones Rellenos (Squid stuffed with black pudding sausage, black bean puree, and pickled onion.)
This dish creatively combines two of Spain's most classic ingredients - squid and morcilla (blood sausage) into a rich dish that is complex yet comforting.
Ensaladilla Rusa de Salmón
This mayonnaise based potato salad is a Spanish classic but Chef Berganza adds a new dimension by adorning it with a generous crown of salmon that delicately heightens the flavor.
Presa Ibérica (pan-seared Iberian pork shoulder)
Made from the same black-hooved (pata negra) pigs that are used to produce Jamón Ibérico, Presa Ibérica is unlike any pork I've ever tasted. Juicy and savory, it is reminiscent of a steak but has a subtle gaminess and hint of sweetness that make it a carnivore's dream.
With a sexy & relaxed ambiance, Andanada's sleek but comfortable decor is the perfect stage for Chef Berganza's vibrant cuisine. The restaurant's name is actually inspired by the highest seating area in the bullfighting arena - the andanada is where the most enthusiastic fans sit to get a bird's eye view of the action. Without incurring the risk (or moral conflict) of bullfighting, guests at Andanada get prime access to some of the most exciting modern Spanish food in New York City.
For more information, visit the Andanada website.
all images courtesy of Andanada