With all the rain, wind and general nastiness we’ve been handed this past (and still lingering winter) season (the snow was pretty but just as awful to deal with), sometimes you need a little escape to a warmer, more welcoming place.
If you’re on a Mr. Scrooge budget, but still want a Sugarplum getaway, opt for the food version, rather than the pack-your-bags version and head to Andiamo. Nestled just north of the hustle and bustle of Bellevue Square, Andiamo Ristorante Italiano (938 110th Ave NE, Suite 1) is a little slice of Italy on the Eastside.
While the masses are running to their cars in the rain, you’ll be snuggling up to that beautiful glass of red and nibbling on the tender rings of Calamari Fritti ($9.00) while watching the chefs whip up your Linguine Pescatore ($24.00) in the open concept kitchen. Recommended by the house, the Linguini is dressed with clams, mussels, sea scallops, calamari, shrimp, crab and fish in a light seafood broth (that’s a mouthful – literally).
Although it can get a bit drafty in the front half of Andiamo (and they could probably try a few other solutions on that front), it’s a small price to pay for the creamy delights they push out, dish after dish. The house is usually lightly staffed, and is small enough to lend a homey feel that regulars come to love. The owner is onsite many nights and is delightful to chat up, adding some neighborhood charm to what could otherwise be a generic, run of the mill space.
Their varied wine list (which they show off on a vintage farm table in the middle of the restaurant) is reason enough to try this place at least once. Even better, all bottles of wine are half price every Tuesday. But it’s the hearty dishes (albeit some are coated in heavy cream and butter) that make you all warm and fuzzy inside. And this time of year, that’s a welcomed feeling! The leader of the pack on that front is, without a doubt, the Cappellini with Shrimp and Crab. This plentiful dish combines, shrimp and fresh Dungeness crab in a light cream sauce, entangled in angel hair pasta and herbs ($22.00).
If you’re just stopping by for a quick bite mid-day, amidst the crazed, last minute holiday shopping, go with the Andiamo Sandwich – spicy coppa, salami, prosciutto and provolone cheese with a garlic aioli sauce ($13.50). It’ll keep you full well into the evening hours and give you that little bit of luxury you need to take the edge off, after hours of pocketbook depletion.