Providence Restaurant Weeks gives us an opportunity to visit or revisit some of our state’s finest restaurants at an affordable price. It has been years since we have eaten at Andino’s Restaurant at 171 Atwells Ave., just past the famous arch.
For $14.95, we had a first class Italian luncheon, large enough to enjoy some the next day.
Entering the restaurant at 2 p.m. on a 90-degree Monday, we expected to have the place to ourselves and were surprised to find almost every table occupied. We asked the maitre d if there was something special going on in town and she replied, “Oh, no. It’s always like this.”
Our waiter brought fresh Italian bread and olive oil as soon as we sat down. We began our culinary adventure with Andino’s Home Made Chicken Escarole Soup, and Joyce and I both agreed that it was the best we had ever tasted. No chicken cubes here. In addition to the tasty variety of vegetables, real pulled chicken dominated the cup.
My appetizer was a large dish of fried calamari, sautéed with hot peppers and Andino’s secret sauce, cooked and seasoned to perfection. Joyce enjoyed stealing from my plate in between her bites of fried mozzarella that was covered with their delicious sauce.
Our main courses were two scrod dishes that were unique and suited to our individual tastes. Joyce enjoyed the Scrod Andino, perfectly cooked scrod prepared with artichoke hearts, sliced pepperoni and sweet red peppers in a white wine sauce. I chose the Scrod Italiano, broiled with fresh green bell peppers and tomatoes, then finished with extra virgin olive oil and basil. We both loved our dishes, wondering what size the dinner portions were (Our most attentive waiter, Andrew, assured us they were larger. A side of angel hair spaghetti (hard to find in many restaurants) with their tasty sauce (or should I call it gravy) completed the meal.
We’ll be back to Andino’s, as there are a number of creative Italian dishes we would love to try. Herald Editor Tracy O’Neill says that they have the best mussels zuppa in the world. Our special priced restaurant week luncheon at $14.95 would have cost us over twice as much if we had gone there for dinner…and still would have been worth it.
Andino’s is open for lunch Monday through Saturday from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. and for dinner from 4 p.m. to closing. They have a comfy bar and large wine list. For reservations (advised) call 453-3164. Major credit cards are accepted.They have valet parking and banquet rooms. Check them out at www.andinositalianrestaurant.com.