Get ready for a slew of blog posts over the next three months! As of 10:00 AM this morning, I am home in Portland for the summer. To celebrate the end of the school year and the beginning of summer, my mom took my friend, Sophie, and me to one of my favorite restaurants in Portland--Andina. Located at Northwest 13th and Glisan, Andina offers a taste of Peru in the Pearl District.
Despite being a Wednesday, Andina was still packed at 8:00 PM!
The restaurant features a native Peruvian cooking staff and very attentive servers (our server tonight was especially good). While they have a very extensive menu, including tapas, entrees and desserts, I have only ever stuck to the tapas and dessert menus. "El menú de entradas" includes over three dozen options. While I would order every dish if I could, I suggest ordering two small plates per person if you are going to eat exclusively off of the tapas menu. Each small plate is $10 (a recent increase in the price from $9). However, if something looks particularly tasty, there are also medium and large plates too, which cost $19 and $36 respectively.
Tonight, we ordered ensalada verde peruana, yuca rellena, empanadas de carne, palta rellena de cangrejo, wantanes de mariscos, conchas a la parilla and causa morada. Each dish and its contents are included below.
Complimentary quinoa bread with three dipping sauces: a spicy green jalapeño-based sauce, a medium passionfruit-based sauce and and a mild peanut-based sauce.
Ensalada Verde Peruana (greens topped with hearts of palm, cotija cheese and asparagus in a passionfruit vinaigrette)
Palta Rellena de Cangrejo (avocado stuffed with crab, topped with a poached prawn)
Causa Morada (a traditional timbale of lime-scented potato puré, layered with Peruvian purple potato and shredded chicken breast with ají amarillo and served chilled with avocado)
Yuca Rellena (yuca croquetas stuffed with mozzarella and cotija cheese, served over huancaí sauce)
Wantanes de Mariscos (fried seafood wontons, served with an ají amarillo-tamarind sauce)
Unfortunately, we were so excited to be served the next two dishes that I remembered to take pictures when we were nearly finished eating them. Nevertheless, the last few bites are pictured below!
Empanadas de Carne (flaky pastry filled with slow-cooked beef, raisins and Botija olives)--make sure to squeeze the limes onto the empanada before eating (it gives the dish an extra kick)!
Conchas a la Parilla (grilled diver scallops with a tamari-brown sugar butter sauce and crispy onions)
While we ate a lot of delicious savory dishes, there was no way I was going to pass up Andina's signature mousse de valle y selva. I have had this dessert every time I go to Andina and I did not think I should break the tradition this time around.
Mousse de Valle y Selva (a tiered semi-freddo of velvety lucuma and espresso mousses, chocolate ganache and crushed coca nib meringue, served with espresso shortbread) $7.50
Despite it being one of my favorite desserts on the planet, we were too full to finish the very last bite!
On a side note, tonight was the first night that my friend Sophie ordered an alcoholic beverage in a restaurant! Whether or not she was legally allowed to is debatable, but she certainly enjoyed her Sonoma-Cutrer Chardonnay (to see the wine list, click here)!