Another famous Italian neighbourhood eatery, Andiamo is a chic and stylish bistro that has long been a staple for Herne Bay and Ponsonby locals.
Split into two rooms, a dining and a New York style long bar, it also spills out onto the pavement terrace through wide bi-fold doors – the perfect setting for a spot of people watching with a vino as the sun sets. The atmosphere is nothing short of buzzing with loud upbeat music, the bar offering a wide range of cocktails, international and local craft beer and long drinks and the restaurant winning awards for its wine list. Inspired Italian with a focus on seafood, pasta and red meat – there’s something to suit every palate and the service is top-notch.
Our waiter for the night is utterly charming, humorous and of course…Italian! He doesn’t hesitate when I ask him to recommend his picks from the menu. We must try the antipasto platter he insists. Never one to shy away from a platter I enthusiastically accept his challenge and boy what a feast awaits us. This is literally the biggest and the best antipasto I’ve ever seen…oysters, salmon, anchovies, calamari, salmon cakes, capers, mozzarella, olives, beef, parma ham to name a few. The menu describes it for two but this would suffice as a starter for four.
A decent pause is allowed before our mains arrive so we can enjoy our wine and make room for the next course. I choose one of their popular pastas dishes – Lemon infused linguini, chorizo, marinated prawns, vine ripened tomato, and basil. My date fancies something a bit more manly and selects the Freedom Farm free range pork belly, apple potato mash, pickled slaw, cinnamon star anise glaze, crackling. Both are flawless in both presentation and flavour.
Our waiter then insists on a complimentary dessert…despite our protests …due to nothing else other than full stomachs. He ignores us and knowingly returns with a little Vanilla Bean ice cream, a shot of frangelico and an espresso for us to share. We are instructed to mix it all together and he was right – we were definitely able to make room for this! The perfect end to a perfect meal.
And just when you think it can’t get better – Andiamo is also open for brunch serving ‘Auckland’s best Bloody Mary’.
Andiamo is an Italian phrase meaning “Let’s Go”…and go you should!