Saturday, April 19, 2014


Birthday celebrations are beginning the 15th week of the year!

Sandra took me to Andina for dinner last Thursday night.  We celebrated my upcoming birthday as I will be in Seattle next week.

First stop...... 

  This restaurant chain, established by Victor Bergeron (nickname Trader Vic who invented the Mai Tai) came to Portland a few years ago.  During the tiki culture fad of the 1950's and 1960's, there were as many as 25 restaurants world wide.  They all feature a mix of Polynesian artifacts, unique cocktails and exotic cuisine.

A fun place to have a cocktail and who doesn't like a Mai Tai?

We then walked two blocks west to Andina, a Peruvian/Tapas restaurant that's been open for many years.  Chick has been a couple of times, but this was my first time there.  I pass the restaurant on my way home from the Amtrak station every week and there is a table right by the window facing south that always captures my attention.  I always wonder, "who is sitting at my table" and last Thursday....the table was actually MY table!  

fried seafood wontons, served with an ají amarillo-tamarind sauce

They have a rotating menu that changes with the seasons and offers versions of traditional Peruvian dishes mixed with their take on modern international cuisine.  Dishes are a dazzling mix of colors styling plates like runway fashion models.

quinoa-crusted diver scallops perched on top of wilted spinach and potato-parsnip purée, with golden beet and crabmeat “cannelloni,” and a duet of red beet and passionfruit reductions

The restaurant and bar offer a large selection of small plates to share.  We sat at the bar and had an amazing cocktail prepared by head bartender, Eddy before heading over to the restaurant side for dinner.

roasted ginger rum shaken with fresh squeezed grapefruit juice, lime juice and cane sugar, served up with a cardamom-sugar rim

The menu is broken down into different sections, with the tapas section broken down into three different sizes to choose from.  We shared the wontons and then each choose an entree to split, but quite easily you could make it a night with cocktails and tapas in the bar.

Their wine list was extensive with the majority of the bottles from Chile, Argentina and Spain, and a by the glass list with over 20 varieties.  We shared a wonderful bottle of Ponzi Chardonnay....just perfect for the two of us.

We capped the night off with a 20 year tawny port from Spain and a trio of pots d'cream.

What a fantastic celebration!  Thanks, Chick for treating me to a special dinner.