Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Andiamo, Bloomfield Twp, February 20, 2015

We had an appointment with our adoption caseworker in Ann Arbor late Friday afternoon. We knew we'd be really busy on Saturday, our 1 year anniversary of being legally married, as we were flying out to New Jersey Sunday morning. It seemed prudent, then, to go ahead and celebrate our anniversary a day early. I'd planned to stop in at Frita Batidos downtown Ann Arbor for a casual Cuban celebration. We'd never been and it sounded fun and yummy. However, when we drove by, it was completely slammed, with silhouettes of many people standing showing through the steamed-up windows. Between the crowded dining room and the walk we'd have, in the freezing cold, from the car, it seemed better to leave that particular restaurant exploration for warmer days.

I suggested that we just stop anyplace that looked good on our way home. However, I had spotted Andiamo on our way to the appointment and thought that, if we passed it again and it didn't look too crowded, we would stop there. I'd heard from several people that it's one of the better Italian restaurants in the Detroit Metro and had been interested in trying it. Jeannene was completely in favor. When we arrived, we were able to get a table in the comfortable, if a bit dim, dining room right away. Our service was good, although I found myself having to suppress waves of giggles over our waitress' atrocious pronunciation of the Italian dishes. When I pronounced "bufala" correctly while ordering the bufala artichokes, the waitress asked me about my accent. I said, "Southwest Ohio?" She said that wasn't it and that she thought I sounded British or something. I managed to keep my snort internal, but after she left, I started talking to Jeannene in my fake British accent.

So, we started with a basket of fairly good bread and very good grissini, along with the artichokes (which were disappointingly heavily breaded, but still tasty, with the bufala mozzarella and pomodoro sauce) and drinks. Jeannene had a Peroni, while I opted for a delicious glass of Ruffino Moscato d'Asti. I know, I know, moscato is a dessert wine. All you wine snobs out there are looking down your noses at me, I know, but I don't really like wine, except for sweet wines. The good news is, I won't make you drink it. The Ruffino, for those of you who do like moscato, is one of the most enjoyable moscatos I've ever had. It's quite floral and delicate. Heretofore, Elektra has been my favorite, by far, but this has it beat.

For my main course, I went with the waitress' suggestion to have the lasagna, which was nice and light, for lasagna. The pasta sheets were much thinner than usual and it wasn't so heavy on the cheese that it was hard to swallow. Despite the more dainty texture, it was still quite substantial and I could only eat half of it. I'd also had half of a gorgeous beet salad, a long line of earthy-tasting heirloom red and golden beets adorned with baby arugula, dollops of gorgonzola, crunchy toasted oats, chewy golden raisins, and both fig balsamic and cranberry vinaigrette. To me, that was the star of the meal. Jeannene got her veal parm fix and was well-pleased with both the meat and the deliciously flavored pasta and veggies that accompanied it.

Dessert was splendid, as well. They currently have a coastal menu available and, when the (very impressive, multi-level) dessert cart came around, it was hard to pick, but the coastal menu's key lime chiffon pie won my vote. Jeannene hates key lime anything, but gamely tried it. When she made her "Eewwww, this is sour!" face, I knew I'd like it. It was, in fact, the sort of key lime dessert I seldom encounter north of Florida and I was thoroughly delighted with my splurge. The little round had that distinct true key lime flavor, and plenty of it, in combination with a texture at once both creamy and airy, and a satisfyingly solid, down to earth graham crust.

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