Through out the years one makes friends that continue in your life. This was the case the other night, as a dear friend who is a wonderful saxophonist by avocation contacted us that his band was going to perform a dinner show. Not only has he been a great friend since I met him years ago when he was a high school student working part time, but he has also blossomed into a great father, husband, chef and a wine aficionado, and he has even been a guest writer for me. It was a date night and we were going out for dinner to a restaurant that we have been to before, and several more from within this local chain. We were going to Andiamo Dearborn, which in the old days was the Chicago Road House from my youth. It had been a while since we were at this restaurant, but the draw that evening was that the Henry Ford (College) Big Band was going to perform out on the patio. It was a comfortable evening to be dining outside, though the cottonwood was drifting around the tables, and later on I found out that the band members were the entrée for the mosquitoes that evening.
The Andiamo chain was celebrating their twenty-fifth anniversary for the year, which is to be lauded for any restaurant. The menu was enticing and the wine list was also a good draw, in fact my only complaint was that the tables for two out on the patio could have been a big bigger to accommodate all of the plates and stemware for dinner, but that is just a small gripe (I guess). My Bride ordered the Steakhouse Chicken which was a pan roasted chicken breast, bacon, caramelized onion in a white wine and crack mustard sauce with roasted sweet potatoes and braised greens. While I had the George’s Bank scallops which were panned seared atop black truffle risotto, lobster crème, basil oil and crisp Prosciutto. Both of the dishes were part of the anniversary menu and long time favorites of the restaurant. We also enjoyed a salad, an assortment of breads and a side of pasta. This was just a nice classic dinner for the evening and with the sounds of a big band behind us, it was even that much better.
Since we were dining outside and the entrée choices that we had selected, I felt that a nice white wine would be enjoyable. A chilled wine out on the patio sounded so refreshing that I had to study the list. The list of white wines was smaller then the red white list, which is understandable as the restaurant offers so many different meat dishes and they had just converted over from a steakhouse concept back to the original Italian restaurant. I saw an old friend on the menu, from a winery that we visited on our trip to Napa, and as I related in that story, they did not even have a tasting room, so we did the tasting sitting upon cases of wine in the back of semi-trailer. We were enjoying a bottle of Duckhorn Decoy Chardonnay 2012. While we had visited and tasted the original Duckhorn wines in Napa, the Decoy series is from Sonoma County, so the Chardonnay wine is more indicative of this area, as opposed to Napa or even the Monterrey area. All in all, it was a perfect evening, a great date night, seeing an old friend, great music and a fine bottle of wine.