Andrei’s First Anniversary

Andrei’s Conscious Cuisine is my favorite restaurant in Orange County.  It opened in July 2009, and I have been there 39 times (verified by my Amex account).  The family that owns it is dedicated to quality, and it shows in the design, the food, the service, everything.  Andrei’s chef Yves Fournier focuses on very high quality local ingredients, prepared simply to create a delightful dish.  I’ve had just about everything on the menu, which changes seasonally.  The summer menu just started, so I will update the blog when I’ve tried the new items.  Favorites have included all the flatbreads – duck confit, lamb sausage, veggie;  Short ribs (cooked for 5 hours to enrich the flavor and make it SPOON tender); Halibut wrapped in pancetta, served over hummus, garnished with fava beans, yogurt, herbs – 7  or 8 different flavors on the plate that all are in harmony.  The starters are great too, soups are fresh from scratch each day, pommes frites are award winning (get the safron aioli), and they have fabulous burratta salad, in the summer served with heirloom tomato.  Did I leave out dessert?  Pastry chef Elyssa has created chocolate tasting, fruit tart, creme brulee, all wonderful.  These change with the season too.

So last night was Andrei’s first anniversary, and they threw a great party, with a French wine tasting, sampling by their salmon and ice cream vendors, a great charcuterie and cheese spread, tray-passed hors d’oeuvres, dessert.  It was wonderful.  These pictures show me  with Chef Yves Fournier; the owners, Igor and Natalia Olenicoff; and some of the food.  Andrei’s, keep up the good work!   Foodies: If you are in striking distance of Irvine, and you haven’t tried this yet – please do.

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