August 23, 2006 | New Orleans

This past Saturday night my wife and I had dinner with good friends at Andreas Restaurant in Metairie. I've enjoyed great meals there before but, in this post-Katrina world, I now have a greater appreciation for extra special experiences and realize what a gem we have right here in Jefferson Parish.

The atmosphere was very cozy and friendly, and even at capacity, I still felt very comfortable because tables are nicely spaced. The room was lit just right…not too bright but you could still clearly see everyone in the restaurant. A piano player and a vocalist were performing beautiful Italian classics in the bar area but it could still be heard just enough throughout the entire restaurant.

We had a great table in the main dining room. The service personnel was very attentive throughout the evening and we even had a visit from Chef Andrea himself…which it appeared he trys to say hello to all patrons.

Our meal was fabulous! The house salad consisted of crisp romaine lettuce, sliced avacodo, green onion, tomato, mushrooms, pre-mixed with a great creamy Italian house dressing topped with parmesan cheese. For our entrees, my wife had a generous portion of Lasagna and I had a Red Snapper Basilico, a filet of fresh snapper, sauteed and served with olives, mushrooms, basil and white wine sauce. For dessert, we couldn't resist trying the spumoni. Everything was just perfect…one of the best meals I have had in a long time…and we eat out frequently.

Chef Andrea Apuzzo, who first learned to cook as a young child in Italy and has over 35 years of culinary experience around the world, certainly provides his guests an elegant dining experience offering the finest of New Orleans seafood and Northern Italian Cuisine. He also is a very smart guy as I learned that he offers complimentary shuttle service to and from downtown New Orleans!