By Sarah Coyne
All the restaurants in both Limassol and Paphos are presently closed until next month, but just before this partial lockdown was introduced, I was lucky enough to eat out at the Andria Steak House in Coral Bay. When we are allowed to eat out again, we will all want the ultimate dining experience, and this restaurant should certainly be on your list.
The restaurant is owned by two brothers, Stelios and Marios Nikolaides, who built it on the site of a vineyard, which was owned by their grandfather. This main road in Coral Bay has changed dramatically since the days when grapes last grew here – possibly not always for the better – but today, it offers a large selection of restaurants for both tourists and the locals.
As a venue, it is stylishly decorated, offering both inside and outside seating. At the rear is a wine cava, which represents Stelios’ love of fine wines. His passion is also reflected in the extensive choice of fine wines and champagnes on the wine list, which would satisfy any dedicated wine lover. With over 170 labels on the wine list, priced from 18 – 4,500 euros, there is certainly something for every taste and budget. The tables are unusually large, with stylish chairs offering an exceptionally high level of comfort and space for dining.
Andria Restaurant is named after the brothers’ mother. Together their main aim has always been to provide gourmet food of the highest quality. Stelios is the executive chef with Marios running front of house. They have their own kitchen garden, which supplies the restaurant with fresh vegetables. Everything on the menu is made in house. When they introduce a new dish, they go to great lengths to source the finest of ingredients.
As a steak house, the menu obviously has an emphasis on meat, but also includes a variety of different options, including vegetarian. The menu is not huge, which is always good to see. I rarely find it challenging to select from a menu, but here there are many tempting options, and it took a while to choose. Some of the starters included breaded brie cheese, black truffle ravioli, mozzarella burrata cheese, and even fresh oysters. In the end, we decided to share and went for the ravioli and the mozzarella.
The ravioli was exceptional, and it was a real treat to enjoy black truffle which is not often available on our local menus, probably due to its high cost. Surprisingly though, the standout entrée was the burrata mozzarella, served with a tomato confit and pesto sauce. I have to be honest that this wouldn’t usually be one of my favourite cheeses, as it has a tendency to blandness. Bland is not the word for Andria’s dish. It tasted unlike any other mozzarella style cheese we had ever tasted before, and was a very generous portion to share. The waiter explained that the individual cheeses are from Italy. Burrata cheese is different, as it is made from cow’s milk and is a combination of mozzarella and cream. For anyone who loves cheese, this is a dish you will surely remember as it is perfectly matched with the distinctive flavours of the tomato confit and pesto sauce.
The main course menu is divided into familiar sections: steak, pasta, fish and other meats. Although I rarely select steak when eating out, mainly due to the prohibitive price, it would have been crazy to come to a steakhouse and not experience their signature dish. All the beef here is from Uruguay. Stelios believes this is the finest meat available due to the pasture-fed cattle, which are reared without antibiotics and hormones. Indeed, his motto is that to cook a good steak, you have to buy a good steak. On arrival at the restaurant, the Black Angus beef is hung for up to 15 days in a dry ageing unit. That makes for big expectations. Thankfully we were not disappointed.
Whilst there are various steaks available on the menu, the waiter advised us to go for the rib eye. There is a choice of sauces ranging from mushroom, pepper, garlic, blue cheese, béarnaise to Jack Daniels. When the steaks arrived, they were both cooked to the requested level of cooking: one rare and one well done. I like to think that I can cook a fantastic steak at home, but these were on a different level. Served with fresh vegetables and a flavoursome pepper sauce, they epitomised perfection and were well worth the price.
The combination of fine food and exceptional service from Marios and his professional team, contribute to a relaxed dining experience. After the two generous courses, we were too full to even consider a dessert, but there was a fine selection of homemade choices which looked very tempting on other tables.
During this lockdown period in Paphos, it is good for morale to plan our return to normality. Nothing lasts forever, so why not anticipate a meal out which goes beyond our expectations and really treat ourselves once the restrictions are lifted? Andria Steak House is that very place.
WHERE 29 Coral Bay Ave, 8575, Paphos
CONTACT 26 622 622
WHEN Currently closed due to Covid restrictions in Paphos. Normally open 10.00 – 23.30 7 days
HOW MUCH? Main Courses 14 – 45 euros