Matthew Morello and Alison Sudalter-Morello bring to town a new sense of culinary style.
With a hopping bar scene, a comfy lounge, and appealing outdoor space, Brasserie 28 in Andover invites regulars to hang out and enjoy a pitcher of sangria or some light bites. But the kitchen, packed with high-tech toys like an anti-griddle (which quickly freezes rather than sears), hides bigger ambitions. Chef Matthew Morello and his staff change the menu every few weeks. The chefs age, smoke, and cure all of their own fish and meats, make their own ketchup, and even grow greens and herbs in a specially designed kitchen window.
The intent is to engage the adventurous while appealing to people who just appreciate good food. From appetizers to desserts, Morello takes a playful approach with delicious results. Take the Flatbread of the Day, topped during a recent visit with potato pure?e, Boursin cheese, mushrooms, thinly sliced rare steak, and a “torched” sunny-side up egg. The presentation was lovely while the flavors were sophisticated and fun. An entre?e of pork served three ways offered another showcase for this spirited approach, featuring meltingly tender braised pork alongside cracklings and a Boudin blanc, a delicate white sausage flavored with cinnamon, clove, nutmeg, and white pepper.
Even the burger has bigger ambitions. Alongside the typical garnishes, guests can choose to top their beef with foie gras—a delicious indulgence for just eight dollars more. Diners in the know can also ask for the off-menu Farmhouse Burger, with foie gras, Cabot Clothbound Cheddar, bacon, and a sunny-side-up egg.
Curious wine lovers will appreciate the thoughtful tasting flights, as well as the more than 60 wines available by the glass, thanks to the restaurant’s investment in a high-tech Napa wine station. The first installed in Massachusetts, the preservation system enables them to keep bottles perfectly fresh long after opening.
Finish with a house-made ice cream sandwich or a flight of tea-infused sorbettos, which on a recent visit included Earl Grey, Rooibos, mint, and lemon chamomile. Light, refreshing, and complex, they were the perfect finale.
Brasserie 28 was a driving force behind Andover’s decision last summer to allow sidewalk dining, and the Morel- los have taken full advantage of it. The custom banquette-style seating feels secluded without cutting off the enjoyable views of downtown Andover. At press time, plans were in the works for additional outdoor seating, along with a new raw bar menu, likely to have the same playful intentions as the rest of the menu, mingling comfortable favorites with challenging inventions.
Appetizer: Brasserie 28 Flatbread ($10)
Entre?es: Pork Three Ways ($27), Burger with Foie Gras ($21)
Dessert: Flight of Tea-infused Sorbetto ($8)
Location: 2 Elm Sq., Andover, 978-470-2228, brasserie28.com