Dress to impress at La Fina, the urbane steakhouse that has quickly become a social hub in Andover. Sequins, silk crepe jumpsuits, and faux furs would not feel out of place on the posh white upholstered chairs, surrounded by sleek modern décor. A large Art Deco tiled fireplace anchors one end of the room, while mirrors over the appealing bar reflect the large abstract paintings lining the walls, inviting diners to escape New England for a few hours for a quick jaunt to an international hot spot.
The menu is just as glamorous as the surroundings, starting with the array of classic cocktails and the impressive list of wines by the glass (about 25) and by the bottle (more than 100). Feeling a tad adventurous? Start with the Thyme Glider, a warming blend of bourbon, Aperol, and Averna, flavored with lemon and thyme. A little bit wintery, a little bit summery and perfect by the fire.
La Fina is the second restaurant in the LaRosa’s family. Paul LaRosa turned LaRosa’s Café and Bar down the street into a local legend, offering handcrafted pastas and other Italian specialties in a more casual atmosphere. On that restaurant’s 10th anniversary, LaRosa decided to create a special occasion spot.
Fans of LaRosa’s will appreciate the same attention to quality and sourcing. Chef Ashley LaRose has a sure hand with luxurious ingredients, starting with the plump, fresh oysters in the fried oyster appetizer. Lightly breaded in a classic New England style, and then flash fried in high-quality oil, the shellfish emerge as fresh pillows of briny goodness, perfect with just a squeeze of lemon juice. For another sumptuous starter, try the gnocchi al tartufo—house-made ricotta gnocchi that is pan-fried to a deep burnished brown and tossed with a garlicky cream sauce, and then covered in a generous shaving of fragrant black truffles. It’s available as a half-portion, which is a nice shared appetizer, or you can go all in and enjoy it as a vegetarian entrée.
For a lighter entrée, try the seared scallops. The four plump, perfectly cooked bivalves rest on a creamy parsnip puree and are topped with a lightly dressed apple-fennel slaw. The cool, crisp salad offers a nice counterpoint to the sweet, rich scallops without overpowering them.
La Fina takes steaks very seriously—only prime-grade beef from the best cuts make it to the table here. Steaks are cooked in a broiler that reaches a blazing 1,400 degrees Fahrenheit, then rested for 10 minutes before a final sear, yielding a steak that boasts a crisp crust and a perfectly tender, juicy interior.
While there are a number of composed dishes, guests can really take their meals to the next level by personalizing their favorite cut of meat with one or more chapeaus. French for “hat,” it’s a cute name for La Fina’s options for capping a steak (or anything else on the menu). Offerings include lobster tail, shrimp, and crab, as well as a selection of flavored butters, from foie gras to Cabernet. Go full-on umami with the tender, buttery barrel-cut filet mignon, topped with foie gras butter and a lobster tail.
Of course, with steakhouses come sides—La Fina calls them “accessories.” Don’t miss the sophisticated take on a classic creamed spinach, elevated with wild mushrooms and bacon. The cheesy cacio e pepe risotto is easy to share; it’s rich and packed with Parmesan, so a small amount is very satisfying. For a less carb-heavy option, try the cauliflower gratin, baked in a béchamel sauce and topped with fontina cheese. It’s lighter than a classic potato gratin, but satisfyingly rich.
Hope you saved room for dessert. Chef LaRose is also trained in pastry and offers a surprising array of house-made sweets for such a busy kitchen, like the dense flourless chocolate torte, paired with a side of blood orange sorbet, or the rich rum raisin bread pudding. Or you can mix coffee and dessert together with the affogato—a glass filled with gelato and shaved chocolate served with a demitasse of espresso. Pour the espresso over the frozen treat for a grown-up drink that’s not too sweet and not too heavy—a glamorous end to a glamorous night out.
For more information, visit lafinarestaurant.com.
Fried Oysters $19
Gnocchi Al Tartufo $14 | $26
Seared Scallops $32
Filet Mignon $45
Creamed Spinach + Mushroom $10
Cauliflower Gratin $10
Cacio E Pepe Risotto $10