The acclaimed team behind Mistral and Ostra offers standout steaks, savory sides, and impeccable service.
On January 1 of this year, Burlington’s acclaimed Italian restaurant L’Andana closed its doors. It was not an ending, however, but an evolution. On Friday, July 22, after more than six months of preparation and renovation, the establishment will open its doors again as something entirely different: the third location of high-end steakhouse Mooo.
This latest iteration of Mooo – the other two are located in Boston’s Beacon Hill and Seaport neighborhoods – joins a venerable portfolio of some of Boston’s most lauded restaurants. Chef/owner Jamie Mammano and the Columbus Hospitality Group are also behind South End French bistro Mistral, modern Italian restaurant Sorellina, and the Mediterranean-inspired seafood at Ostra in the Back Bay.
When L’Andana opened more than 15 years ago, it was a rare star in Burlington’s then-tepid dining scene. However, its presence – and the praise it quickly accumulated – helped lay the groundwork for the explosion of notable restaurants that dot the town today.
“We were a staple in the community,” says Shannon St. Pierre, the director of marketing and events for the restaurant.
But when pandemic shutdowns gave the team a moment to reflect, they decided it was time to again bring something new to the suburbs. Now, L’Andana’s Italian fare has been replaced with an extensive menu of steaks and specials, and the space has traded its chic rustic wood décor for an ambiance of contemporary sophistication. What remains the same, however, is the dedication of the owners and managers to creating a special experience for every diner who walks through the door, St. Pierre says.
“With so make other restaurants in our area we understand how important it is to give our guests an exceptional dining experience,” she says. “How you make people feel is so important and it’s what stays with them.”
With Mooo, the team turns its talent for sumptuous cuisine and polished service to creating a modern interpretation of a classic steakhouse. To start with, the steak served at Mooo is never basic bulk beef. Mammano travels the world to source meat that meets his exacting standards for quality and flavor.
There’s the prime New York sirloin, porterhouse, and ribeye from Brandt Beef, a family-owned farm in southern California that prides itself on raising animals with a 100% vegetarian diet and no hormones. Or the free-range, grass-fed sirloin from Meyer in Colorado. Or, for an indulgent splurge, the A5 Wagyu sirloin flown in from Kagoshima prefecture in Japan.
Each steak comes topped with maître d’hotel butter, but diners can also choose to top their steak with roasted bone marrow, seared foie gras, or other savory add-ons, or select from a menu of sauces including bearnaise, madeira and black truffle, and Mooo steak sauce.
“We’re going to have a large list of beautiful delicious steaks,” says executive chef Eduardo Calderon.
For those who want to venture beyond steak, the menu includes other options prepared with equal care. The beef wellington wraps flaky pastry around layers of tenderloin, foie gras, spinach, and mushrooms. The broiled lobster is fresh from the waters of Maine and the pan-roasted branzino is laced with brown butter meuniere.
As much culinary attention is lavished on starters and sides as on the main dishes. Japanese wagyu beef dumplings and lobster bisque have been a favorite of guests at the other locations, but even the simpler dishes shine. Exotic mushrooms roasted with garlic and thyme are sourced from just over the border in New Hampshire and the char-roasted heirloom carrots with rooftop honey earn raves.
The entire menu is tied together by the extensive wine list, which features nearly 800 labels ranging from approachable values to rare vintages scouted from around the world. The selection of wines available by the glass rotates to reflect to changing seasons and shifting tastes. The staff’s deep knowledge is bolstered by regular wine tastings, so they are always ready to help diners choose the right wine to complement their meal and suit their budget and tastes.
The new space will also provide more room for private functions than L’Andana offered. Three beautifully appointed rooms will hold from 12 to 45 guests for weddings, rehearsal dinners, showers, anniversaries, and other special events. Each event is meticulously coordinated by St. Pierre and her team, who are not only skilled at planning, but genuinely enthusiastic to have the opportunity to participate in guests’ major milestones.
“Planning and managing every detail so that the host can relax and enjoy themselves is always my goal,” St. Pierre says. “Every event is different and what is needed to execute it seamlessly always changes.”
The interior design has been carefully chosen to work in harmony with the refined menu and the personal service to create an atmosphere of sophistication. Tones of black and gray, custom wood trim, chic lighting, and modern wallpaper combine to create a sense of intimacy and elegance.
Despite the changes, however, fans of L’Andana are likely to find Mooo’s sense of warmth and welcome familiar.
“The same wonderful things we did then we’re going to continue to do,” St. Pierre says. “Hospitality is at the forefront.”
For more information and to make a reservation visit visit mooorestaurant.com