Andes Cafe Goes High End on Wednesdays

East End gem shines even brighter with a reservation-only tasting menu option.

By Amber Ambrose

Chef David Guerrero is back with the adorable Cafe Andes, which recently opened on the bottom of an office building in the East End. His signature roster of South American dishes for breakfast, lunch, and weekend dinners have been bringing in plenty of guests happy to see him back in the saddle, and he upped the ante Wednesday night.Launching a new series of tasting-menu dinners with friend and current chef de partie at Underbelly, Kenten Marin (a well-traveled man with a Peruvian upbringing), Guerrero offered a true fine-dining experience in the comfort of his cozy cafe, and he’ll continue to do so each Wednesday, with five-course tasting dinners centered around a different monthly theme.

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For what remains of March, Guerrero and Martin cover a gamut of dishes from Venezuela to Ecuador, including a heart of palm filled with a beautifully understated, vegetal tomato gelee in the center, which—intentionally or not—is reminiscent of a bone filled with pink marrow.

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There’ss also the small-scale version of an Ecuadorean crab boil with a small, vibrant red crab (that reminded me of Sebastian from The Little Mermaid), which also featured a salsa of fresh tomatoes, onions, ketchup, and beer; part of a sweet plantain in a broth that had almost a curry taste to it; and a shot of Ecuadorean beer wrapped in a tiny coozie.

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It was a pain in the ass to eat, to be sure, but I still admired the thought and detail that went into the dish.

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