L’angolo – BYOB (South Philly)
Tucked away on Porter Street, just west of Broad Street, L’angolo gives new meaning to the word tiny. If it’s size and ambience you are looking for you would do well to pass on this little gem of an Italian restaurant. However, if you came in search of really good cooking at very reasonable prices, then you have found the right place.
Once you have found a parking space in this home of the double-parked vehicles you are all set to enjoy the dining experience served up at L’angolo. When you enter, the first thing you see is the meals being prepared in the open kitchen area. You squeeze your way past the cramped outer area into the equally cramped dining room. If you are like me and have your wine container and camera with you, you’re in big trouble because the tables aren’t made to hold them and your space on the floor is at a premium. These are minor complaints and the bread soon arrives, the conversation progresses and you just make believe you and your party are the only guests in the place. Our regular Friday night crowd of 8 had dwindled to 4, probably, in part, a result of this being Thanksgiving Weekend. Carol and Joe B. and my wife, Kathy and I began the meal with an Antipasta Misto, a traditional Apulian vegetable antipasti for the table. I would be hard-pressed to name a lot of the items that we shared but I did recognize beets, cauliflower, carrots, onions, a spinach quiche, eggplant, some potatoes and at least four or five items I am forgetting.
I have never been a big antipasta fan but I have to admit this version provided a nice beginning to the meal.
I had been to L’angolo before in my pre-blog days. I even remembered that I had the Orecchietta with shredded duck and shaved parmesan and that it was very good. However, since I had duck last week at Tribeca Grill, I opted for the Pollo In Padella, chicken breast sauteed with pancetta, rosemary and a white wine sauce. The chicken was wonderful, with great flavor, healthy portions, and the juice from the pancetta and other spices made for the kind of sauce you want to dip your bread into. Although it would have been easy to finish the entire plate I purposely held back and saved some to take home for lunch today. Unfortunately, on leaving, I forgot to take it off the table and missed an opportunity for a tasty snack. It seems the South Jersey Wine Blogger Guy is not particularly bright.
Carol B. had the same entree as I did and enjoyed it immensely, while her husband, Joe, and my wife, Kathy, both chose the Pork Chop Milanese, described as breaded, thinly pounded with baby greens, in a white balsamic vinaigrette. Both Kathy and Joe agreed that although the chop had a nice flavor it did not taste as if it was a really top notch grade of meat. They liked it, but both probably wish they had made a different choice.
My wine for the evening was the 2008 Chocolate Box, Barossa Shiraz. It had a smooth texture with lots of dark fruits, white pepper and, naturally, as its name implied, a hint of dark chocolate mixing with saddle leather. It’s not an expensive wine but it drank well and was a nice accompaniment to the meal.
Overall, my second visit to L’angolo was just as good as the first and I would have no qualms about recommending readers to veer off of Broad Street at Porter to try this excellent Italian restaurant.