Mama Mia Angelina!

January 17, 2011

I had been waiting for the perfect opportunity to try a little Italian restaurant in Boystown that I had passed on so many trips to the grocery store. When my boyfriend saw a Groupon for Angelina Ristorante, I knew it was a sign from the gourmet gods.

We visited Angelina on a Friday night when every table was taken. After grabbing a glass of vino (served in juice cups!), we were seated in a quiet corner booth. The restaurant is very warm, with chandeliers and white tablecloths.

We started off with the Beef Carpaccio appetizer. This was served with a side salad of baby arugula, cherry tomato, heaping amounts of fresh mozzarella and tossed with a mustard vinaigrette. The beef was melt-in-your-mouth delicious and was topped with capers and an aioli and paired well with the asiago cheese cracker. It was a perfectly refreshing start to the meal.

Beef Carpaccio
Prior to our visit, I, of course, scoped out the menu. One entree in particular caught my eye, the Ricotta Cheese Gnocci. My heart was set on ordering that dish, and the BF also ordered the same. Whenever I go to an Italian restaurant, I prefer to order a pasta that is handmade, because, let's be honest, I can boil some Barilla at home!

The gnocci was a beautifully presented heaping portion of pasta topped with a hearty marina with fennel Italian sausage. Perhaps the best and most-flavorful aspect of the dish, was the ricotta salata shavings on top of the pasta. This added a wonderfully salty flavor to the sauce. The only part of the dish that let me down was the gnocci itself. It was simply overcooked and fell apart with the poke of my fork. I prefer my pasta tender so this was a bit disappointing although the BF enjoyed his tremendously!

Hand-Rolled Gnocci with Fennel Sausage and Ricotta Salata Cheese
Although the gnocci was overcooked, I would come back to Angelina Ristorante in a heart beat. It has a romantic and relaxing ambiance and hearty dishes that pack full flavor. The menu at Angelina is fairly static, with a entree special and two pasta specials daily. Angelina Ristorante gets 3 stars for its rustic Italian fare, great wine glasses (beware, you'll think you're drinking grape juice!) and its warm atmosphere.

Hand-Rolled Gnocci with Fennel Sausage and Ricotta Salata Cheese

Angelina Ristorante
3561 N. Broadway
Chicago, IL 60657

Angelina Ristorante on Urbanspoon

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