Detroit >Angelina's Bistro Inc
Downriver comes downtown.
I've been to Angelina's twice--the first was during the Final 4 and the place was bedlam, so probably not indicative of the true Angelina's experience? Wrong. Other than a little less noisy, the second experience was about the same.
The service was friendly but lackluster. How long should it take the waitron to show up to a table in a half-empty restaurant? Too long, and then the waitron was not very familiar with the dishes--not terrible but more fitting for a sport's bar that serves food.
The food was pretty good but higher-priced than I would have expected.
Patrons (a few in suits/dresses for the opera) were dressed mostly a little too skimpy and too-tight (women) or too saggy (men) and must have shown up in a bus from Wyandotte. Very happy to be there and saying "Oh, I love EYE-talian food."
Not a destination restaurant, but if you're in the neighborhood and didn't wear you nice clothes, Angelina's is a decent pick.
Dinner Before Phantom.
Angelina's is a good restaurant. That's a bit disappointing; frankly, as it has the potential to be so much more. This well-decorated space across from the Detroit Opera House has an excellent location, a lively atmosphere, and interesting dishes. But . . .
The hostess seemed overwhelmed by the pre-Phantom crowd, unable to quickly seat those with reservations at the empty tables awaiting them. Eventually, a gentleman came over to assist, and helped clear the line, but it quickly re-formed and was constant throughout our time there.
The table service took some time to get started, but once underway, was very good. The seating arrangements seemed to make it very difficult for the waitstaff to access certain tables, particularly those by the front windows. This would seem to be easily correctable.
The menu is somewhat limited: 4 appetizers, 4 small plates, 3 pizzas, 12 entrees. We shared the Salumi appetizer, a cold plate of charcuterie and accompaniments that was an excellent value, and quite good. The soppresatta in particular was very tasty.
The entrees were quite good, although the portion sizes were small: the herb ricotta ravioli had about six pieces, for $16.50. The pappardelle bolognese was excellent, although again, the portion was not proportionate to the cost ($17.50 for a small bowl of pasta). While not outrageous prices, these are not consistent with the product, or the times.
Dessert was very good. Both the tiramisu and the almond amaretto cheesecake were perfectly-sized, well-made, and satisfying. The accompanying coffee was strong and delicious.
There is tremendous potential here. With a few points of execution better managed, Angelina's could easily obtain 4 stars. For now, 3 stars, and best wishes.
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