So last weekend I did, and if the thought of one more plate of fettucine alfredo or veal marsala or fried calamari makes you want to plotz, then you and your jaded palate need to get over to this place. . . doubletime.
Besides the fact that the former Carolina’s pizzeria is now an elegant yet cozy contemporary Italian trattoria, the food here avoids all those excruciatingly familiar Italian culinary clichés as if they were a month-old salmon. A full review of D’Angelo will be out in the May/June issue of Boca magazine but just to whet (and wet) your appetite, here’s a few impression of some of my favorite dishes (so far).
Two of the best things you can put in your mouth are burrata and fava beans. Put them together and it gets even better. In this dish the freshest, creamiest burrata I’ve tasted in years comes paired with roasted favas and a simple salad of lightly dressed watercress. The delicate nuttiness of the roasted favas plays up the milky lushness of the burrata. . . you don’t want to miss this one.
Another terrific starter, and a dish you just don’t see on restaurant menus in these parts, is veal bone marrow with parsley-caper pesto and “casareccio” (“home-made”) bread. This paean to fat, cholesterol and luscious good eating comes as a trio of Paleolithic-looking bones with a little spoon for scraping out the gelatinous heaven, slices of toasted bread and a wicked-tart pesto for cutting all that richness.
There’s a fairly extensive list of pastas (none of which, thank goddess, are of the alfredo variety). My fave of the moment is D’Angelo’s pappardelle casarecce, i.e., home-made pasta, as are all pastas here. The wide, substantial noodles come bathed in a lusty tomato sauce studded with baby meatballs and sausage and topped with creamy fresh buffalo milk ricotta. It’s refined and rustic in a single dish.
The entrée selection is a bit more limited, but thankfully one of those entrée regulars is milk-fed piglet, roasted in the restaurant’s wood-fired oven with a simple seasoning of black pepper and fresh herbs. Think of it as the Italian version of whole hog barbecue or Cuban roasted pork a la caja china. The chunks of pork show off just a faint smokiness and practically melt in your mouth; they’re almost impossible to stop eating.
I did, eventually. But I’ll be back for more. And so should you.