Angelo's claims to be "Little Italy in Ocean City," and it's an honest boast. Operated by the Musiani family, this little restaurant serves hearty, delicious Italian meals in a cozy and inviting setting with great service. It's not fancy, but it's nearly perfect.
One quirky thing: When we were first seated, we found the tables uncomfortably high -- they almost made us feel like children seated at the grown-ups' table. The meal was so satisfying, however, that by its conclusion we had nearly forgotten this minor annoyance.
We got off to a good start with our appetizers. The peppers Angelo ($3) featured sweet red peppers in a light dressing with Italian seasonings and a hint of Parmesan cheese. The antipasto for one ($3.25) was an attractive arrangement of prosciutto, salami, mozzarella and anchovies on a bed of lettuce and tomato, with hard-boiled egg, olives and capers.
The minestrone ($1.75 for a cup) was piping hot and stuffed with fresh vegetables. We also enjoyed the accompanying Italian bread, which was crusty, steaming hot and delicious.
Just a few bites into her entree, my companion proclaimed Angelo's version of eggplant parmigiana ($10.95) the best she'd ever had. The eggplant was moist, distinct and without the overbaked dryness that's a risk with this mild vegetable.
Another companion ordered the baked catch of the day Francese; instead, the fish was served Italiano ($13.95 either way). He didn't really mind. The flaky orange roughy was wreathed by a sauce rich in fresh diced tomatoes, zucchini, mushrooms, onions and capers.
The hearty chicken cacciatore (specially priced that night at $9.95) had slices of green pepper, mushrooms and onions in a fresh tomato sauce that coated tender chicken wings, legs and breasts. Like all our entrees, it was accompanied by a dish of spaghetti with that same fresh tomato sauce that one friend said reminded her of the sauce her Italian grandmother used to make.
Angelo's desserts ($3 each) are baked fresh on the premises. We loved the chocolate-chip cannoli, an interesting apple-walnut cheesecake topped by whipped cream and a curl of white chocolate, and a rum cake with distinct layers of rum-moist cake, chocolate and vanilla pudding.
28th Street and Coastal Highway, 289-6522.
Hours: 4 p.m. to 10 p.m. seven days a week.
Credit cards: Visa, Mastercard, American Express.
Features: Italian food.