Angelo's serves up dinner fare, abundance of Italian decor

June 27, 1993|By Audrey Haar | Audrey Haar,Staff Writer

ANGELO'S

Where: 28th Street and Coastal Highway; (410) 289-6522

Hours: Dinner served 4-10 p.m. daily.

Credit cards: Accepts all major credit cards.

We arrived at Angelo's Italian restaurant one recent Sunday evening to find the place packed with diners taking advantage of the early bird specials (offered from 4 p.m to 6 p.m. daily except Saturdays).

Instead of the endless wait we'd feared, however, the small room emptied a bit and our dining experience soon got under way.

Angelo's decor might be best described as Italian-inspired hodgepodge. There are clusters of wine bottles suspended from the ceiling, and in the center of the room bunches of plastic grapes have been hung in rows to simulate a vineyard.

Wicker baskets dangle from the ceiling, and the walls are decorated with travel posters from Italy. In case you miss the theme elsewhere in the room, there are postcards from Italy under the glass tabletops.

Angelo's is a casual restaurant with an unpretentious decor, but the waiters -- about the room looking rather formal with their red cummerbunds andbright green bow ties.

We started dinner with sweet red peppers Angelo ($3.50), a cold appetizer that turned out to be one of the more interesting dishes of the evening. The tasty roasted red peppers were garnished with capers, sliced black olives and bread crumbs, and tossed with a light olive oil dressing.

The minestrone soup ($3 a bowl) had pasta, celery, peas, spinach, white beans and carrot chunks in a beef broth rather than the usual tomato base.

The house salad accompanying our meal was an uninspired mix of iceberg lettuce, sliced cucumber, tomato slices and shredded carrot and red cabbage.

A loaf of Italian bread that came with the salad was served so hot that it was impossible to handle, but eventually proved to be quite good.

When the waiter told us that veal was a specialty of the kitchen, we decided to try the veal Marsala ($13.95). Thin medallions of veal were served with sliced mushrooms that were the canned variety rather than fresh. The wine sauce was subtle, and failed to give this bland entree any boost.

The menu recommended fettuccine Alfredo ($4.50) to go with the veal Marsala, but we didn't think its heavy creme sauce helped the veal, either.

The shrimp scampi ($13.95), which was served on a bed of garlic toast, was a simpler dish and more successful. The large butterfly shrimp were sauteed with garlic and butter and came with a delicious side dish of spaghetti coated with a light, fresh tomato sauce.

For dessert, we ordered the two Italian offerings, spumoni and cannoli. We enjoyed the spumoni ($2.75), a wedge of pistachio ice cream with a swirl of chocolate and strawberry ice cream and bits of pistachio nuts. The cannoli ($2.95) was a crispy pastry shell filled with sweet ricotta and chocolate chips.

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