Angelina Restaurant provides a culinary adventure
Simply elegant: Angelina Restaurant provides a culinary adventure that will leave you hungry for more
By Bruce Kong
Nestled along one of the oldest blocks of downtown Green Bay is a restaurant that for many years has been on the radars of fans of local fine dining experiences.
On the outside, a recent upgrade to the façade at Angelina — located at 117 N Adams St. — including a deep-red awning and sign, told me I was in the right place, but it’s what I found on the inside that made it clear why people keep coming back.
Upon entering, one is immediately transported into an atmosphere of Old World Italy with an assortment of vintage decorations and paintings which capture the warm aura and refined theme that Angelina aims for.
Right as I entered those doors, I was greeted with a friendly shout from the bar — a bright smile from the bartender was enough to make me feel that I was not a stranger, but a guest inside my host’s home.
The waiter, James, was an expert. He provided me with excellent service and offered his full attention when he came by my table.
Angelina prides itself on customer service and James was the prime example.
Angelina continues to serve complimentary bread with infused olive oil and balsamic vinegar on the side.
The olive oil soaks itself into every crevice of the fresh-made bread once dipped and the sweet tang from the vinegar is the first thing your taste buds welcome.
It’s a match made in heaven — but don’t fill up on the bread. My advice: stick with two slices and thank me later.
For the appetizer, I decided on the prosciutto crudo. If you’re not familiar with Italian lingo, prosciutto directly translates to “ham.”
It’s made from the hind legs of pigs and aged during a dry-curing process. The finished product is then cut into thin slices and served.
Simplicity may be the only word to describe the prosciutto crudo.
The velvety-smooth texture of the mozzarella cheese combined with the prosciutto blends a salty yet lighter flavor.
And while most may find mozzarella to be a bland cheese, the balsamic vinaigrette takes over and explodes with hints of fig and cherry.
It was a great start to my dinner.
The basil garnish was substituted with pea shoots, and while pea shoots make for an elegant presentation, I would have preferred the basil described on the menu.
Most people usually associate Italian food with one thing: pasta. And for the most part, no one can blame them for that.
It’s not a stereotype, rather it’s a gift that was introduced to the United States years ago by Italian immigrants who came to America from Naples.
Now, pasta has become such a prominent part of the U.S. that everyone, adult or child, must get their hands on it.
For my entrée, I went with the spaghetti alla carbonara — a classic dish consisting of mouthwatering elements that made me never want to put my utensils down.
The core treasure of this dish was the guanciale (pork jowl) and much like prosciutto, it too is dry-cured and cooked until caramelized.
The distinction? Guanciale is a cut from the pig’s cheek.
Carbonara isn’t your typical pasta drenched in sauce, and there’s a perfect reason for that.
Rich and meaty would be a great description for spaghetti carbonara, but those aren’t the only notable components.
The egg yolk mixed with parmesan cheese coats the noodles, so each bite contains a silky, sharp tang.
One might be inclined to believe that mixing egg yolks with parmesan cheese is an odd combination — I thought the same, but I was wrong.
Angelina has indeed raised the bar for my next visit to an Italian restaurant when it comes to spaghetti carbonara.
After I left, knowing that I’d return in the foreseeable future, I had a minor epiphany.
Food doesn’t need to be complicated to taste good. The chef and their cooks on the kitchen line only need to understand proper execution – and that is exactly what Angelina did.
They keep to their vision exhibited on their website, “With great pleasure, Angelina presents authentic Italian cuisine.”
To anyone looking for a nice, casual dinner with luscious food and superb service, I highly recommend Angelina Restaurant.
There will be no disappointment.