Angelina's Italian Bistro - Detroit
I did not have much to go by, but decided to give Angelina's a try yesterday for a b-day dinner with a party of 11. The only information I could find was a review by Molly Abraham (more on her later). There were some good things and not so good things in regards to Angelina's. Let's Start with the good:
The service was very friendly and attentive. SOME of the food was good - the clam linguini, Salumi plate, strip steak skewers, gnocchi (although it could've used a few more mushrooms), and housemade mozzarella.. These were all fairly good. Their beer is a nice touch for those who like tasting different sorts of beer. Although I am not a gelato aficionado (hey that rhymes) it seemed very good.
Now, the not so good. 3 of the dishes were very poorly seasoned, as in very little to ZERO salt. I am a firm believer that I should never have to season with salt at the table. The Minestrone soup, Mushroom soup, and chicken marsala were all in this way. My biggest disappointment was the parpardelle bolognese. I have studied this dish enough to know what it is not - ground beef, tomatoes, and some cream added at the end. I was hoping for something more in the traditional style - beef, pork, veal, slow simmered for hours in milk and wine with a hint of tomato. The pasta seemed old, or underdone - just did not have the luscious melt in your mouth feel. Although the linguini seemed to have a better texture. Might just be a problem with quality control. The portobella polenta stack seemed bland and hard to cut. The pizzas were ok but nothing special.
To sum up - I probably will not be returning. Some of the food was decent and the prices were very acceptable, but nothing I ate will bring me back.
Question for you fellow Detroit chowhounders: does Molly Abraham ever give an honest review? I do not follow her writing religiously, but have come across some of her articles and this is the second one she raved about that I have been unimpressed with. Thoughts?
> I am a firm believer that I should never have to season with salt at the table
I disagree. I prefer a tiny amount of salt ... it's easy for you to add a bit of salt
to suit your preference. It's impossible for me to remove what I consider to be
Am I supposed to have an unpleasant meal because of your tastes?
About Molly: she likes *everything*. In fact, I really don't think of her as any actual kind of food critic, especially when her picture is readily seen all over the newspaper. Not to be a twit or anything, but food critics should basically be as anonymous as possible. I don't think she's *ever* given out fewer than 2 stars to any place.
I actually do sort of like her though, if only as a reminder of "Oh, that's right, I wanted to try that place." or "I didn't know there was a XXXXX food place around that area!" But as an actual food critic? Qualified to be impartial and such? Naw. Her reviews are far too sunny. Jane Rayburn (the former News critic, who, yes, *was* a critic in the terms I've described) was far better.
The Freep has Sylvia Rector, who is an actual critic. Oh, and if Jane Slaughter of the Metro Times reviews a place I basically turn it 180 degrees: if she loathes it, I'll probably love it, and if she loves it, I'll probably loathe it. She wouldn't know good food if it knocked her on her backside.
I actually saw the column by Sylvia Rector and that is what made a friend and I decide to try it. We were downtown to see Wicked at the end of December and here is our review…
We were pleased with everything we had that night. In fact this has become a new favorite spot of ours. The environment was casual and friendly, unlike some of the newer celebrity restaurants in Detroit and the price was well within budget.
We arrived early and watched the restaurant quickly fill up, but that didn’t impact our service. We thought the bean spread that came with the breadbasket was great and we were happy that our dinners included a salad, which is not always the case in the higher end restaurants.
I also ordered the Pappardelle. I thought the homemade noodles and the sauce were delicious. I was worried that it wouldn’t be enough, but it was the perfect amount and I was not overstuffed and uncomfortable for the rest of the evening. My friend ordered he Tuscan Pork Chop and she was happy with it as well. The presentation was great. The pork was moist and the entire dish was tasty and well seasoned. For dessert we split the Pot de Crème. It too was excellent.
I guess you can tell that I loved the place. Will be back there many times in the future. Seems like a great place to meet friends and enjoy a good meal and pleasant evening.
Hubby and I also enjoyed our meal at Angelina before we saw wicked on Dec. 23. Due to the terrible weather that night, we were going to be late for our reservation. So on the way I called and told them we were going to be late and if that would be a problem. They were so nice and said there would be no problem and our table would be waiting for us when we got there. He told us not to hurry to be safe. We finally arrived and were promptly seated at our table. The server gave us ideas on what to order that would be quicker since we had a show to catch. We both enjoyed our meals. I had the littleneck clams and linguini and hubby had shrimp risotto. Both meals were excellent as was the service. We would definitely go back.
> if Jane Slaughter of the Metro Times reviews a place I basically turn it 180 degrees:
> if she loathes it, I'll probably love it, and if she loves it, I'll probably loathe it. She
> wouldn't know good food if it knocked her on her backside.
She just reviewed Angelina's ... loves it. <g>