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Pierangelo in Greenwich continues to be a favorite

k
kvanm Jul 19, 2011 07:09 PM

What can I say? After first dining at Pierangelo in 2007, the place continues to make me happy. The staff is unfailingly kind, helpful, and attentive. The menu covers enough ground to please the many guests we've brought there over the years. The pasta is always fresh, and light - although I usually limit myself to a half portion of my favorite garganelli with veal ragu. The rare tuna with capers, tomatoes and black olives is also delish and my husband is always happy to order the excellent osso buco. The atmosphere is quiet enough to hold a conversation without mad lip-reading skills. I was slightly concerned to see a poor showing last Saturday night; we closed a half-empty dining room at 10:30. I'm hoping that it was because everyone was in the Hamptons or on Nantucket and not that folks have forgotten about this low-key gem on Greenwich Ave.

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Pierangelo
355 Greenwich Ave, Greenwich, CT 06830

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  1. cardiak RE: kvanm Jul 26, 2011 09:45 PM

    Thank you for bringing this to my attention; I had forgotten about this place, but to be perfectly honest, it wasn't an accident. I've held a bit of an unfounded grudge, and I have your review to thank for opening my eyes and forcing me to see my own prejudice.

    I shall explain for my own catharsis, and I don't expect anyone's sympathy or understanding, but if you'd like to know why at least one chowhounder hasn't been in there, feel free to read on.

    I used to go to the restaurant in that space all the time when I was a kid, when the place was Benny's. My dad knew Benny and it was our go-to pizza place as well as a regular choice for the occasional family meal out. The food wasn't mind-blowing, it was just your basic red sauce family place, but it was good and familiar; and as I got a little older, it was one of the first places I took some of my friends to as a teenager, mostly because at the time, it was one of the only reasonably priced eateries around the Ave that wasn't dirty, a diner, or both.

    When Benny's closed down, I mourned the loss of a piece of my childhood; and when I saw what replaced it, a much nicer place with much higher prices, I think it triggered part of a "what are they doing to my Ave" sort of malaise; the same sort of feeling I had when Woolworth's succumbed to Saks Fifth Avenue. When WW finally closed and Saks moved in, the Ave got nicer and ritzier, but I didn't cheer. My grandma ate at Woolworths every week and knew everyone that worked there by name.

    I've lived in Greenwich all my life, and my family has been here for generations; I love it, it's my home. There are the folks that move here because they can afford it, and the people who are fortunate to live here because their families have owned land in town for years that they now could scarcely afford to buy.

    Just as I've never been in Saks all these years, I similarly have never stepped foot in any of the restaurants that were in the old Benny's spot.

    I checked Pierangelo's website, and most of the pastas are $25-30, and most of the entrees are $35-45. Now, I'm not saying it's too pricey without having eaten there, that's obviously not fair, but as a member of the 'lucky to live here since we've owned our land for years' set, it's not easy for me to go to a place like that on a whim. I've been burned before by high prices and mediocre food, from Greenwich to Stamford to NYC and beyond.

    However, your heartfelt endorsement has me thinking that I need to swallow my anachronistic pride and give this place a shot.

    Thanks.

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    Pierangelo
    355 Greenwich Ave, Greenwich, CT 06830

    4 Replies
    1. re: cardiak
      c
      CTeater RE: cardiak Jul 27, 2011 04:52 AM

      One addition to your story (with which I agree) - When "Benny" passed away, his wife (unsuccessully) tried to turn it into a much more upscale place, before turning it over to Pierangelo (who was running Applausi in Old Greenwich).

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      Pierangelo
      355 Greenwich Ave, Greenwich, CT 06830

      1. re: CTeater
        k
        kvanm RE: CTeater Jul 27, 2011 02:06 PM

        That's right! I'd forgotten about Applausi...

        1. re: CTeater
          k
          KLTNFT RE: CTeater Aug 13, 2012 11:03 AM

          To CTeater, I realize this is a year later, BUT, I think you're confusing Benny's with Mare e Monte. Benny hadn't passed away at the time he sold his restaurant.

        2. re: cardiak
          k
          kvanm RE: cardiak Jul 27, 2011 02:05 PM

          I am feeling your pain, believe me. While I didn't grow up in Greenwich, I did grow up in Darien, as did my father and grandfather. All the low-key, unassuming places of my childhood seem to have gone. Greenwich Avenue has gotten so fancy it sets my teeth on edge...it used to be a family car around here was a Pontiac station wagon, not a Mercedes G-Wagon! I understand how you feel acutely. That being said, I'm glad you're going to give Pierangelo's a try one of these days - they really are awfully nice and not at all pretentious or trendy, which is why I like them so much. Thanks for sharing your comments.

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          Pierangelo
          355 Greenwich Ave, Greenwich, CT 06830

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