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Tuesday, April 3,2012

D´Angelo Trattoria

By Arnold Leir  

Chef Angelo Elia’s Latest Triumph

By Arnold Leir

Just a few steps in from the flow of Delray’s East Atlantic Avenue, D’Angelo Trattoria has the feel of an upscale eatery where the mood is genuinely upbeat and the customers impart a casual sophistication. A striking rear patio contains almost all of the Florida flora imaginable while the surrounding front porches are ideal for seeing and being seen.

The interior main dining room has been refurbished in shades of brown, beige, white and soft grey tones of hewn stone. The chic bar surrounded by a cluster of tall chairs feels reassuringly inviting. (Try the bar’s Mediterranean Blue Lemonade ($10), a stylish mix of Blueberry Vodka and Lemonade).

Of course, much depends on the staff that knows how to combine professionalism and personality. It goes without saying that the restaurant is really about Chef/Proprietor Angelo Elia whose uniquely constructed dishes are often inspired by the contemporary style and trends of Rome.

Raising the bar is the Chef’s objective, whether it is the Sautéed Calamari ($13) packed with supremely tender ringlets touched with tomatoes, bits of smoked pork belly and a golden sauce or the Eggplant and Sweet Provolone Timbale ($13) sparkling from every angle with it’s scrumptious layers.

We had the good fortune (thanks to General Manager Burak Isman) of sitting directly near the wine vault where we could see firsthand all the vintages from various parts of Italy (with an occasional bottle from elsewhere). You would assume that such an appealing restaurant would have an outstanding collection, but what might surprise you is the modest pricing. A best buy is Bartoluzzi’s regal Sauvignon Blanc ($10/glass), only one of many great values from Italy’s premiere wine regions.

An unimpeachable honesty pervades the kitchen’s entire output. The signature Tuna Carpaccio ($11) is a faultless presentation of perfectly sliced highest grade tuna capped with a fragrant cluster of arugula bolstered by an eye-opening Mediterranean puttanesca sauce.

Since each of the openers was so appealing, we did not hesitate to be adventurous. Rewarding mains appear not only on the menu but also as specials of the day. Tortellini Emiliani ($19) brought a new dimension to the classic pasta presented in a creamy Reggiano sauce, mushrooms, peas and prosciutto. Tender medallions of veal bathed with lemon, tomato, basil and capers make the signature Veal Pizzaiola ($24) a must-have dish.

Aromatic cappuccino and a cut of the homemade Tiramisu are two winners that we enjoyed as we crossed the finish line. Overall, it was an electrifying evening.

9 South East 7th Avenue.

Delray Beach

(Tel) 561-330-1237

Dinner daily: 5pm to close


  • Currently 3.5/5 Stars.
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