Symon Says, ‘Mangia Bene’: Angeline in Atlantic City

F or many of final summer, we attempted any day to haven a list during Angeline, a newest grill during a Borgata in Atlantic City. Tables were accessible during a casino hotel’s other top-tier restaurants—Izakaya, Old Homestead Steakhouse, Wolfgang Puck American Grille and Bobby Flay Steak—but Angeline, that non-stop in May, was entirely booked. Not until after Labor Day was we means to get in.

That vanquish had a lot to do with a gravel-voiced, guy-next-door interest of Angeline’s upbeat creator, Michael Symon. An Iron Chef and James Beard Award leader (Best Chef, Great Lakes, 2009), Symon, 48, is substantially improved famous for cohosting The Chew, ABC’s Daytime Emmy-winning cooking show, than for his restaurants in Cleveland (his hometown), Columbus, Indianapolis, Detroit and airports in Pittsburgh, Philadelphia and Washington, D.C.

Another cause competence be that Angeline earnings New Jersey’s many renouned cuisine, Italian, to Borgata’s lineup after a shutting of Fornelletto final April. It competence comfort a Fornelletto fans, who mourned a flitting on Yelp, to know that Severo Vazquez, Fornelletto’s sous chef, is now executive cook during Angeline, scheming Symon’s recipes, and that many of Fornelletto’s staff came with him.

Angeline is Symon’s initial entirely Italian restaurant, and we have to acknowledge we was skeptical. Lola, his Cleveland bistro, is New American. Lolita, also in Cleveland, served some Italian dishes in a Mediterranean menu before a 2016 glow close it down. But Symon grew adult in a Greek and Italian family. “My mom is half Sicilian,” he says, “and we built a menu around a lot of a food we grew adult eating.”

Angeline is his mother’s name, and her lasagna is a new restaurant’s signature dish. At $29, it comes to a list as a neat smoke-stack of ripple-edged pasta distant by layers of ricotta and tomato salsa that gets a strong season from a prolonged cook with beef, pork, veal and Italian sausage. My guest and we were about to order it when a server, a lady with an old-school manner, said, “Let me do that for you.” He took it aside, sectioned it and brought it behind on dual plates. It was magnificent.

My dual visits to Angeline mostly undid my skepticism. The food was gratifying, a use discriminating and friendly, a wide-ranging booze list an invitation to journey for Italophiles.

“I like to champion a lesser-known grape varietals that can offer good value and agreeably warn people,” says booze executive Brian Deibel.

A glorious instance is a Scinniri we had with a stately grilled Creekstone frame beef crusted with porcini powder, fennel seed, chili flakes, salt and pepper. This red mix prominently facilities nerello mascalese, a grape inland to Sicily’s volcanic soils that Deibel prizes for “its red fruits, piquancy and worldly notes, with a refinement of peculiarity pinot noir.”

Deibel offers this, and 21 other still wines, by a potion (5-ounce pour) or a reduction informed quartino (8 ounces). “It’s another approach to yield guest with coherence in their libation choices,” he says.

Among cocktails, a foamy, coral-colored Garibaldi Wallbanger stood out. A crafty riff on a Harvey Wallbanger, it adds a lurch of coconut divert and Pellegrino blood-orange soda to a Galliano-based drink.

The 223-seat restaurant, designed by Symon’s wife, Liz, and a New York pattern firm, is distinguished and glamourous. In a space that once hold Seablue by Michael Mina, one of Borgata’s strange restaurants, Angeline has a wide, darkly radiant bar adult front. Its coppery shelves are dangling from a roof so that they seem to boyant in midair.

Beyond a bar, a dining room offers resisting seating areas, marble-topped tables, and a few free-standing, horseshoe-shaped banquettes. The open kitchen is on a right. On a left is a handsomely wallpapered area (with windowed, pull-out partitions, accessible for private parties).

The vast menu starts with formaggi and salumi, antipasti, soups, and salads. Many of these are simply shared. My ideal plate would start with a textural delights of a confit of artichoke hearts in in an herbaceous packet dressing, surfaced with breadcrumbs and toasted. The plate would embody a escarole salad, leaves torn, tossed with lemon vinaigrette, Parmesan and, yes, some-more artichokes, these crunchy and shaved. I’d also suggest a roasted honeyed and prohibited peppers antipasto, green with vinegar, soothed by a cut of creamy-centered burrata.

Next time, we would skip a Caesar—its salsa had no pep—and a caponata, that arrived ice cold instead of a correct cold to room temperature.

Lasagna is not a usually estimable pasta. Squat tubes called paccheri collect a tasty lobster-tomato sauce, as abounding in chopped lobster beef as we have a right to design for $39. Gemelli, though, indispensable something some-more fatiguing than olive oil to tie together a pasta twists, browned and crumbled lamb sausage, and rapini shoots.

Apart from skinny swordfish fillets that tasted reduction than fresh, we enjoyed 3 of a best protein entrées I’ve had in scarcely a decade of reviewing for NJM. One of those was a frame beef ($50), that came with caramelized garlic cloves and a whirl of reduced balsamic, any complementing a other.

Porchetta, a special, delivered slow-roasted hunks of pig tenderloin, pig swell and puffed curls of boiled pig skin with a spicy anchovy-garlic-herb stuffing. An brazen apricot-and-pear mostarda, honeyed and sour, carried it higher.

If Jersey has a nauseating favorite Italian dish, it usually competence be duck parm. Angeline’s was tasty in a skinny membrane that stayed frail underneath a sweeping of sensuous tomato salsa and browned, melted mozzarella. It was $27, though we compensate $15 during a red-gravy corner in my neighborhood, and this was twice as good.

For dessert, usually a pink crostada fell short, a fruit lifeless and a membrane clunky. Fortunately, a cassata was excellent. A Sicilian custard-and-sponge cake with anise and citrus, it was packaged with sliced strawberries and crusted with slivered almonds.

A rewarding chocolate torte wrapped in dim ganache looked like a brick, though valid to be light. Tiramisu for two, pleasingly accented with cinnamon, came in a vast bowl. we did not keep it all to myself, though trust me, we wanted to.

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