For the past 5 years I have been in a wonderful relationship with an Italian. Some would say things have become pretty serious. I’ve always considered myself a monogamist; however, during one warm, Sunday night, I cheated. If you’re going to cheat, at least go to a different city, or even better, a different state. My infidelity occurred on the SAME STREET as my Italian. It wasn’t my fault, I was completely caught off guard. I blame my parents. “They have crispy polenta with reggiano, citrus ceviche, and super thin-crust pizza!” What was I supposed to do? When temptation knocks, you answer it. I’m sorry, Kitchenetta, but I just don’t see how things could ever be the same between us.
D’Angelos is located on Federal Highway, but the outdoor ambiance transports you to Italy. The white linens, candles, and lush trees, slightly resembling Cypress trees, make you feel like you’re dining on the Amalfi coast (minus the occasional honking or lunatic on a bike). The service was great, and the owner came over, poured us a glass of wine, and chatted for a bit after he saw me taking pictures of the food. Although I love Kitchenetta’s hearty, rustic, Italian-mama, love-filled dishes, they are GIANT and limit the ordering to a minimum. D’Angelos’ tapas menu allowed us to taste a variety of smaller-portioned items, all equally rustic, hearty, and Italian-mama-licious.
What we drank: Charles Krug Merlot Napa Valley 2007
What we ate: Crispy fontina polenta with reggiano and roasted porcini; Eggplant parmigiana style with buffalo mozzarella, tuna ceviche with lime, grapefruit, and fava beans; Pizza Bianchi Integrale with whole wheat crust, buffalo mozzarella, porcini mushroom, truffle oil, topped with arugula.
Although some of the tapas were a bit too rich (i.e., reggiano, polenta, rosemary, truffle oil, AND porcini mushrooms), it was nothing a lemon wedge couldn’t fix. Tuna, grapefruit, lime, and fava beans = strange but surprisingly delicious combination. Fava beans lent texture to the delicate fish, cilantro gave it an herbacious, grassy freshness, and the grapefruit segments added the perfect, citrus-y “pop” that all good ceviches strive for. The pizza was thin, crispy, and arugula was the perfect topper. Not a big fan of eggplant, I thoroughly enjoyed the fresh buffalo mozzarella and basil resting on top. It was a perfect Sunday night meal and brought me back to my (non)Italian roots.
As with all new flings, it’s best to keep your main Italian on the side until you are sure you can totally rely on the new guy. So for now, Kitchenetta still remains in my repertoire, as no one can replace it’s chicken milanese and truffled porcini fettucini. But my good friend Fabolous said it best, “the entree ain’t as good without somethin’ on the side.”