Angeline Borgata Atlantic City
Angeline, Michael Symon’s new Italian restaurant at the Borgata is named after his mother and inspired by her Sicilian cooking. I had dinner there with my own mother, on the third day it was open.
We went up to the hostess at 8:10 pm for our 8:15 pm reservation and were immediately seated in the warm and inviting space. Although the tables were close together, the atmosphere was relaxed and there was a cheerful buzz about the place. As the people next to us were getting up to leave, they told us that Michael Symon was in the restaurant earlier, though they did not get a chance to talk to him. They declared that all the food was wonderful.
A team of three people waited on us and the service was extraordinary; all done efficiently, but with a pleasant countenance. It was obvious that the staff was carefully chosen and well-trained.
A Flavorful Start
We started with Radishes in Anchovy Dressing ($9). The dressing was flavorful, without specifically tasting of anchovies or being too salty. Delicious! We sopped up all the sauce with small slices of fresh Italian bread provided complementary (everything else is a la carte).
My mother got the Braciole ($37), which she said was melt in your mouth tender, though it did have a piece of string in it. (A minor mistake) We ordered roasted parmesan potatoes ($9) to go with that. They were nothing special and we could not taste the parmesan.
I don’t eat meat, well, not until I ordered the Cavatelli ($25) with Sunday Sauce and ricotta! Had I known more about Michael Symon before the meal (he authored a book called “Carnivore” and has a tattoo that says, “Got Pork” and another of a diagram of primal cuts of meat) I would have asked what was in the dish.
The red sauce had slivers of beef in it. It tasted like the pot roast my grandmother (who was not Italian, but made awe inspiring meat gravy) used to whip up, only in a tomato base. (I ate it. I don’t waste.) The pasta was cooked perfectly. There wasn’t much ricotta, though that might have been meant as just a garnish. It was a slow cooked, hearty and balanced, home style sauce and was quite good.
Even though the portions were generous, we had to have dessert. We chose the Stone Fruit Crostata ($12) and the Cannoli ($9 for two good sized cannoli, with an orange ricotta filling, drizzled with some mini chocolate chips). The cannoli were disappointing. The orange flavored filling was different but not exceptional and the pastry shell was bland.
The fruit crostata, on the other hand, was fantastic! It consisted of a small peach tart and a scoop of mascarpone ice cream with crumble around it. The peaches were caramelized in a light and flaky, though moist, sugary pastry. A forkful of that with some mascarpone ice cream and the delicate crumbles—Heaven!
I enjoyed the whole experience and would go back to Angeline for a special occasion. I saw a tasting board appetizer go by that looked good and I’d like to try something on the signature cocktail menu.