Thursday, March 28, 2013

D'Angelo for pizza, tapas, and ... Fort Lauderdale

D’Angelo – Pizza, Wine Bar and Tapas
4215 N. Federal Hwy.
Fort Lauderdale, 33334 (Oakland Park)
954-561-7300 – Reservation required for parties of more than six

By Jane Feehan

Brought to us by Chef Angelo Elia, the same owner behind the popular Casa D’Angelo, the more moderately-priced D’Angelo focuses on pizza, tapas and a wine bar.  It’s a concept that extends the D’Angelo name to a wider South Florida dining community. Judging by the crowds filling up the place, it’s a concept that seems to be working.

A striking modern black and white Italian d├ęcor provides a casual, smart setting to munch on an array of “artisan,” pizzas crowned with some interesting toppings, including Italian tuna, gorgonzola and buratta cheese, salmon and soft brie, arugula, dried figs and lots more. Pizza is good here if you’re less inclined to embrace traditional versions, though a Margherita may suffice – unless you order it topped with fries, which is an option.

Besides pizza, D’Angelo’s tapas ($12 and less) are also interesting, if not all tasty. Turkey and chicken meatballs are generous in size but short on flavor - no detectable garlic and slightly gummy (overabundance of bread crumbs?). But other small plates of rice balls or Arancini, crispy polenta, eggplant parmegiana, or stuffed zucchini flowers may make up for that item. D’Angelo also serves a small selection of soups, bruschette, ceviche (raw marinated fish) and carpacci (raw meats).

Daily dinner specials vary, but on my second visit included salmon stuffed with crab meat, chicken cacciatore, and a pasta dish; I chose the chicken.  A heaping plate of steaming hot chicken in red sauce and mashed potatoes came accented with tasty olives and sliced red peppers. It proved to be a good choice.

Reviews are mixed on their bread – bland – and salads. An arugula salad with white beans and shaved Reggiano drizzled in an orange citronette was terrific. A Ceasar, thrown together with two small heads of embarrassingly tired, limp Romaine lettuce, was a disappointment. That aside I’d return here for a meal. The service is excellent, the bar lively and the price is right. Valet parking, also at lunch.  Family-friendly.

Tags: Fort Lauderdale dining, Italian restaurants in Fort Lauderdale, pizza places in Fort Lauderdale, wine bar in Fort Lauderdale

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