Last night we met some friends for a late dinner at Casa d'Angelo in Fort Lauderdale. This is an Italian restaurant in a strip center just north of Sunrise Blvd on Federal Hwy. I used to live in the area but never knew it existed until now.
The interior of the restaurant is a big contrast to the strip center -- Casa d'Angelo is a lovely series of connecting rooms, some very large and loud and others small and intimate. We sat in a room in the back that is also their wine cellar -- wonderful. The food was fantastic, as was the service. Our friends warned that the portions were huge, so we selected a few appetizers to share and each ordered a Secundo Piatto. Before the appetizer they brought a fantastic bruschetta and foccacia plate to the table. Then for appetizer we had one plate of Calamari, an Antipasti platter that was topped with fresh tomatoes and mozzarella di bufala, and roasted vegetable platter with the same tomato and mozzarella on top. I'm a vegetarian so I stuck with the latter, which was very good. Everyone loved the antipasti and veggies, but the calamari was pronounced just good, not excellent.
For our mains, several of us ordered from their long list of specials. I had the homemade pappardelle with a porcini mushroom sauce and shaved white truffles. It was fantastic! My husband had a very good linguini with white clam sauce. Another friend had the gnocchi special and pronounced it excellent. The white truffle risotto looked and smelled wonderful -- another special -- also excellent. Finally, the linguine with veal ragu was pronounced wonderful as well.
To go with the meal, one friend selected a fantastic Barolo. I did not get to see the label as the wine was immediately poured into a decanter after opening, but their wine list is outstanding. You can review it on their website, and it seemed that they are a wine merchant as well as a restaurant.
To finish the meal, though we were stuffed, we shared a molten chocolate cake and cannoli with ricotta filling. I didn't try the cake, but the ricotta filling in the canolli was very good -- not to sweet and had a hint of lemon.
Overall, the meal and service were truly excellent. I didn't see the check, but it's not an inexpensive place. But it was absolutely worth it. By the way, from what we were told reservations are a must on the weekends, and most weeknights. This place is a favorite with the locals who know about it, and the waiters certainly treated everyone like they knew them very well.