As I mentioned on Monday, Erica and I went to Rose Angelis for a Valentine's Day dinner. We had never been and had only heard good things. What made it even better was the dinner special for two, that included a bottle of prosecco, an appetizer, two salads, two mains and a dessert (all for $75). Unfortunately the value may have been the best part of the evening, besides the company of course, since our food was only so-so. Oh well, it wasn't the first time a neighborhood Italian spot has dissapointed, and since they are still full most nights I guess I'm in the minority.
The place is cute enough, set inside an old house that feels as if they've been there forever. I was surprised how far back it went, and how many seats were actually there. Everyone talks about the romantic charm and feel, but I'd say it just feels quaint and old fashioned. Old does not necessarily mean romantic and charming. Our service was very good and attentive, always filling glasses and removing plates as necessary. The food however was disappointing.
Our appetizer was one of the specials, a pizza topped with all sorts of good stuff - sun dried tomatoes, cheese, pine nuts, mushrooms and a tomato pesto spread. It's hard to explain but the pizza was not that tasty. I loved the crust, and each ingredient was fresh, but the total flavor package did not work for me. It certainly was filling, we left a few pieces on the table to make room for the entrees.
Our cesar salad course came next. It was fine and plenty large, the dressing was not overpowering. For our entrees I chose spinach pasta half-moon filled with ricota, served in a brown butter sauce. Erica ordered a seafood linguine in red sauce. My pasta was the best dish we ordered all night, with plenty of flavor and well cooked pasta. The sauce was a little sweet for me, but it tasted better the following day. Erica's dish did not have good flavors, with a very watery and lackluster red sauce over undercooked pasta. The seafood was fine, though hard to tell since the red sauce was so bland.
Our dessert selection was great though: chocolate fondue. It came with some fruit, pound cake and cheese cake. If I had my way there would have been some marshmallows, but even so, it was very good (with many tables around us inspecting our choice).
I don't mean to sound like a downer, since we had a nice evening at a local spot with good service and value. We were dissapointed with the food, especially after all the good things we had heard. It happens, but with so many "cute" Italian restaurants in the city it's hard to say we'll be back soon. I'm glad we ended on high note, and after all, the only thing that matters on Feb 14 is the person sitting in the seat across from you.