Angolo Soho, yet another new Italian restaurant, feels like the last fifteen of them. Or the last fifteen dozen. You’ll have a pleasant and inoffensive meal there. I’ve no serious complaint about anything we were served. I’ve also no serious reason to go back, nor to recommend it.
Lusso, a similar place, already failed here, back when the address was known as 331 West Broadway. (It’s now 53 Grand Street.) The photo posted in my 2010 review is not far off from what Angolo Soho looks like now. The bones haven’t changed much, except the bar area (not pictured) is a bit brighter. In between, the space was a Southern spot called South Houston, which also quickly failed.
The name is not particularly helpful: Angolo is Italian for corner, though it might be confused with an African nation. Internet searches turn up a far better known restaurant, Piccolo Angolo (“little corner”) in the West Village, not far away. It is amazing how often people name their restaurants without google-testing them first.
Michael Bernardino, the chef, has decent Italian cred., having worked at Villa Pacri (executive chef), ’inoteca, and Dell’ anima (both chef de cuisine), but he didn’t stay long at any of them. His most recent assignments were at Resto and Cannibal (not long there either).
The menu is straightforward mid-priced Italian, with antipasti $10–17, primi $14–19, secondi $24–32 (not counting an out-of-place aged ribeye for two, $130), contorni $7, desserts $6–9. There’s also a selection of cheese $7 or a house-made stracciatella for $13, or charcuterie $9–18.
I didn’t take a copy of the cocktail list or take notes, but we had two pretty good cocktails at the bar. The mostly Italian wine list is not long, but it’s fairly priced in relation to the restaurant. A 2007 Cannonau di Sardegna Riserva was in the neighborhood of $50.
My girlfriend started with a straightforward Arugula Parmigiano Reggiano salad ($10; above left). Trippa alla Napoletana ($15; above right) had a faintly satisfying crunch, but it seemed to me that the chef was trying to conceal slightly rubbery tripe in a sea of tomato sauce.
You’d expect the former Cannibal chef to make a satisfying Pork Chop ($32; above left), and this double-cut specimen was beauty, though a hair less tender than I would have liked. Tagliatelle Bolognese ($18; above right) with parmigiano reggiano was competently done.
In only their second week, some of the staff are still feeling their way, but they were friendly and attentive. The bread service (pictured at the top of the page) is perfunctory and ought to be improved. The restaurant was about 2/3rds full on a Thursday evening, which isn’t bad at all for a new establishment. I just wonder whether the place is compelling enough to keep drawing that kind of crowd.
Angolo Soho (53 Grand Street at West Broadway, Soho)
Food: Modern Italian; good enough for what it is, but not distinctive
Ambiance: A bright Soho street corner, wooden tables, brick walls
Service: Friendly and attentive
Rating: Neighborhood spot
Why? Not well differentiated from the city’s many dozens of good Italian restaurants