Years ago, we attempted to get into Piccolo Angolo with my brother and his family. The place was packed and reservations were obviously needed. Still remains the same today. The restaurant is always packed. Reservations are highly recommended. Figured I should attempt to get there at one point to see what was so special.
What is special is that it is an institution in the West Village, there is a community feel to the place and the service is wonderful. Like going to Grandmas for dinner. The food, that is an entirely different story. I can’t figure out for the life of me why people are keeping the place packed.
The place is bright and the noise is loud, really loud. You need to talk very loud. The menu is old school Italian and by the way, not cheap. An entire page for specials inserted into the everyday menu. The garlic is everywhere. Not my thing. Fred went with the caprese salad and I went with the baby arugula salad with parm. Old style Italian dressing nothing light here. The caprese salad was heavy as a rock. Ok, maybe it is the main courses that are the sweet spot. Not.
Fred went with the wild boar. Looks like pounded pork chops. Perhaps that was a bit of a stretch to do that but it was on the specials. Figured the specials was the way to go. Not that exciting. I went with the chicken marsala. Classic. Lots of mushrooms and a white wine sauce. The chicken was not pounded but thick and over cooked. The mushrooms was also big and chunky. Nothing light at this place. We had pasta on the side. It is the side dish. Simple ziti with a red sauce. Nothing to write home about.
God knows why but we got a tiramasu for dessert. Probably because we were in and out so quickly that we wanted to hang out for a little bit longer. Heavy and almost coconut in taste, strange.
Do I sound like a food snob, perhaps but I actually do like old style Italian. At least I thought so. As I said to Fred, we haven’t had this type of Italian in the city for so many years. He agreed and said maybe we should try waiting another 10 years again. I couldn’t agree more. There is obviously a tremendous audience in the West Village for Piccolo Angolo. Good for them. I am not it.
Years ago, we used to go away to a place for a weekend, every year, with a family where the food was awful. We had a little song we all made up. We’d sing, "the food is gross". It has become one of those silly songs in family lore. Fred and I sang it on the way home. Honestly, again my opinion, but the food was gross.