While on the plane from Portland to Los Angeles, I was reading Heat: An Amateur’s Adventures as Kitchen Slave, Line Cook, Pasta-Maker, and Apprentice to a Dante-Quoting Butcher in Tuscany by Bill Buford. Reading as he tries to master pasta in Italy was giving me crazy cravings for pasta which I got my fix at Forma Restaurant as I wrote last week, but also for the simple seasonal food he writes about that Italians are known for there despite the Italian American images of hearty pastas and red sauce and meatballs with garlic bread. My sister recommended we try out a lunch at Angelini Osteria, and it was incredible. It really felt like it was airlifted from Italy to this street in LA, bringing both the food and atmosphere and accented waiters all with.
The menu is pretty extensive. You can nosh on some tasty flatbread as you consider your many options.
We arrived for lunch at Angelini Osteria on Monday – this was a surprise meal for me because I should have already been preparing to go to the airport, but because of the winter storms on the east coast the flight schedules had been severely disrupted so instead of arriving in PDX at 5 PM as planned, I wouldn’t be leaving LA until evening and arriving in PDX after midnight! But this meal made it all better, and I will definitely come again and again here. I think my sister told me she’s been back here four times.
My sister told me Angelini Osteria is usually quite busy, but on this Monday lunch it was not, and as we sat at tables on the sidewalk with my niece in her stroller, we were surprised with some warm Italian generosity with a complimentary taste to share of the Tuscan Farro Salad with Red Onions, Cucumber, Cherry Tomatoes and the Zuppa del Nonno, a Vegetables, Tomatoes and Mixed Fish Soup.
We started with Red Beets with fresh Burrata, mixed baby greens, orange dressing and the Polipo with Warm Mediterranean Octopus, Arugula, Cherry Tomatoes. It is difficult to choose which of these was better: I lean towards the octopus because it was cooked perfectly, though I also loved the textural fun of the beets and burrata that were dressed just the right amount with the orange dressing so it added flavor but didn’t overwhelm the salad.
For pastas, we shared Lasagna Verde Nonna Elvira with spinach, beef, veal ragu and the Linguine with Santa Barbara Sea Urchin, Garlic, Chives. Both were really good, and succeeded in how they highlighted entirely different ingredients. The lasagna was more about the greens and the sauce, while the linguine was all about the al dente pasta and sea urchin.
Then, the main we had was fileted tableside for us, the Grilled Branzino with mixed baby greens was spot on in being able to enjoy something simple that let the goodness of the fish shine.
Angelini Alimentari recently opened next door to Angelinia Osteria where you can get coffees and gelato in flavors like in our visit they offered Nociola (hazelnut), Melone, Stracchiatella (chocolate chip), Strawberry, Pistachio, Caffe, Salted Caramel, Gianduja (chocolate hazelnut), Frutti di Bosco sorbet, and Limone Sorbetto. Sorry, no shots of the gelato since it was 80 degrees so I was more concerned with eating it then photographing it!
Where do you get your Italian fix in Portland? What would you order from what you’ve seen of my lunch at Angelinia Osteria?