Angotti’s | Keeping It Family | Syracuse, New York


{My order of Angotti’s eggplant rollatini:  1/4 of the way devoured}

Angotti’s Family Restaurant is located at 725 Burnet Avenue in Syracuse, New York; it’s been open, running and stuffing bellies for over 50 years.   The name of the restaurant is self explanatory:  if you’re looking for a great place for Italian food that the entire family can enjoy, this is the place to be.  Angotti’s is open for lunch Tuesdays and Wednesdays from 11 to 3.  The restaurant hours for the rest of the week are:  Thursday, 11 to 9; Friday 11 to 10, and Saturday 12 to 10.

This was my maternal grandmother’s favorite place to go due to the food and the atmosphere.  We’ve enjoyed this restaurant over the years, and there is nothing that will keep us away.

Upon entering, you can take a peek into the kitchen area, watching the staff make pizzas and take orders over the phone.  It’s hustle-and-bustle, and there is a small staff doing what they have to do in order to satisfy the customers.  Walking up the stairs to be seated, you feel like you’re stepping into an actual home.  The decor isn’t overly zealous, save the wood paneling along the walls, but that wouldn’t be Old American/European.  The atmosphere goes along with the service and the food; you’re walking into an Italian home for a home-cooked meal.

I’ve looked into reading some reviews prior to writing this, because I was curious what people had to say.  Many reviews were short and sweet, and the person who wrote the review–although, complimenting the restaurant or not–did not know what they are talking about.  The comments about the decor and food were limited and condescending, because the writer(s) want to compare the restaurant to high-class places or chains.

It is nothing short of feeling grateful for travelling through Italy.  Although, I did not go anywhere south of Rome, I had the opportunity to venture to various places.  The venues were rustic.  Many places were very nice, but they still had that rustic feel that gets lost in the perceived overdone approach taken by chains or hoity-toity restaurants.

Another perfect Italian restaurant, which does decorating right, is Gentile’s.  The food is more expensive, but it is so worth it.  Unlike the stereotype of going to a high-end restaurant and getting only a little bit of food, Gentile’s restaurant makes sure you leave with leftovers.

A solo establishment should be reviewed, simply.  Angotti’s cannot be compared to Olive Garden or Spaghetti Warehouse, because these places cannot come close to the authenticity that Angotti’s boasts.  Olive Garden is decorated like a high-class American restaurant, which wants to emulate some venue in Florence, but the food is garbage.  Angotti’s food is genuine and homemade, you’re being served enough food to leave you with a fair amount of leftovers, and you will be leaving without hurting your wallet.

My family ordered glasses of the Cabernet, and we started with the chicken pastina soup.  A reviewer on some site called the broth thin and bland.  Obviously, this guy did not realize there was salt and pepper on the table.  Did he not ask for seasoning?  Did he not dash some parmesan cheese in the soup?  The soup was delicious, and I did not need to add salt.  Pepper was sprinkled in there, and I did add the cheese.  There was nothing thin about the broth.  If there was, the cheese addition would have fixed that in a jiffy.

The soup tasted exactly like my grandmother’s chicken pastina soup.  She knew how to cook.  My mother knows how to cook.  As a child, going to Italian households in the Solvay area, my grandmother’s friends specifically, the houses smelled similarity of Italian cooking.  It’s all about consistency, and that’s what Angotti’s has.

Most of us ordered the eggplant rollatini, which is featured above.  Please take note of the deep red homemade sauce–a.k.a. gravy–blanketing the eggplant.  You get a side of spaghetti, so that’s why there is pasta on top.  It’s all about combining.  The sauce is pure and light, and flavorful–a definitive staple of the restaurant.  If you think not, just add some more seasoning.

The eggplant was cooked perfectly–it wasn’t burnt, and the cheese and flavors did not mask its taste.  You could cut through the rollatini easily, and your taste buds gave praise with each bite.  The eggplant wasn’t mushy or too soft either, and the rotallini stayed in tact nicely.  The plate was filled with two generous portions, and I finished one and a half; the leftovers tasted just as good the day after.

The conversation flowed with my family; granted, they are my family and conversation should work out for the best.  However, the atmosphere really brought out the best.  You can have your louder moments, because you know everyone else is doing the same.  It’s a nice to have the communal atmosphere.

If you want a great homestyle Italian meal, Angotti’s Family Restaurant is the place to go.

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