Angelina's signature Italian dishes include favorites like ravioli di zucca — Photo courtesy of Angelina's Ristorante
When Fort Myers residents think of a special restaurant for a night out, Angelina’s Ristorante in Bonita Springs is always a front-runner. However, even the best establishments need a little pick-me-up from time to time, and that is exactly what has happened at Angelina’s.
In 2013, the award-winning Italian restaurant went on a search for a new chef - not just to keep its award-winning status, but also to raise the bar higher still. News that Sarah Gruenberg is now on board as the consulting executive chef is creating a buzz.
If you think you’ve heard her name or have seen her face somewhere before now, you're probably right. Gruenberg was runner-up in Bravo’s Top Chef: Texas competition in 2012.
But Chef Gruenberg’s resume was quite impressive even before her TV debut. In 2005, she joined the award-winning team at Spiaggia in Chicago, where she worked her way up the ranks to the coveted executive chef position in 2010.
Celebrity chef Sarah Gruenberg joins the award-winning Angelina's Ristorante in Bonita Springs — Photo courtesy of Angelina's Ristorante
Traveling to Italy every year for inspiration and education, Gruenberg brings a fresh perspective to Angelina’s already spectacular menu, infusing it with more arugula, truffles and Italian goodness.
Fans will be glad to know that Angelina’s award-winning ravioli di zucca made the new menu cut. The ravioli - which is stuffed with butternut squash and mascarpone cheese and topped with citrus tomato butter and truffled almonds - will make you swoon.
New tantalizing dishes include an herb-marinated, grilled veal chop with black truffle parmesan risotto and fresh Italian black truffles.
For the seafood lover, a delicious brown butter seared black grouper has been added to the line-up. It's served with zucchini, cherry tomatoes, artichokes, Taggiasca olives, capers and cauliflower puree. Or try the cappesante e pancetta di maiale: pan seared scallops, slow roasted pork belly, Yukon gold potato puree and Brussels sprout citrus salad. Are you hungry yet?
With all of this amazing food, it stands to reason Angelina’s has an impressive wine selection: more than 4,000 bottles, with an emphasis on Italian producers. The collection has garnered the restaurant numerous accolades. It's housed in a thirty-foot wine tower in the center of the restaurant.
Make note that Angelina’s does have a dress code. If you’re too casual, then you will be directed to dine in the bar or outdoor patio, each equally acceptable. The main dining area is cozy and romantic, with just the right touch of elegance. Arrive early or stay later to enjoy piano music in the lounge.
You’ll be able to find Gruenberg in the restaurant through the summer of 2014, when she’ll escape the Southwest Florida heat and return to Chicago.