All'Angelo Make-Under

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As of Monday night, All’Angelo Ristorante is All’Angelo Trattoria. Stefano Ongaro’s upscale Italian spot is the latest restaurant to undergo a dramatic de-fussification in what they say is a “proactive move” to stay relevant in the changing dining world. Gone are the white tablecloths, the vast sea of stemware, and the $39 lamb chops. In their place: a more “everyday” vibe and a simple, one-page menu with all items priced at $5, $10, $15, or $20.

All’Angelo claims the move is temporary, but the time frame is dependent on the economy: When we can afford fine dining, they’ll give us fine dining. Until then, it’s hand made pastas, short ribs on polenta, pizettes with fontina and speck, and $5 wines by the glass. Grazie!

This isn’t the first upscale favorite to step it down price-wise, and I’m sure it’s not the last. While moves like this won’t save every restaurant in town, it’s certainly a shift in the right direction. If anything, the times are forcing chefs to be more creative with their dishes, ingredients, and preparations—which, frankly, might be a good thing. At least for now.