Earlier this week, Melissa McCart reported on the seasonal revamp at D'Angelo in Fort Lauderdale. While it's hard for those of us who live in South Florida to chart it at times, yes, indeed the seasons are shifting. Many restaurants will take it as an opportunity to shake things up a bit with their offerings. In the case of D'Angelo, this was less about subtraction and more about addition. They've introduced a few new items -- a build-your-own charcuterie board, for one -- and added a few items that were previously available but only as "off-menu" orders.
"Just so you know it's pretty spicy," my server/bartender warned when I selected the "new" escarole and calamari soup (pictured above) as my starter. I assured him I wasn't deterred in the least and he punched in the order. "Some people, they see that it says spicy but they don't respect that...It comes with shrimp. Is that okay?"
It was, particularly since he had specifically mentioned it as an item that was brought back to the menu based on diners' requests. The "back by popular demand" card can be an effective selling technique, particularly when you're slammed with dozens of choices and .
"I love that soup," a waiter later commented as he hustled past where I sat at the bar during my recent solo lunch outing, working my way through the tomato broth, which indeed had a bit of a back-of-the-throat-jolt.
Though the dining room and outdoor seating area were relatively busy for a late afternoon, the long polished bar was empty, apart from me. I asked about the recent menu makeover and my server spent a few minutes running down every new item on the menu, plus a few of the "off menu" items available for order. With everything I ordered or mentioned was in consideration, he offered commentary on the item based on his own experience or those of his frequent diners.
Service flowed easily, and dishes were paced for a slow and steady progression of the meal. If you have a question about something on the long menu
of small and not-so-small plates, do ask. If you don't see something on
the menu, it pays to mention what you do want and see if it's a
possibility. Though the tweaked menu is in action, it's more of a living document than one that's set in stone.
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