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“The Best Restaurant My Husband and I Have Encountered In Very a Long Time! (Especially in this area)”

IL Angolo Resto-Bar
Ranked #52 of 370 Restaurants in Appleton
Certificate of Excellence
Price range: $20 - $50
Cuisines: Mediterranean
Dining options: Reservations
Restaurant details
Dining options: Reservations
Reviewed February 9, 2011

We celebrated my husband's recent birthday here, which also happened to be our first visit to IL'Angolo. It wasn't our first choice, but it worked out really well, and we had a wonderful experience! We didn't have reservations, but called ahead and inquired about seating availability, and our names were put on a list, along with the time we would likely arrive. It wasn't a guarantee of having a seat, but at least they were anticipating our arrival. As luck would have it, we were seated immediately. The atmosphere was cozy -- not sprawling, but roomy enough for more than a dozen tables. The wooden floors and store front "picture" windows are reminiscent of older well-cared for buildings, that have the charm of yesteryear. With softly glowing candles and white linen on every table, it made for a very inviting atmosphere. Now on to the review of the cuisine ... Wow! We were blown away by how DELICIOUS everything was! We each ordered an entree that was a special offered that evening. I had Grouper with Dungeness crab and lobster sauce. While I envisioned this as a highly rich dish that I would regret ordering, it was the opposite -- I ate almost all of it. It was not drenched in the sauce as I had anticipated. It was applied with a careful hand -- not too much at all, just enough to impart a savory flavor. My husband ordered a Hawaiian Escovar fish dinner, which he thoroughly enjoyed. We were going to explore the dessert menu, but didn't get that far -- our server brought us a COMPLIMENTARY piece of caramel cheesecake, large enough for the two of us to share. We had mentioned at the onset we were there to celebrate my husband's birthday, not expecting to receive anything, so this was an additional pleasant surprise. We had also ordered an appetizer; the olive, goat cheese, and baked bread plate -- it was delicious! We are already planning our next visit to IL'Angolo!

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1  Thank Sun4MePlease
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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83 - 87 of 94 reviews

Reviewed January 16, 2011

I had the 5 course ($45) chef's choice dinner. It is obvious that the chef (who owns the restaurant) cares about each ingredient he puts on the plate. I had Cesar salad, minestrone soup, grilled vegetable / prosciutto plate, wild grilled salmon, lamb tenderloin with jalapeno mashed potatoes, with a sorbet for desert. The staff was fantastic and the service was outstanding.

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1  Thank simpletraveler560
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 5, 2010

We have eaten at Il Angolo three times... the first when it newly opened which was generally a good experience. The second time, I ordered a seafood entree which was so fishy it was completely inedible. We did not return for quite some time, but recently thought we would give this place another chance. Sadly, they served my husband a tenderloin "medium" that was served to him bloody red. We sent it back and waited and waited... meanwhile my food grew cold. Finally they brought a new tenderloin out which was as bloody rare as the first. No manager or chef came to ask us if we were satisfied and they charged us full price even though my husband didn't eat the second steak. When we left, he talked to the manager to complain. After some resistance, she went back to the kitchen, then came back and agreed to take half off the charge of the steak. Ridiculous. To make matters worse, later I discovered that they never even reversed the charge and we ended up paying full price. A little advice... buy a meat thermometer already and get some training in customer service. We will definitely never be back.

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5  Thank Sojo_Grrl
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 11, 2010

We have been here at least 5 times for dinner and twice for brunch. We have never had a bad meal. The service is good, but not great. IL'Angolo remains our favorite restaurant in the area.

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Thank tm212
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 9, 2010

We wanted very much to enjoy this place since it’s so hard to find an “upscale” (by Fox Cities standards) restaurant in this neck of the woods. We eat out more than we eat in and are constantly entertaining friends, family, and business associates from San Francisco to NYC. Sadly it fell short across the board.

I’m not sure if our server was having an off night or was just totally unfamiliar with where he was that evening. Basic questions needed a trip to the kitchen for a response. We started with poorly mixed cocktails while pondering the menu. I chose the Mesquite Tenderloin and my dinner guest chose the Chimichurri Marinated Tenderloin. We both opted to “upgrade” (how ridiculous) to Caesar salads and chose two sides… macaroni and the potatoes. Crab cakes were selected for an appetizer. Finally we chose the wine.

Moments later we were informed that they were out of the wine we wanted so we picked another. Then the server was back asking us how to prepare our steaks. Medium-rare for us both. Server is back again that now they’ve managed to find the original wine we chose and he places two glasses on the table. Neither the bottle nor the label was presented to us. This was absolutely not the wine we ordered. No clue what it was.

Salads come and go. Absolutely nothing memorable about them. No taste to the Caesar dressing whatsoever. Presentation was also basically stupid.

As we’re waiting for our appetizers, we notice that everyone else seems to be enjoying bread so we ask if we’re allowed to have some. Our response was “Oh, you don’t have bread?” to which we replied “No, do you see a break basket on the table?” So the bread comes and again, we shouldn’t have bothered.

Then the main course is served. Oh well, I guess it’s not customary here to serve the appetizers before the entrees. My steak is cooked through and not even close to medium rare. There is no smell or taste of mesquite to be found. It was like eating air. My dinner dates chimichurri was also completely tasteless, void of any spice and the sauce was brown, not green. I’ve eaten everywhere from Green Acres to Greece and never have I been served brown chimichurri. The potatoes appeared to be re-heated and the macaroni must have been prepared with sea water. I’m still dehydrated from the abundance of salt.

I tell the server that my steak is completely over cooked and he offers to take it back. I decline since nothing we’ve been served has been remotely adequate anyway. Moments later the chef appears and offers to put my steak back on the grill. Since it’s impossible to go from well done to medium rare (a concept apparently lost on him) again I decline. He would have to start from scratch and there was no mention of also re-firing my dinner dates steak. Since I wasn’t raised in the back woods, I wasn’t going to sit there and either wait for her to eat until my steak was done or have the two of us eating entrees at separate times.

For his failings in the kitchen, the chef appears again with a free dessert. Don’t know what it was, but I can tell you it looked like a horse took three dumps in a trough like dish. Some story, this food tasted like nothing.

The bill comes and we were not charged for the crab cakes (good thing since we never received them) and they waived the wine. Also not bad since it’s not what we ordered. As we left, two women employees (one appeared to be a manager who never once stopped by the table to see how we were enjoying our way overpriced dinner) were so involved in their personal conversation that they couldn’t be bothered to even acknowledge us as we left , say thanks for coming, or even a “see ya”.

If your palate is more complicated than the average Ponderosa or Perkins diner, this place will fail you. People keep comparing this place to a “big city” restaurant. It’s nowhere close and no, Milwaukee is not a big city. Save your money.

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6  Thank J from the Bay
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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