Thursday, February 16, 2012

Painting the Town at Angelo's and Vinci's

Angelo's and Vinci's Risorante
550 North Harbor Blvd.
Fullerton, CA 92832

I could not believe that I have not reviewed Angelo's and Vinci's yet. I have always had a great experience in my visits here. My sister had her wedding reception here. I have been here numerous times for lunch and dinner when I was attending Fullerton College. A and V's was also the spot where one of my friends always took his first dates. Your secret is safe with me Chris!

Angelo's and Vinci's of course is named after the famous artists Micheal Angelo and Leonardo Da Vinci. Opened in 1971, they have been serving Fullerton for the last forty years. The first thing you notice when entering the restaurant is the decor. Think Buca di Beppo, but on steroids. There is stuff all over the place. Kind of like a garage sale decorating the walls. Lights are strewn all over, and nicknack's overtake almost every corner in the dining rooms. Pictures of Hollywood stars plaster the walls, and pay tribute to late owner Steve Peck's career as a dancer and veteran actor of over 100 movies and television shows. Also, if you are not too scared, downstairs from the main entrance to the restaurant they have the Monster Wine Cellar. Under the black lights and haunting music you might spy Frankenstein, King Kong, and other ghouls down there. Enough about the monsters, I was ready to eat and hoped that the food is not too scary.

We were seated on the patio upstairs for the birthday party we were attending. The light was a lot better out here, so you can see the food more clearly. This plate of rolls came out before our meals. The bread was soft and chewy with a good flavor. Very sturdy roll. I liked that they gave us many butter packets to go along with these. I hate when a restaurant only gives you one pad of butter per roll. I almost always use two.

All of the pasta dishes here come with soup or salad, and everyone around me got the salad, so I am sorry that I did not get a picture of the Minestrone soup they were serving this night. The salad was pretty decent sized for a house salad. It was a nice touch that they added garbanzo beans and a pepper. The salad ingredients were fresh, but the blue cheese dressing I ordered was a little flavorless. It was one step away from being Ranch dressing. Nathan really enjoyed his Italian dressing though, and I could smell it from across the table. That will be the dressing I get here next time.

Nathan was really hungry and also got the Calamari Fritto, which was served with marinara sauce. This fried calamari was presented lukewarm to the table. It was fried in what seemed to be an onion ring batter. Heavy breading. The calamari itself was not chewy at all, but lacked a big flavor punch. The marinara served with this was very garlicky, which provided most of the flavor here. This was a half order and was more than enough for at least four people.

On to the entrees, and first up will be Katie's plate. She went with this Tri-Pasta dish that consisted of tortellini, mezzaluna, and ravioli, topped with sausage. The marinara sauce really helped make this dish great. Again, it was very garlicky, and helped the blandness of the sausage. The pastas were very fresh, and stuffed with cheese. The mezzaluna was not only stuffed with ricotta cheese, but also spinach, herbs, golden raisins and pine nuts. Very solid plate, and good sized serving.

Nathan was still able to eat most of his main course, the Shrimp Giardino. This consisted of angel hair pasta topped with basil, pine nuts, tomatoes, Gorgonzola, shrimp, sun dried tomatoes, garlic, wine and cream. Nathan called this dish, "really good". He felt there was plenty of shrimp, it was cooked well, and the sauce had plenty of flavor.

I did not get a chance to snap a picture of Leslie's choice for dinner while it was on her plate, but I did get a quick shot when it was in the to go container. She ordered the Romeo and Juliet. This romantic sounding meal was made up of Tortellini and Mezzaluna. She opted to get the basil cream sauce with this. Leslie felt this large serving was, "excellent".

I could not let the opportunity of coming to Angelo's and Vinci's go by without getting one of their pizzas. These pizzas have won numerous local awards, and I wanted to see what all the fuss was about. I decided on a Small Pepperoni and Sausage Pizza. The first thing I noticed about this pizza was the crust. It was nice and thick, but not dry. It was chewy and held all of the toppings well. They were very generous with the cheese here. The sausage was too crumbly and did not add a lot to the pizza. The pepperoni on the other hand was plentiful and good. The sauce was okay, it really let the toppings and the cheese become the star of the show. I can see why these pizzas are a big draw here. Probably one of the best old school style pizzas that we have had in the OC.

Angelo's and Vinci's did not disappoint on this trip. If you want old school Italian and do not mind eating in the presence of puppets, Christmas lights, and who knows what else, this is the place for you. The service for our party of 25 was a little on the slow side, but I understand that we were a bigger party. The restaurant is old, and because of that it might seem a little dusty. The prices are a little on the high side. My small pizza was over the $16 mark. Dinners are in the $13 to $20 range. Not cheap, but worth it once in awhile. The menu was a little hard to read, but anything you pick off of there will probably make you happy. We were happy to be able to finally make it to Angelo's and Vinci's to review it, and to celebrate our good friend Jamie's birthday. Happy 30th Jamie!

Out of five rhinestones, (because late A and V's owner, Steve Peck was in the 1984 movie Rhinestone, which starred Sylvester Stallone and Dolly Parton. A real classic duo!), five being best to zero being worst, Angelo's and Vinci's gets 3 rhinestones.

For more information on Angelo's and Vinci's, click here:

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  1. I love the lunch buffet at A&V's, a great deal.

  2. MikeHu - I have never been to the lunch buffet. Go solid food here though! Thanks for the comment.

  3. Here's the buffet menu:
    You don't go here for great, but it's good, and for $8.50, a water and tax, you can't beat it when you've got a big lunchtime appetite and only a ten-spot.