Michael Angelo’s recently opened on James St. in Eastwood between Sacred Melody Plaza and Wegman’s. This location has been the site of many restaurants, almost qualifying as a restaurant graveyard. I did my share of whining when the Melt Shop closed, whose service and simple fare I enjoyed and rooted for. But by now it’s almost morbidly fascinating to see every brave soul who tries their luck in this karma-challenged spot. I know none of you could have guessed it, but they offer Italian fare.
We made our way over to Michael Angelo’s on a very cold night recently. As some already know, the owner was previously a very longstanding chef at Antonio’s, and some favorite recipes from that former hotspot came along with him. I went for the Riggies to cut the winter chill. This Utica-styled pasta favorite was appropriately spicy, the sauce was good, and the portion was quite massive. Lonnie opted for the fish sandwich, and we were both impressed with the flavor and how refined and delicate the breaded coating was. Our server was very pleasant and friendly.
It’s a small, modest place, not comparable to somewhere like Antonio’s, a fairly fancy restaurant. The new decor is tasteful, though. It’s almost surreal to have seen such a long sequence of decor changes in that building. We’ll see how they make out – they don’t appear to be doing a lot of advertising, so I’m guessing that their success will depend on whether they can attract former fans of Antonio’s who might enjoy a somewhat more modest meal price.