While scientists have often warred over whether tomatoes are a vegetable or a fruit, they have always agreed it should be pronounced “tomato.” Savor the difference with today’s Groupon: for $20, you get $40 worth of Italian cuisine for dinner at Angelina Ristorante. Dinner is served from 5 p.m. to 10 p.m. Sunday–Thursday and 5 p.m. to 11 p.m. Friday and Saturday.
Executive chef Fred Ramos directs the symphony of flavors inside Angelina Ristorante’s bustling kitchen, where the staff whisks up platefuls of traditional Italian cuisine for delivery to white linen-draped tables in the 75-seat, trattoria-style dining room. Diners can fan the flames of their appetites by rapidly waving their napkins or choosing an antipasti such as cozze rosso con zafferano—steamed mussels and cherry tomato in a saffron white wine broth ($10). Pancetta and peas accessorize the hand-rolled penne’s parmesan cream coat in the garganelli con piselli and pancetta ($17), and chefs sear duck breasts in port wine to pair with brussels sprouts and creamy polenta ($21). The butternut squash risotto’s carnaroli rice simmers with white wine, mushrooms, and goat cheese before arriving to tables via hovercraft ($15). To end dining expeditions on a sweet note, diners can savor desserts such as the panna di vanigli, a vanilla crème brûlée trimmed with fresh berries ($7).
An ample wine list keeps glasses filled ($7+/glass) and encourages diners to linger beneath the crystal chandeliers, which spill light onto warm, Tuscan-style walls. A portrait of Angelina, one of the cofounder’s grandmothers, presides over the dining room to ensure guests are treated with proper Italian hospitality and conceal the secret-recipe vault.
Angelina Ristorante opened its doors in 1988 as a culinary homage to cofounder Nunzio Fresta's Italian grandmother. Within its colorful, chandelier-illuminated interior, executive chef Fred Ramos employs experience at top-notch Chicago eateries such as Room21 and Gioco to devise trattoria-style dishes draped in zesty sauces and seasonal ingredients. Choice cuts of duck breast, veal, and beef shoulder mingle with sides of creamy polenta or whipped potatoes, and homemade morsels of gnocchi and ravioli are rolled by hand before being draped in cheese- and wine-based sauces.