Angelique Euro Café

 

Eclectic, endearing Angelique Euro Café earns 2.5 stars

angelique cafe 2

Victoria Pesce Elliott

"The little miracle," it says in gold lettering over the bar at Angelique Euro Café, a charming, 4-month-old, wine-centric eatery in Coral Gables. And opening an upscale restaurant in this economy is indeed an act of faith. Miracle or not, this warm and welcoming spot has a few heavenly offerings. Some of its dishes are a bit earthbound, but the infectious charm and innate hospitality of owners Carlos and Yolanda Rossi make the place.

The wine and beer program alone make it worth a trip. A chalkboard lists dozens of value-priced reds, whites and rosés, as well as 60 international beers. Most glasses are just $6, with tasting-size pours as low as $3. We sipped through Spain, Germany, France and Italy for less than we might have paid for a glass of wine at some South Beach spots.  Meet friends at the bar for a "social hour," the 4 to 9pm weeknight happy hour with $6 tapas. The food can be hit or miss, but with the lovely proprietors checking on guests throughout the night, I’d be willing to go back for a chance to glimpse the pearly gates.

What Worked

  • Competent patatas ailoli, tortilla and grilled sausage with figs
  • Hot, crispy, shoestring fries
  • Coq au vin featuring turnips & potatoes instead of the classic mushrooms and bacon
  • Delicious spaghetti carbonara with spinach and a soft-poached egg on top (instead of yolk in the sauce)
  • The house pear salad
  • A cutesy salad bouquet of romaine with nicely charred roma tomatoes
  • Creamy-tasting signature tomato soup
  • A juicy, gorgeously charred, medium-rare lamb burger with caramelized onions and sharp English cheddar
  • Satisfying, lightly grainy chocolate crème brulee with a super crackly, glassy crust

 

What Didn’t Work

  • A rather chewy, sour-tasting lump of sirloin steak
  • A mistaken charge for dessert that was supposed to be included
  • Young, inexperienced wait staff
  • Overly breaded and seasoned calamari rings so big and thick they could be worn as bracelets
  • Cracker-dry pizzas with the consistency of Cuban galletas

 

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