#82 of 131 Pensacola Beach Restaurants

Angelena’s Ristorante Italiano

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Angelena's Ristorante Italiano - Fancy Italian Restaurant Meets Down-Home Southern Charm
Local Expert's Rating:
4 / 5
The Bottom Line:

Angelena's Ristorante Italiano infuses Southern cooking with Italian classics, and the customers are better off for it. The dishes here range from the traditional to the experimental and will leave you thinking about the flavor profiles long after you leave. 

- The FloridaPanhandle.com Local Expert Team

No matter what time of year it is, sometimes there’s nothing better than a plate of comfort food courtesy of Old World recipes that have been honed for hundreds of years. Other times, you want too get a new take on an old classic.

Angelena’s Ristorante Italiano is a part of the Great Southern Restaurant Group, which means that Southern cooking is infused in every bite. While this place wouldn’t go so far as to label itself fusion, you can see elements of Southern culinary techniques married into the classic Italian dishes. Try the Devil Went Down pizza with black garlic honey, salami, mozzarella, and the kicker, Calabrian chili. 

Savor vegetable dishes heaped with seafood straight from the Gulf or order up a plate of meatballs to enjoy alongside fresh garlic bread. And if you’re looking for a wine to pair with your favorite meal, just call on the Wine Director of Angelena’s to learn more about the Italian grapes that grow throughout its fabled wine regions. Known for its impressive ambiance and personable service, you can expect to find a number of special touches throughout your stay here. 

Angelena was the wife of Giatano Giardina, a Sicilian immigrant who found himself in New Orleans in 1875. But it wasn’t long before Angelena convinced him to move to Pensacola and seek their fortune as product merchants. The couple’s produce was not only a hit with families at home, but it was also highly sought after by the finer restauranteurs in the area.

Their success is what inspired another couple to bring their talents to Florida. James Briscione and Brooke Parkhurst opened Angelena’s in tribute to the original married pair, but these owners clearly have their own way of doing things. 

When you’re at a loss, we help you narrow down your selection with a few of our favorites:

Suppli ‘Al Telefono’ 
Not a misprint, this dish gets its name from the mozzarella cheese in the middle. When you pull apart these risotto croquettes, that gooey string is said to look like a telephone line. Suppli is one of the more popular street foods in Rome, largely because it’s both easy to eat and delicious.  

Four the Win
Sometimes there’s nothing better than seeing what a chef can do with some of the most basic dishes in the whole country. While cheese pizza may seem boring, see what you think after you’ve savored this four-cheese blend. With mozzarella, gorgonzola, Parmesan, and fontina, you could find yourself singing a different tune about this classic. 

Chianti-Braised Boneless Short Ribs 
This dish is a bit of a walking contradiction, but the flavors pair together so well that you may not care by the time you finish up the last bite. Served with polenta, espresso-roasted carrots, and salsa verde, every inch that covers the plate is truly delectable. Just make sure to taste the ribs with a chianti, as the infused flavors in the meat and wine will highlight one another. 

Angelena’s Ristorante Italiano has a New York chef who brought his love of Italian food to mingle with the charm of the South. If nothing else, this place offers patrons the learn a slice of Pensacola’s history while enjoying a delicious meal. 

Insider Tips:
– If you’re feeding a large group, try their Grab & Go option. This is an easy way to feed everyone for just a few bucks (or less) per portion. 
– Angelena Ristorante Italiano is known for switching up their menu based on the ingredients of the day. Check their social media pages to learn more. 
– The restaurant is also known to offer special dinners complete with wine pairings. You can learn more about the themes on their website or social media pages.