Michaelangelo’s in Little Italy in the Bronx is an Old World Gem. It is a restaurant, lounge, pizzeria, wine and cheese bar all rolled up in one presenting Old World flavors and an unique dinning experience.
Everyone loves a great Italian Restaurant for its foods, pastas, salads, desserts, cheese, wines and especially ambiance. While many travel sites tend to only cover centrally located Manhattan restaurants when they recommend great foodie finds in the Big Apple, we’ve brought you everything from great coffee picks, fabulous chocolate in Brooklyn and great local foodie picks to fabulous Austrian food in an artsy neighborhood in a Red Hook loft, the creative and delicious in Bushwick, great brunch list (be sure to check out Renee’s top brunches in Harlem post) and Malaysian Street Food in the Village.
We’ve been exploring foodie treasures in the Bronx over the past six months or so, from Charlies in the South Bronx to Portofino in City Island, Jakes Steakhouse near Van Cortland Park and now Michaelangelo’s, which is located on the famous Arthur Avenue otherwise known as the “Little Italy” of the Bronx, just outside Manhattan.
Situated on the corner of Arthur Avenue and East and 189th street, Michaelangelo’s is within walking distance from the Bronx Zoo and the Bronx Botanical Gardens. It is also off the Metro North Station (Fordam stop), but put your walking shoes on because it is a solid 15 minute walk to the restaurant….but well worth it.
Michaelangelo’s serves up a wide array of delicious traditional Italian dishes such as Hot and Cold Antipasti, Risotto Arancini and Stuffed Mushrooms. They also host an array of pastas, chicken, meats and seafood. Let’s not forget the ever so popular Coal Fired Brick Oven Pizzas which are a must try as well.
We loved their homemade Lobster Ravioli with the pomodoro sauce. You may also request a carbonara sauce if you prefer. No matter which sauce you choose, their ravioli is delicious and beautifully presented as well.
I have now lived in the Bronx for 20 years and have seen many interesting changes occur. New York City is famous for its cultural and linguistic diversity within each borough. At one time, the Arthur Avenue section of the Bronx was rich in Italian culture, language and food and still currently is, however, over the years, new populations seeking a better life emigrated from their native countries for new opportunities.
For many years now, the Hispanic cultures from Mexico, the Caribbean islands and South America have come to NYC enriching “La Gran Manzana” with their unique cultural, linguistic and gastronomic flare. Arthur Avenue is now predominantly populated by Mexican heritage adding to the unique flavor of this area. Additionally, the Albanian culture may now be seen in many pizzerias and Italian bistros adding their own diverse flavors to dishes.
Michaelangelo’s owner is Albanian and many of the waiters are as well and their very talented chef Fernando is of Mexican descent. These exotic blends of culture, language and gastronomy make Michaelangelo’s a must try for those foodies who are truly interested in an unique dining experience.
Upon entering Michaelangelo’s, our fabulous hostess Crystal seated us and took us on a tour of the restaurant. Michaelangelo’s has a very warm and inviting Mediterranean feel to it. Our young waiter who also happens to be of Albanian descent suggested we start the night out right with a 2008 Brunello Di Montalcino from Italy. However, because it took some time to open, a Briccole Riserva Chianti, 2007 from Italy was brought to us instead while we waited for the Brunello to decant. The Briccole Riserva Chianti is a balanced red wine, with a refined elegance and garnet deep ruby red hues with a touch of oak.
First, we tried a hot antipasto served with sauteed artichoke hearts, sauteed cherry tomatoes with garlic, coconut shrimp and stuffed mushrooms. It’s a great choice for winter and will warm you right up when coming in from the cold evening’s chill.
We ordered a Pear Salad made with mesclun green, sliced pears, gorgonzola cheese, sugar roasted walnuts, sun-dried cranberries tossed with their special balsamic vinaigrette dressing. It is absolutely a unique and delicious salad and it’s light enough that I’d recommend ordering it to accompany any of the dishes!
We also had the pleasure of sampling the Baby Arugula and Baby Spinach Salad made with cherry tomatoes, red onion, grated pecorino romano cheese, tossed with their orange vinaigrette dressing. Delicious!
Another main dish that we had to try was the Rack of Lamb. It is charbroiled topped with Michaelangelo’s red wine sauce, served with roasted red potatoes or risotto and sauteed vegetables. A top notch recommendation.
After dinner is always a favorite time for me for with it, comes coffee and dessert! I dove right into the Michaelangelo’s cheesecake, tiramisu and a cream puff filled with a little bit of heaven topped off with chocolate and powered sugar. I also ordered a cappuccino to accompany my three savory desserts.
Mouth watering cheesecake.
Cream puff topped with chocolate and powered sugar.
Cappuccino made to perfection.
How sweet it is! Now this is the true sense of “La Dolce Vita”.
Behind the scenes making sure that the “cucina” is running smoothly.
Michaelangelo’s gracious and humble Chef Fernando who is responsible for creating authentic Italian cuisine in the kitchen.
We’d like to give a special thanks to the owner of Michaelangelo’s, our hostess, waiters and chef for hosting us and making this a wonderfully romantic night out in “Little Italy” of the Bronx. Che bel ristorante italiano!!
Near the intersection of Arthur Ave and E 189th Street
Note: We were a guest of the restaurant however all opinions expressed are entirely my own.