F at Second Ave.
American Express, Discover, MasterCard, Visa
Grand St. to 17th St., Ave. D to Bowery
With its cane-back chairs and wall-mounted mirrors scrawled with daily specials, Angelina Café is not unlike many local French bistros striving for the Balthazar aesthetic. The space (which moved across the street from its original location) is crammed with bric-a-brac, lit with hanging stained-glass lamps, and filled with charmingly mismatched wooden tables and banquettes. North African chef-owner Rafik Bouzgarrou's menu, however, is more Pan-Mediterranean than pure brasserie French. Italian pastas like fettuccine primavera sautéed with garlic are as popular as steak topped with spicy brown peppercorn sauce, and, in a nod to the chef's own heritage, there's crepes drizzled with honey as a Maghreb touch. Angelina is equally frequented during weekend brunch, when more than one diner has been inspired to snap a picture of a Bouzgarrou specialty: Hunks of brioche French toast coated with cinnamon, pecans, and vanilla, a puff of powdered sugar, and heap of hand-selected bananas, strawberries, oranges, or kiwi.Recommended Dishes
Cinnamon pecan brioche French toast, $11; banana, almond, and honey crêpe, $6