Sun and Tue-Thu, noon-11pm; Fri-Sat, noon-midnight; Mon, closed
F, V at Lower East Side-Second Ave.
Grand St. to 14th St., Ave. D to Third Ave.
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 tiny space is crammed with bric-a-brac, lit with hanging stained-glass lamps, and filled with a dozen 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 vegetable couscous and crepes drizzled with honey as a Maghreb touch. Angelina is equally frequented during an $9.50 prix fixe 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, $9.50; Banana, almond, and honey crêpe, $6.00