Angelina’s Italian Restaurant
There’s a “secret” spot in an unassuming plaza on Main Street in Tewksbury. After you miss the turn that leads into the plaza (because odds are you’re going to miss the turn on your first attempt), you’ll find an Italian restaurant that serves up traditional recipes and tastes of times gone by.
Despite being only 3 years old, Angelina’s Italian Restaurant and Pizzeria is the kind of place that seems like it has been around forever. Owner and longtime restaurant professional Susan Amato says her fondness for iconic spots such as the original Felicia’s in the North End of Boston, memories of multigenerational Sunday dinners, and her deep love of Italian “peasant food” combined to inspire Angelina’s warm and inviting atmosphere.
Almost every aspect of Angelina’s has its roots in Amato’s Italian-American heritage. Meals from her family’s recipe book are staples on the menu. She discovered the restaurant’s house wine, Cantina Zaccagnini, while visiting cousins in a 300-person village in the Abruzzi region of Italy. Walls adorned with black and white photos of loved ones make the space feel more like a relative’s home than a restaurant. As Amato puts it, “It’s a typical Italian house with the thick drapes and the sheers. Half the decorations I took from my house.”
Like most Italian kitchens, where there is always food in the fridge and pasta on the stove, Angelina’s is a place people gather for all sorts of occasions. “Food [is] a passion for Italians. You use it for the good. You use it for the bad. It’s everything,” Amato says. During the week, “everything” includes guys who stop in to watch the game while grabbing a pizza and a beer. On weekend nights, it means ordering a 10-ounce filet mignon and listening to Bobby G sing classics by Tony Bennett and Al Martino. Couples even get up to dance from time to time.
Amato wants her restaurant to be a throwback to a time when families regularly got together to share stories and a meal. The desire to re-create this atmosphere is what led her to establish “Family Night.” On Thursdays, guests can order all pizzas and select pasta entrees for half price. The one caveat? No cellphones at the table.
Angelina’s also hosts “Martini Madness Monday,” when all of the restaurant’s award-winning martinis are $6.50; Tuesday “Flight Nights,” with wine and martini flights; and “Wine Down Wednesday,” when all glasses of wine and selected bottles are half price.
Angelina’s is a young restaurant with an old soul. Since opening in September 2012, it has evolved into something Amato and her customers love. And while the menu changes throughout the year, Amato wants her guests’ experiences to remain the same. “I want to keep the quality as it is. Stay consistent,” she says. “I have awesome, fun customers. People come in, they hug me, give me a kiss, say ‘how are you?’ to the servers. It’s such a great atmosphere and environment. I don’t want anything to change.”
Angelina’s Italian Restaurant and Pizzeria