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Ciao Down In Lakeview.
We just had lunch at Rizzuto’s Ristorante & Chop House, the new Italian eatery that recently opened in Tony Angello’s old place in Lakeview. While we can still fight our way out of this food coma, we wanted to tell you all about it.
Rizzuto's Chop House
You know how food can sometimes make you feel drunk even when no alcohol is involved? That’s what Rizzuto’s does to you. Tony Angello must be up there in heaven humming along with Dean Martin, y’all, because his former customers are in good hands with Jack and Phil Rizzuto of the Rizzuto Management Group (owners of the Rex Room event venue).
First of all, the restaurant itself is lovely. The designer used just the right amount of red and gold accents, so it says “Italian” without saying “Al Capone.” The first thing we heard when we walked in was Louis Prima music playing in the background. Although Rizzuto’s is new, you can feel the Italian-New Orleans history here. You’re immediately struck by how special and how much fun this place is.
We started with Oysters Rizzuto, a half dozen on the half shell baked with lemon, bread crumbs, pecorino romano and oregano. After one scrumptious, tiny forkful, it was “game on!” If you love chargrilled oysters, you'll love this variation from Chef Jason Caronna.
For our main course, we ordered a little of this and a little of that and shared. One of us had homemade Meatballs served with ricotta. They were so good and so big, they’re going to make a great meatball sandwich for someone’s dinner tonight.
Somebody else ordered the Chicken Marsala in a mushroom sauce served with pasta agliolio. It, too, was wonderful.
We also had the house-made Tortellacci, stuffed with chianti-braised short ribs and topped with marinara, pecorino romano with pork and red gravy. It was lovely and would make a great appetizer for a table of four.
And finally, we all got a taste of Filet Mignon which came to the table sizzling hot. It was so tender you could cut it with a fork. We know because we did!
Although we had no room left for dessert, we ordered it anyway. The Spicy Aztec Chocolate Gelato made in house was a fabulous companion to the Italian coffee. We also sampled the Stracciatella (vanilla gelato with milk and dark chocolate folded inside with a chocolate drizzle on top), and a special Chocolate Mousse the on-site pastry chef prepared especially for us. It had a cream-filled profiterole in the center and whipped cream on top. Thank goodness it was Friday afternoon, y’all, because – after that – the week was over.