The Story of Angela

Angela’s story starts in Casacalenda, a small village in Italy’s Molise region, where she was born in 1938. World War II would start the next year. The village was poor, but the tight-knit family rallied around little Angela, who made her first foray into cooking at the age of 5. She was only 12 when the family left Italy to put down new roots in Montreal. Angela brought memories from her native village with her, but also her knowledge and the flavours of its cuisine.

The year she turned 17, Angela married Rocco D’Angelo. Two sons and two daughters were born of the union, including John D’Angelo, who, by his mother’s side, learned the art of flavouring olive oil, cooking with fresh, authentic ingredients and always setting a table for company. The most important lesson she transmitted to John? “Simplicity in cooking and humility, for a better life,” he says.

Generous and affectionate, Angela is a mother with a grandmother’s heart. “She had so much affection,” recalls John. In September, the odour of sun-ripened tomatoes, slowly simmering, filled the family home. In October, it was time for marinated eggplant and peppers. November was the month for making sausages and other dishes. “We weren’t rich, but the pantry was always full of enough artisanal products to last the year,” recalls her son. Angela’s specialty? Raviolis filled with ricotta cheese. Over 80 today, Angela still makes her raviolis and cooks for the family.

But Angela wasn’t satisfied with just cooking at home. At the beginning of the 1980s, her husband, who was unemployed, rediscovered an old passion and launched a gelataria like the one he had run in Italy. That was the beginning of the Restaurant Roberto on Bélanger Street, whose gelatos are as mouth-watering today. Angela worked in the gelataria in the day and, along with the children, lent a hand in the evenings. Then she started preparing dishes to keep customers coming during the winter. The reputation of Roberto’s pasta, sauces and pizzas quickly grew.

It was Mama Angela’s craftsmanship, welcoming generosity, simple recipes and authentic cuisine that John D’Angelo drew on when he took over and renewed Restaurant Roberto in 1995. Angela & i is built on the same values.

If you take the time savouring them, you’ll almost be able to smell the tomatoes that Mama Angela was simmering. Drop in: the table is always set, like in her home, from morning to night…!

Who is the little boy in the photo?

This is the creator of the concept. His name is John D’Angelo. On the image of the famous logo, he is nine years old and standing beside his mother Angela. In the young John’s eyes, you can see the hopes, goals and determination of this future restaurant owner, who is as passionate as ever today.

With the experience of running four successful Montreal restaurants under his belt, John is now the creator and project manager of the chain Angela & i. It’s another exciting project for John to add to his exceptional career as a restaurant owner. John has dedicated his career to developing new restaurant concepts based on the philosophy that the pleasure of a meal starts with simple cooking, authentic ingredients and true craftsmanship. He believes it’s possible to offer all this at an affordable price.

John launched his first restaurant, the fine Italian dining establishment Le Carpaccio, in 1989. Four years later, he was looking for a new challenge and wanted to try out some innovative ideas when he opened Foccacia, a restaurant with a trendy, contemporary streamlined décor where customers could enjoy everything from pizza to delicious fish dishes and plates of braised meat.

In 1995, John took over the Bélanger Street restaurant Roberto, which his family had been operating since 1980. He renovated the restaurant and updated the menu, with

inspiration from his mother’s cooking, but also from new market trends. He relaunched what has now become a neighbourhood institution. Restaurant Roberto – which everyone recognizes from its famous logo, a medallion with the photo of John as a child and his mother, Angela – offers the flavours of family cooking in a warm locale that makes everyone feel at home.

In 2003, John launched a new restaurant and family entertainment concept. With a team of producers, animators and designers, he produced a series of Guido and Angelina’s webisodes, which recreated a virtual city, Ceasarville and were projected on large screens of the immense Trattoria at the corner of Sainte-Catherine and Atwater. Viewers could follow the adventures of the restaurant owner Guido and his lover, the waitress Angelina.

Over the years, John has maintained and developed his passion for designing new concepts. In 2004 he sold his three establishments to devote himself exclusively to Restaurant Roberto.

Since then, he has also developed Balsammum Food, a registered trademark that specializes in the transformation of vinegars/plain and aromatized balsamic vinegar reductions and specialty grocery products. Customers at Roberto know and love Balsamumm Food products, which they can either buy to enjoy at home or offer as gifts. And you can get them by ordering online or at Angela & i!

And that’s the story of the little boy with the big eyes who went on to make his mark in the restaurant world, and who is now inviting you to discover his newest concept: Angela & i!

Our signature cuisine…our expertise!

Cooking may be an art, but it must also be a passion, a quest for excellence and an experience for those who savour it. John D’Angelo has that kind of passion. Artisanal pizza? Yes, but not made with just any dough. Fresh pasta? Naturally, but our pasta is made using the highest level of craftsmanship and only the best quality ingredients. Tomato sauce? It has to be as good as Mama Angela’s. And our gelato… well, just wait until you taste it!

Une cuisine sans friture

Cooking Without Frying

Did you know that at Angel & i, all the vegetable dishes we serve, including our home fries, are stone-baked? No deep frying here. The result : our dishes have less fat. don’t break down as much and preserve the beautiful colours and aromas that will make your flavour and pleasure index shoot through the roof.

Our pizza dough…

John D’Angelo wanted to improve his pizza dough to give it the perfect balance of lightness and aroma. For more than eight months he tested, kneaded, started over, tasted, and had it tasted before creating a delicious dough that would never feel heavy in the stomach, and would perfectly bring out the flavours of basil and other seasonings. One of his secrets? Natural yeast. Not only does it have higher nutritional value than chemical yeast, it also makes dough more digestible. Why? Because under the effect of natural yeast, the bacteria that work during the fermentation process feed on some of the starch, breaking it down into malt sugar. This transformation makes it easier to digest the dough and absorb its nutrients.

Our tomato sauce… Ah, our tomato sauce…!

Tomatoes that ripen naturally, then slowly simmer for 12 hours, are the basis for our homemade tomato sauce. It’s as delicious as Mama Angela’s own! And like her, we add no thickening agents. Our homemade tomato sauce, prepared in the pure Italian tradition, is the foundation of our pizzas and the tomato sauces in our pasta dishes. A delicacy!

Fresh, natural pasta made the right way (change for “traditional methods?”)

Ingredients that are healthy, fresh and natural. Those are the basis of our homemade fresh pasta made with eggs. Pasta that conserves all its aromas and nutrients, with none of the additives or chemical products used in industrial production.

At Angela & i, we use fresh eggs, and semolina that comes from a special wheat variety from Western Canada. This lets us make pasta that’s both nutritious and easy to digest. Our pasta is drawn using bronze die extrusion, the only method that produces porous pasta with a textured finish that absorbs sauces and subtle flavours of seasonings and preparation ingredients.

Remember, if a good sauce allows you to mask the flavour of bad pasta, good pasta brings out the flavours and aromas of a sauce! It’s another way of increasing the flavour and pleasure index!

And our gelato?

No, “gelato” is not just the Italian word, or trendy expression, for “ice cream.” On the contrary, the gelato that gave Italian gelaterias their reputation is not made the same way as ice cream is, and it doesn’t contain the same ingredients.

Ice cream is made from 35% cream and must, according to industry standards, contain a minimum 10% fat. Gelato is actually made using whole milk (3.25 to 3.8%), with a small amount of cream added. The result is: gelato is sweeter, but has much less fat.

At Angela & i, we make our gelato from fresh milk and eggs, with a bit of cream and sugar added. Vanilla, chocolate and other flavours are then incorporated into the mixture.

The other difference is in how it’s churned. The churning process for gelato is slower than it is for ice cream. The result: gelato has less air and retains more of the aromas that are added.

But enough with explanations! To understand our gelato and its subtle flavours, all you have to do is taste it. So let yourself be tempted. And for an added boost to your flavour and pleasure index, drizzle it with delicious sauce from our chocolate fountain or fill a cone with it… A pure delight!

Our commitment

Our ongoing commitment is to give you fresh, authentic, quality food and products at affordable prices, from your morning coffee to your nightcap. That applies to all the links in the Angela & I chain, where you’ll receive a warm welcome in a trendy atmosphere, where you can taste our Italian traditions and our Quebec roots in every dish we make.

Whether you prefer to enjoy your meal at your table or ours, you’ll enjoy quality food at competitive prices. Because we believe that eating or sharing a good meal is one of life’s essential pleasures, rest assured a satisfying and affordable experience awaits you!

For a caffè, gelato, take-out pizza, a meal in our resto or a product from our boutique, our commitment is steadfast. We want to take your treats & flavours index right through the roof!

Our ecological footprint

Did you know that Angela & i uses only electrical appliances in our kitchen? By opting for a renewable, non-polluting form of energy, we’re reducing our ecological footprint compared to using gas-fueled appliances. This way, we can also provide a safer working environment for our staff – no risk of explosion or carbon monoxide poisoning.

Every gesture matters, so we’re happy to fill your personal cups and bottles when you bring them in. And if you’re taking one of our delicious desserts home, you’ll notice that they’re served in small reusable glass (not plastic) containers. You can reuse them at home.

Naturally, our take-out bags are also made of recyclable paper. It’s all part of our commitment to do everything we can to protect the environment.