There are a few essential components to truly excellent fried zucchini. First, one must use fresh zucchini. Second, the veggie and coating must be properly seasoned. Lastly, the frying oil should be at 350 degrees, and be clean, and fresh. If any, or all of the essentials are absent, the dish will be incomplete.
The very best fried zucchini I’ve ever tasted was at Angelo’s restaurant in Washington, PA. These particular slices of zucchini were perfectly ripe. Instead of traditional breading (I always make mine with panko for that extra crunch) they were battered and fried. The coating was crunchy and delicious. Each strand of fried zucchini become increasingly delicious as I sampled it with the homemade marinara and spicy horseradish sauce ($10.00)
Also served were Stuffed Roasted Hot Peppers ($9.00)- hot wax peppers bursting with pork, veal, sage and fennel baked, then finished with provolone and the house tomato sauce. The slightly caramelized peppers were sweet with a hint of fire. The homemade sauce and thick, rich layer melted cheese completed the dish. Perfect. Also on the appetizer menu: Fried Calamari ($9.00), Peppers Angelo (sautéed peppers with spinach and garlic with the house veal stock and lemon, $13.00), Roasted Garlic (delicious with a butter-like consistency, $10.00), and Shrimp Alla Sam (spicy shrimp with veggies and spinach, $20.00), and traditional Greens and Beans ($10.00).
Angelo’s is famous for their pastas. Although only their fettuccine is made in-house, they have a myriad of other fresh pastas to choose from. Some of the pasta choices are, Pasta Lacqua, Pasta Primavera, Pasta Diablo, Ravioli Diablo, Pasta Angelina, and Pasta Scolgio, Lasagna, Linguini with Black Mussels, and creamy Fettuccini Alfredo.
If you’re not in the mood for pasta, Angelo’s has an extensive menu that includes chicken, beef, pork, veal, veggie dishes, sandwiches and paninis, and fresh fish. I chose the filet of salmon served with risotto and fresh green beans. My salmon came medium (as I requested), and was buttery and delectable. The risotto was cooked al dente, as were the beans. I had a chance to taste the Chicken Picatta ($16.00)- it was fantastic. Everyone else at the table ordered pasta dishes, and they all seemed to be enjoying them immensely.
I was almost too stuffed to order dessert, but Angelo’s makes homemade gelato- 18 flavors-I got a scoop of Almond Joy, and Death by Chocolate. The frozen treat was smooth, creamy and flavorful.
I’ve often complained that Pittsburgh doesn’t have any truly authentic Italian restaurants- after eating at Angelo’s I will complain no more.