Angelina’s ready to be the best

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First Posted: 5/21/2013

It seems the gauntlet has been thrown, but Sal Scalzo has the confidence to be the man behind it.

“It might sound cocky or arrogant, but I swear, coming out the chute, I would put us up against any Italian restaurant in the area.”

Scalzo’s confidence comes with good reason: he’s got a restaurant that has both smoking and non-smoking sections, a ton of TVs, takeout beer and food, and an authentic Italian cook in the kitchen.

Angelina’s Bar and Restaurant, located on Mundy Street in Wilkes-Barre, attached to G Club 10, is Scalzo’s newest project, an establishment that just released its full-on menu last weekend.

The atmosphere of the restaurant, which is named for Scalzo’s since-passed aunt Angeline, is a casual one, with separate entrances for the bar and dining room. The bar area is trimmed in diamond plate, and there are televisions everywhere on hooks.

“One big screen in the dining room, four in the bar area, 13 TVs altogether,” Scalzo said. “We figured that in the fall, when we start opening on Sundays as well for football, we’d put four primary games on the big screens in the bar and the four other games on the smaller screens.”

The walls are otherwise bare for the time being, with Scalzo planning to decorate the bar area with black and white photos of sports figure, politicians, and big events in history and the dining room with photos of Italy his daughter Marina took while in the country.

The decision to have a smoking bar area was an easy one for Scalzo.

“I saw the need for it,” he said. “I saw people standing outside restaurants smoking and thought that there should be a place for those people to smoke and eat.”

Those who may be wary of a dingy atmosphere due to cigarettes need not worry. Scalzo said that for the Super Bowl this year, there were 80 people in the 12-foot-ceilinged bar area and you couldn’t even tell smoking was going on.

“The smoke-eaters run 24/7,” he said. “I run them even when no one is in here. They clean the air, purify it 14 times an hour.”

The bar stocks everything one would find in a typical setup, with eight beers on tap. Scalzo said there are specialty drinks planned for the future.

As far as the food is concerned, Scalzo said the stuffed white and fresh tomato, garlic, and basil pizzas are some notable menu items. What’s better is that you can get a combination of both through the Sal’s Special, stuffed with fresh tomato, basil, and garlic on top of it.

There’s also killer vodka sauce; black tiger shrimp stuffed with white horseradish, wrapped in bacon, and glazed with honey barbecue sauce; and Sammy’s Hot Sicilian Sandwich, a creation of cook Sammy Morganti. The massive sandwich has ham, salami, pepperoni, capicola, roasted peppers, mozzarella and provolone cheese, and artichoke hearts baked on ciabatta bread.

Scalzo even stops himself in his tracks talking about the fare at Angelina’s.

“I mean, the Sammy Sicilian,” he said before pausing. “It’s just so good. I need to watch it, or I’m going to be like 400 pounds just from working here.”

In addition to the family friendly atmosphere and good eats, Scalzo just wants to ensure that his customers come back over and over again due to a quality that’s upheld.

“I want it to be consistent every time they’re here,” he said. “I want the food to be just as good every time you’re here and for people to feel as though they got enough food, and for a decent price.”