Charlotte’s latest Kimpton restaurant brings Italian food through a Southern renaissance.
Tucked away into the side of the new Kimpton Tryon Park Hotel, Angeline’s is only accessible from two entrances: through the hotel, where guests are greeted with a modern, see-through fireplace and the glow of the island bar’s light metal frame; or through the door connecting to West 3rd Street, where a wall of windows let passersby view the open dining area and warm lights. Both entrances allow patrons to experience the same thing: discovery. With its high ceilings, unique hanging light fixtures, and warm wood finishes, stepping into Angeline’s is like stepping into Charlotte’s last hidden culinary trove.
Led by executive chef Robert Hoffman, the Italian-inspired restaurant, which features a breakfast, dinner, and dessert menu, takes cues from Southern flavors and cutting-edge culinary techniques.
“Understanding the science behind food,” notes Hoffman, “allows you to enhance technique and do some really cool things with it.”
Hoffman has been working in kitchens since he was sixteen, and he’s now worked with Kimpton Hotels for several years. To create the Angeline’s menu, he drew upon both Northern Italy and local ingredients. As with most Italian establishments, the restaurant pays special attention to its pastas, but has also created a robust pizza program and several signature seafood dishes.
“Understanding the science behind food allows you to enhance technique and do some really cool things with it.”
“Our mussels are probably my favorite dish,” admits Hoffman—and for good reason. Heaped on top of perfectly cooked fregola pasta and draped with Arrabiata sauce, the tender mussels pack a ton of flavor within each bite while still ensuring that the seafood remains the star of the show. As with the rest of the menu, the main ingredients are given center stage, allowing the other elements to do the support work they were meant to do.
Complementing Angeline’s food menu, lead mixologist Henry Schmulling has also taken cues from Italy, and has created a classic drink menu to match its classic cuisine.
“Angeline’s main focus is certainly on a more traditional style of cocktail—classics and variations on classics to fit the modern Italian feel,” Schmulling.
By highlighting Italian liquors like Amaro, Schmulling brings “underappreciated and underutilized” ingredients to the foreground, creating combinations that won’t be found at other bars. Some of the bar’s lighter cocktails are already turning into local favorites, like their Cold Storage, made with vodka, Cointreau, Cinzano Bianco, and lemon. Stronger spirits are highlighted, as well, like the Bulleit Bourbon the team uses for their Torino Manhattan.
Blending North Carolina’s local ingredients with Italian flavors and techniques, Angeline’s food and drink are a perfect pairing, and while the welcoming atmosphere may draw guests inside, it’s these inspired menus that will make them stay for more.