Raise the Bar: Angelina’s Italian Bistro has a robust selection of wines

Angelina's Italian Bistro

1565 Broadway St. Detroit 313-962-1355 angelinadetroit.com

Tues - Thurs 5 - 10 p.m.; Friday and Saturday 4 - 11 p.m.; Sunday 4 - 8 p.m.; Monday closed Angelina's Italian Bistro

This hot spot is located in the old Madison Theatre building, right across the street from the Detroit Opera House. While it's known for its hearty Italian fare (much of which can be served gluten-free!) it also has a stocked bar with ample seating, perfect to grab a drink before or after a show.

While it is perhaps geared more toward the well-heeled, on our visit we noted many people dressed more appropriately for an evening at Ford Field than the opera.

The décor is warm and inviting, with an industrial ceiling slightly reminiscent of the film Brazil. Despite the high ceiling and open dining room, music was subtle at best, and it was easy to carry on a quiet conversation while still feeling like it is a lively, upbeat environment.

Servers and bartenders were educated about the menu and clearly prepared to make recommendations and accommodations suitable for even the most discriminating of palates.

The wine menu is robust, with plenty of offerings from France, Italy, Australia, Spain, and South America. Domestic regional offerings include vineyards from Oregon, Washington, California, and Michigan. The servers were also knowledgeable on the whites, reds, and sparkling options, able to describe them effectively, and suggest appropriate options available by the glass, half-bottle, and bottle. Prices were well within reason for the quality. Expect to spend $7-$13 by the glass. Bottles start at $24.

In addition to being the perfect stop before or after the Opera House, Angelina's is also convenient to the rest of downtown, making it a nice place to pop in to while shopping nearby. It's also convenient to Comerica Park and Ford Field, making it a great place to grab a drink after a game while waiting for a shuttle bus or the post game traffic to calm down. And who knows? Perhaps you'll have a chance to grab a celebratory sparkling wine there in 2016, to celebrate the Lions in the postseason.

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